Messiah Becomes the New King: Notes on Isaiah 9:3—7
Donald W. Parry
The millennial reign of Jesus the Messiah is the primary focus of Isaiah 9:3—7.1 The prophetic setting and context of these verses point to the time of Christ's reign on the earth.2 I make this statement knowing that these verses are also appropriately applied in other settings to describe different aspects of the Messiah and his mission. For example, the phrase "for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" (Isaiah 9:6) has traditionally and appropriately been applied to the birth of Jesus into mortality.3 Notwithstanding such interpretations of these verses, I wish to show that this section comprises a messianic prophecy that is directly connected to the enthronement4 and rule of King Messiah (Jesus Christ), when all the kingdoms of the earth will be destroyed and Jesus Christ will be the sole ruler forevermore.
I will first present a new translation of Isaiah 9:3—7 (which will include variant readings from the Book of Mormon and the Joseph Smith Translation), followed by a point-by-point commentary, and will conclude with several observations about the setting of the prophecy.
You have increased the rejoicing,
You have5 magnified the joy;
and6 they rejoice before you as one rejoices at harvest time,
and as one rejoices when dividing the booty; (9:3)
because you have shattered the yoke of their burden,
and the staff of their shoulder,
and the rod of their oppressor;7 (9:4)
because every soldier's boot that tramps with a quake,
and every garment8 rolled in blood;
Will be for burning,
fuel for the fire; (9:5)
because to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the dominion will be on his shoulders;
and his name will be called
Prince of Peace. (9:6)
There is9 no end to the increase of his dominion and peace,
upon the throne of David,
and upon his kingdom
and establishing it
and with righteousness
from that time on
and for ever.
The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will do this. (9:7)
9:3 You have increased the rejoicing/magnified the joy10—How has rejoicing been increased and joy been magnified? The answer is found in the threefold use of "because" in verses 4, 5, and 6. Joy has increased because the Messiah has broken the oppressive yoke and rod of the oppressor (see Isaiah 9:4); because the boots, garments, and other war items of the soldiers will be burned with fire (see Isaiah 9:5); and because a son is born who will establish his righteous government and set up peace among the nations.
harvest/dividing the booty—God's victory over Israel's enemies will bring joy to Israel, similar to the joy received by the farmer at the time of harvest, or similar to the delight that victors of war feel when they receive spoils and booty.
9:4 yoke/staff/rod—In biblical times the staff and rod were instruments used by evil taskmasters when smiting their slaves or servants. The yoke was a wooden frame designed to harness together beasts of burden for the purpose of pulling a plow, wagon, or other instruments. The three items—the yoke, staff, and rod—are metaphors signifying forms of oppression, or the manner in which Israel had been burdened by the surrounding nations (see Isaiah 10:5, 24—27). The language of the verse, for instance, recalls the manner that Egypt oppressed Israel before Moses led them out of Egypt. Leviticus 26:13 speaks expressly about the yoke; Exodus 1:11; 2:11; 5:4—5; and 6:6—7 specify the term burden; and Exodus 3:7; and 5:6, 10—14 refer to the oppressor (note that the King James Version reads "taskmaster" in these verses).
Although the wording of the verse recalls historical circumstances, the messianic reference is straightforward; the Messiah will remove the oppressor's yoke and the taskmaster's staff; he will free his covenant people from worldly oppression when he conquers the nations and rules with justice and righteousness (see Isaiah 9:7). When the Messiah shatters the yoke, staff, and rod, the taskmaster will be replaced by a new Master, who is Jesus Christ, and the taskmaster's rod will be replaced by the Messiah's rod, or scepter.
9:5 boot of a soldier/garments—According to the law of Moses, boots, garments, weaponry, chariotry, and other items used during war were not to become part of the booty or spoil of the victors. Such property was under a ban and had to be burned with fire (compare Joshua 7:23—26; 11:6, 9; Ezekiel 39:9—10; Psalm 46:9). When the Messiah comes to the earth with great glory, he will char all corruptible things, including and perhaps especially items of war.
rolled in blood—Or stained in blood.
burning/fire—Symbolically and prophetically, the boot and garments identified in Isaiah 9:5 have reference to all unclean and corruptible things that will be burned with fire at the second coming of Jesus Christ (see 3 Nephi 25:1; D&C 64:23—24). Specifically, the weaponry and chariotry of the armies ("boot of the soldier") of the nations will burn when the Messiah comes to rule and places the government upon his shoulder. Compare Isaiah 2:4 where weaponry is made into agricultural instruments for the benefit of mankind.
