Isaiah 9:2-7 – Unto Us a Child Is Born
SummaryA new king shall rule Judah with justice and righteousness. He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Here the prophet renews the messianic promise that God will rule Judah through a righteous offspring of David (see "The Messianic Kingdom" in Introductory Issues).
This text does not speak of the "days to come," but seems to look forward to the birth now of a new king who will do great things--perhaps originally Hezekiah (one of the very few rulers who "did what was right in the sight of the LORD just as his ancestor David had done" [2 Kings 18:3]).
Just as the prophet gave his own sons names that told of what God would do through them or in their time (Isaiah 7:3; 8:3), so also this new king will be given throne names that describe the nature of God's intended rule.
The promise begins with the somewhat jarring note that the people's joy will be like the rejoicing over plunder taken in war, though the prophet is careful to make sure that the hearer understands this to be victory in a war of liberation from oppression, not war waged at will for secular gain. Finally, the text announces that the kingdom and the world God intends will enjoy "endless peace." As in the promise of "swords into plowshares" of 2:2-4, this passage, too, makes clear that only "the zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." Indeed, earthly measures to establish utopian kingdoms through human means seem always to end in more violence. Still, having been given these many pictures of the peaceful world God intends, God's people will be encouraged to practice peace with humility in whatever ways they are able.