9:6 to us—To Isaiah and all those who are redeemed through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
child/son—Jesus Christ is the child and son. In one sense, the term child has reference to Jesus' childhood in Nazareth (see Matthew 2:23). The context of this section, however, suggests that child also has theological connotations and refers to Jesus' divine parentage and ancestry. On this, one should compare Moroni's reference to Jesus as the "Holy Child" (Moroni 8:3). For members of the church, child is theologically connected to one's becoming a spiritual child of Jesus Christ, both in the setting of one's baptism as well as in the Lord's temples.
The term son has reference to Jesus' divine sonship—"I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee" (Psalm 2:7; see Psalm 89:27—28; 2 Samuel 7:11—16).11 Son, in Isaiah 9:6, may be an abbreviated form of "Son of God" (2 Nephi 25:19), "Son of Man of Holiness," "Son of the Highest" (Luke 1:32), "Son of the living God" (D&C 14:9), "Son of David" (Matthew 1:1), or "Son of the most high God" (1 Nephi 11:6). Righteous individuals may also become sons and daughters of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 6:17—18; Mosiah 5:7; 27:25; Ether 3:14; and D&C 11:30; 25:1), speaking in the spiritual sense.
dominion . . . on his shoulders—The phrase points to the vesting rite of a king who, as part of a coronation and enthronement ceremony, places upon or has placed upon his shoulder the robe of regal authority.12 The robe, not mentioned explicitly here, represents both kingly and priestly power (compare Revelation 1:13, where the sacred vestments belong to both the king and the high priest). The term government (as translated in the King James Version), derived from the same Hebrew root as "prince" (see immediately below, "Prince of Peace"), may be read as dominion or rule.13 The phrase upon his shoulder anticipates a saying found in Isaiah 22:22, "And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder." It is due to the fact that Jesus Christ will bear the rule on his shoulders that the yoke and the staff will not be upon the shoulders of the faithful (see Isaiah 9:4).
Wonderful Counselor—Most translators translate Wonderful as an adjective that describes Counselor, and not as two separate nouns as they are presented in the King James Version (compare 2 Nephi 19:6). The Messiah will be an adviser (Counselor), or perhaps one who argues cases in court. "The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people" (Isaiah 3:13); also, "For behold, ye yourselves know that [the Lord] counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works" (Jacob 4:10).
Mighty God—The title is used again in Isaiah 10:21. The word mighty (Hebrew, gibbor) has reference to a warrior, hence the phrase may read Warrior God, recalling Isaiah 9:3—5, where Jehovah overcomes the nations and all forms of oppression.
Everlasting Father—Jesus Christ is an eternal being who is the father in a number of senses, as explained in "The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve," dated 30 June 1916.14
Prince of Peace—Christ is part of the royal family of God, a Prince who shares the throne with the Father (see Revelation 3:21) and who is the "King of kings" (Revelation 19:16) over a kingdom of kings and priests, or righteous saints. He is the Prince of Peace, who at his second coming will destroy all war and contention and will reign over a peaceful kingdom (compare Isaiah 2:2—4; 9:4—5). He is the "founder of peace" (Mosiah 15:18), the "author of . . . peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33), the "God of love and peace" (2 Corinthians 13:11) and the "Lord of peace" (2 Thessalonians 3:16). At his birth into the telestial world at the meridian of time an angelic host proclaimed: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). Jesus himself taught, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you" (John 14:27), and to the unruly elements, the troubled waters, Jesus commanded: "Peace, be still" (Mark 4:39).
Depending upon the scriptural context, the Hebrew root word that underlies the English term peace signifies "good health," "harmony," "make intact" or "complete," "recompense unto," and "pay vow,"15 all of which are connected in one way or another to the divine mission of Jesus.
9:7 There is no end to the increase of his dominion—Christ's kingdom will increase throughout the eternities. The angel Gabriel echoed some of Isaiah's words concerning the throne of David, Jesus' reign as king, and Jesus' possession of an everlasting kingdom when he (Gabriel) spoke to Mary: "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:30—33, emphasis added).
throne of David—The throne is a metaphor for kingship, dominion, and sovereignty (see Genesis 41:40; 2 Samuel 7:16; and 1 Kings 1:47). Jehovah is crowned and enthroned upon the throne of David and rules with great glory and justice for eternity.
The throne of David is identified here because "the events of David's life constituted a remarkable type of the Messiah. . . . David, having established for Israel the day of her greatness and glory, is a natural type for Christ during the millennial reign."16 Jeremiah prophesied that "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:3—6; see Ezekiel 37:24—25).
his kingdom—This has reference to the Messiah's "kingdom of heaven" (D&C 65:6), where the Lord will rule from David's throne and where there will be "no end" to the increase of his dominion and peace (Isaiah 9:7). The "kingdom of God which is set up on the earth" has been established to prepare humankind for the second coming of Jesus Christ. In October 1831 the Lord revealed that "the keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth. . . . Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth. Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come" (D&C 65:2—6).
ordering it/establishing it—The Messiah will establish his kingdom with exact "justice" and "righteousness."
zeal of Jehovah of hosts will do this—An expression also found in 2 Kings 19:31 and Isaiah 37:32. The expression "is an assurance that the promise will in fact be fulfilled because Yahweh will support it with his 'zeal' . . . with all his strength."17
Notes and Observations
The various expressions of Isaiah's messianic prophecy in Isaiah 9:3—7 pertain to Jesus the Messiah who conquers, vanquishes, subdues, and rules as the victorious king. Distinctive kingship themes are expressed in Isaiah's prophecy, including the victory of the new king over oppressive kingdoms (see Isaiah 9:4—5); the divine sonship of the new king (see Isaiah 9:6; see also 2 Samuel 7:11—16, "I will be his father and he shall be my son"; Psalm 2); the reception of the government by the new king (see Isaiah 9:6); the naming ceremony, wherein the king receives names that are fitting for his kingship (see Isaiah 9:6); the king becomes Father, God, and a member of the royal family ("Prince of Peace," Isaiah 9:6); the king is given the throne and the kingdom (see Isaiah 9:7); and the king rules with justice, peace, and righteousness forever (see Isaiah 9:7).
Other themes presented in this section (called "Davidic king motifs") recall King David and his golden reign over Israel. In this prophecy they speak of Jesus Christ, who is the last but greatest king from the Davidic dynasty. The Davidic king motifs include the dawn of great light (see Isaiah 9:1—2; compare 2 Samuel 23:4; and Psalm 110:3; 118:24, 27), rejoicing (see Isaiah 9:3; compare Psalm 118:15, 24; 132:9, 16), the overthrow of foes (see Isaiah 9:4; compare Psalm 2:2, 8—9; 72:4, 14; 89:23; 110:1, 5—6; and 132:18), burning with fire (see Isaiah 9:5; compare 2 Samuel 23:7; and Psalm 21:9; 118:12), and royal continuance forever (see Isaiah 9:7; compare Psalm 2:8—9; 21:4; 61:6—7; 89:3—4, 28—29, 36—37; and 132:11—12).18
Note that the nation's joy has increased (see Isaiah 9:3), the people's yoke and burdens have been lifted, their oppressors removed (see Isaiah 9:4), and soldiers and items connected with war are unnecessary (see Isaiah 9:5) because Jesus Christ has become king and reigns as the Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6) with justice and righteousness (see Isaiah 9:7). Note also the four royal titles given to Christ presented at the time of his investiture of authority and kingship19—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6).20 The titles are connected to the reception of sacred names in the setting of an enthronement ceremony. The names emphasize his ability to judge in righteousness, his fatherhood, his godhood, and his royalty; they prophesy of the ultimate victory of the house of Israel because the Messiah has become King and God.
Certainly the divine role of the mortal Jesus of Nazareth was not the warrior Messiah, as depicted in this section of Isaiah, but instead was the Suffering Servant who condescended below all things and suffered all things (see Isaiah 53).21 Only a single phrase in the entire section seems to pertain to Jesus' mortal birth—"to us a child is born, to us a son is given." Scholars generally agree that the phrase deals, in its greatest and last application, to the enthronement of King Messiah. I have attempted to demonstrate this concept in my comments above. One Isaiah scholar and commentator, Otto Kaiser, has summarized:
[The scholar] Alt thought that he could find the key to the understanding of [this phrase in Isaiah 9:6a] in Psalms 2:7b, where mention of the birth of the king refers to the adoption or, as we should more accurately put it . . . , the legitimation of the king as the son of Yahweh on the day of his accession. There the king himself refers to the authority to rule given to him by Yahweh in the so-called royal protocol: "Yahweh said to me: 'You are my son. Today I have begotten you.'" The fact that the present passage says that a child is given to us and a son is born to us could accordingly be regarded as the consequence of adapting the element taken from the enthronement hymn, and therefore the enthronement ritual, to the thanksgiving, and we might follow Alt in referring the statement, even in its present form, and within the context demarcated for comment, to the accession of the king rather than to his birth. This interpretation has already attracted scholars because it makes it possible to maintain the temporal unity of vv. 6f . . . so that here the whole passage would be related to the enthronement of the new king.22
The denomination of the king as child and son has reference, then, to the individual who becomes the princely son of the Great King, who is God the Father of all. The child/son has been found worthy to sit upon the throne with the Great King, receive the vestments of kingly and priestly rule, and accept the crown of righteousness. Truly, as the Psalmist proclaimed in his enthronement psalm:
I have consecrated my king upon my holy mountain of Zion.
Let me proclaim the law of Jehovah,
He has said unto me,
"You are my Son; Today I have begotten you.23
Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
and for your possession the uttermost parts of the earth.
You will break them with an iron scepter,
You will shatter them like a potter's vessel." (Psalm 2:6—9)24
In conclusion I will set forth the framework of Isaiah 9:3—7 in its greater context. Isaiah 7:1 through 12:6 appears to be a distinct literary unit,25 a single revelation given to Isaiah. The prophecy is comprised of several subsections, shown as follows, but not listed in chronological order:
Ephraim and Syria War against Judah (7:1—9)
The Sign to Ahaz—The Immanuel Prophecy (7:10—16)
Assyria's Invasion of Judah (7:17—25)
The Immanuel Prophecy—First Fulfillment (8:1—4)
Rejecting Jehovah, the Waters of Shiloah (8:5—10)
Messianic Prophecies of Christ (8:11—15)
Sealing the Testimony and the Law (8:16—9:2)
The Messiah—The Son Becomes the New King (9:3—7)
Judgment against the Northern Kingdom of Israel (9:8—10:4)
Assyria: Instrument in God's Hand (10:5—11)
God Destroys Assyria: A Type of the Destruction at the Second Coming (10:12—19)
Remnant of Israel Shall Return (10:20—27)
Assyria Marches to Jerusalem Causing Terror (10:28—34)
The Stem of Jesse (Jesus Christ) Prophecy (11:1—5)
Glorious Conditions of the Millennium (11:6—10)
An Ensign Shall Gather Israel (11:11—16)
Israel's Song of Salvation (12:1—6)
The literary unit deals chiefly with the following three themes—the nation of Assyria, the house of Israel, and Israel's Messiah, who is Jesus Christ. Isaiah's prophecies regarding Assyria, their wars against Israel, and their final destruction at the hands of the Lord are recorded in Isaiah 7:1—9, 17—25; and 10:5—11, 12—19, 28—34. Although Jehovah chastens members of the house of Israel for their wickedness (see Isaiah 9:8—10:4), he provides hope for them by promising that a remnant of Israel will remember the covenant and return to their lands of promise to build Zion in the latter days (see Isaiah 10:20—27). Israel will gather around the gospel ensign (see Isaiah 11:11—16) when they see it lifted on a high mountain. Further, Israel is comforted when it learns concerning the glorious conditions of the millennium that await the faithful (see Isaiah 11:6—10). During that blessed period, Israel will join together in a chorus singing a song of salvation unto their God and Savior (see Isaiah 12:1—6).
Isaiah's messianic prophecies presented in this literary unit (see Isaiah 7:10—16; 8:1—4, 5—10, 11—15; 9:3—7; and 11:1—5) are interrelated in a most inspired fashion. By way of an example, the principal themes of the Immanuel prophecy (see Isaiah 8:1—4) are the identification of a mother who will play a prominent role in the prophecy, the birth of a son, the naming of that son, oppression by worldly nations, oppressive kings of the world, the destruction of the land and cities by the oppressive kings and their armies, God's control of the events of the world despite the temporary power of the worldly kings, and the ultimate promise of hope that "God is with us" (Hebrew = Immanuel), both during mortality as well as during the millennium. The first and localized fulfillment of this prophecy is recorded in Isaiah 8:3—7; the greater fulfillment is shown in Matthew 1:21—23.
The eschatological correspondence of the Immanuel prophecy is documented in Isaiah 9:3—7. This section of Isaiah's great prophecy also deals with the birth of a son, the naming of the child, God's control of history, and the fact that "God is with us." However, in this same section, the events have changed and a reversal of roles has occurred. The characterization of the mother has been replaced by the role of the father, the oppression of Assyria and the kingdoms of the world have been removed because the new King has been installed upon the throne of his Father, and peace has replaced destruction and war, again because the Prince of Peace now rules with justice and righteousness.
In short, the Messiah, after his divine investiture and enthronement upon the throne of David, will wear the royal robes of his Father and reign as the new King forever and ever. His Saints will call him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Surely, the "zeal of Jehovah of hosts will do this."
I write this contribution with great appreciation for Richard Lloyd Anderson, for his gospel scholarship, and for his unwavering dedication to the restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
1. I have opted to discuss Isaiah 9:3—7 because it comprises a literary unit; the preceding literary unit is composed of Isaiah 8:16—9:2 and the following unit takes in Isaiah 9:8—10:4. For a discussion on and commentary of sections before and after Isaiah 9:3—7, see Donald W. Parry, Jay A. Parry, and Tina M. Peterson, Understanding Isaiah (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998), 85—90, 97—102.
2. Elder Bruce R. McConkie places Isaiah 9:7 in the context of the millennium with these words: "And so shall it be commencing in the millennial day when 'the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever' (Rev. 11:15)," Doctrinal New Testament Commentary (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1973): 1:631 = The Mortal Messiah (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1979—81), 3:420 n. 3; see also The Millennial Messiah (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1982), 597; 654—55.
3. Further, George Frideric Handel's inspired musical rendition entitled The Messiah, specifically the chorus called "For unto Us a Child Is Born," has inspired the Christian community concerning Jesus' birth since its composition in 1741. On Handel's Messiah, see Watkins Shaw, The Story of Handel's Messiah (London: Novello, 1963). I note here that the libretto or lyrics of "For unto us a child is born" were written by Charles Jennens.
4. Hans Wildberger, Isaiah 1—12, A Commentary, translated by Thomas H. Trapp (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991), 398, writes that Isaiah 9:6 "seems to have in mind the act of enthronement for a new ruler: The names which are given to the child are just like the 'great names' which were given to the Pharaoh in Egypt when he was enthroned. . . . In the same light, the phrase 'the sovereign authority came upon his shoulder' [= KJV, 'and the government shall be upon his shoulder'] . . . seems to be out of place in the context of a ceremony celebrating a birth."
5. Isaiah 9:3 JST and 2 Nephi 19:3 delete the term not in this phrase.
6. Isaiah 9:3 JST adds the conjunction and at the beginning of this phrase.
7. 2 Nephi 19:4 deletes the phrase as in the day of Midian.
8. The critical apparatus of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, ed. Hans P. Ruger, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, 1984), 688, suggests the phrase kol simlah should be read as "every garment."
9. Isaiah 9:7 JST and 2 Nephi 19:7 replace KJV's "shall be" with "is."
10. In this prophecy Isaiah uses the Hebrew perfect verbal form throughout (translated as the English simple past or present perfect tense), although he does speak concerning the future. Concerning this common practice of Isaiah as well as other Old Testament prophets, Stephen D. Ricks has written: "Some Old Testament prophets make . . . use of the past tense for future events. Biblical scholars E. Kautsch and A. E. Cowley note . . . that the past form—referred to as the 'perfect' in biblical Hebrew—is sometimes used 'to express facts which are undoubtedly imminent, and therefore, in the imagination of the speaker, already accomplished. . . . [In] this use of the perfect . . . the prophet so transports himself in imagination into the future that he describes the future event as if it had been already seen or heard by him' (Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, Oxford: Clarendon, reprint, 1970), 312—13." Ricks also notes that Book of Mormon prophets use similar approaches in their prophecies (see Mosiah 16:6). See Stephen D. Ricks, "Many times in prophecy, the present and past tenses are used, even though the prophecy refers to a future event. Can you explain the use of verb tenses in prophecy?" I Have a Question, Ensign (August 1988): 27—28.
11. Many scholars have grasped, in part, the significance of Psalm 2:7, including Ivan Engnell, Studies in Divine Kingship in the Ancient Near East (Oxford: Blackwell, 1967), 80, who wrote: "The special relationship of father-son between god and king is to be found again and again within the north-west Semitic area too, the king being directly called the son of the god, and the god, father of the king. . . . The best proofs of the king as son of the god are given in the O[ld] T[estament], the most important of them being, of course, Psalm 2.7. However, not only is the king son of the god, he is actually identical with the god." Similarly, Otto Kaiser, Isaiah 1—12: A Commentary, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1983), 212, sees a direct connection between "son" in Psalm 2:7 and "world rule"; and Aubrey R. Johnson, Sacral Kingship in Ancient Israel, 2nd ed. (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1967), 28, believes that the "Messiah will ultimately be, not merely the Servant, but the 'Son' of . . . deity, and that he shall thus have supremacy over all earthly kings."
12. See Wildberger, Isaiah 1—12, 400.
13. Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, Charles A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1974), s.v. "misra."
14. "The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition" may be found in Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 117—29.
15. Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (Leiden: Brill, 1958), s.v. "slm."
16. Joseph Fielding McConkie and Donald W. Parry, A Guide to Scriptural Symbols (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990), 121.
17. Kaiser, Isaiah 1—12, 215.
18. Adapted from J. Alec Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1993), 99—100.
19. Egyptian kings were also given royal names at their coronation, see Alan H. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1957), 71—73; and Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), 46—47.
20. The KJV manifests five throne names for the Messiah—Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. The Vulgate presents six names: Admirabilis, Consiliarius, Deus, Fortis, Pater futuri saeculi, Princeps pacis. The Septuagint provides one name only: The Messenger of great counsel.
21. I make this statement knowing full well that many of the messianic prophecies pertain to both the mortal and the millennial Jesus. For instance, it is true that the mortal Jesus was the warrior Messiah in that he defeated (through the atonement) the monster of sin and death. In my view, however, the prophets are usually quite clear in their depiction of the mortal Messiah as contrasted with their depiction of the millennial Messiah. In Isaiah 53, Isaiah describes Jesus as one who is "tender," "despised," "rejected," "a man of sorrows," "acquainted with grief," "stricken," "smitten," "afflicted," "wounded," "bruised," "oppressed," "afflicted," "cut off out of the land of the living," "bruise[d]," and "put . . . to grief" (Isaiah 53:3—10). This description of the mortal Jesus is much different than other prophecies that depict the Messiah at his second coming when he will be "glorious in his apparel" and "traveling in the greatness of his strength," when he will tread the wicked in his "anger," "trample them in [his] fury," "make them drunk in [his] fury," and "bring down their strength to the earth." This will be the Lord's "day of vengeance" (Isaiah 63:1—6).
22. Kaiser, Isaiah 1—12, 211.
23. The New International Version and Jerusalem Bible both read, "Today I have become your Father."
24. The translation of these verses is mine.
25. The literary unit is framed with the superscription in Isaiah 7:1 ("And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah . . .") and the millennial hymn in Isaiah 12. A new literary unit begins with Isaiah 13:1, introduced with the formula "The burden of Babylon."