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Book of Isaiah

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Isaiah 9

King James Version

To Us a Child Is Born
9:1  Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
9:2  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
9:3  Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
9:4  For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
9:5  For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
9:7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The Lord’s Anger Against Israel
9:8  The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.
9:9  And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
9:10  The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
9:11  Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;
9:12  The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
9:13  For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
9:14  Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
9:15  The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
9:16  For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
9:17  Therefore the LORD shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
9:18  For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.
9:19  Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.
9:20  And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:
9:21  Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Bible Commentary
The Syrians and Assyrians first ravaged the countries here mentioned which lay remote and most exposed to the inroads of the neighbouring enemies, and afterwards he more grievously afflicted the land by the way of the sea and beyond Jordan (Isaiah 9:1), referring probably to those days when God began to cut Israel short and to smite them in all their coasts, 2 Kings 10:32. Note, God tries what less judgments will do with a people before he brings greater; but if a light affliction does not do its work with us, to humble and reform us, we must expect to be afflicted more grievously; for when God judges he will overcome.2
Thus it was in those very places of Israel which had formerly suffered the most that Christ first came forward to teach in a synagogue, and there he did his first miracle in Cana of Galilee. See Luke 4 and John 2. "Thus the light began to shine in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali where the gloom had first settled centuries earlier. The present tense in this marvelous passage should not be confusing. The language is in the present or the past because of the certainty of the prophecy.3
3 "The numbers of a nation are its strength and wealth if the numerous be industrious; and it is God that increases nations, Job 12:23. Yet it follows, "Thou hast not increased the joy--the carnal joy and mirth, and those things that are commonly the matter and occasion thereof. But, notwithstanding that, they joy before thee; there is a great deal of serious spiritual joy among them, joy in the presence of God, with an eye to him." This is very applicable to the times of gospel light, spoken of Isaiah 9:2. The gospel brings with it plenty and victory; but those that would have the joy of it must expect to go through a hard work, as the husbandman before he has the joy of harvest, and a hard conflict, as the soldier before he has the joy of dividing the spoil; but the joy, when it comes, will be an abundant recompense for the toil.2
The question arises as to why the particular deliverance "of Midian" was the one selected for mention here. The great deliverance promised under the reign of Messiah in this passage would not be accomplished by military power. The Prince of Peace would have no use for the weapons of military might but would rely upon spiritual weapons; and the deliverance from the Midianites accomplished by Gideon was the most effective illustration for the peace that would be won under the Messiah. Gideon's deliverance was accomplished without military prowess by a small group selected out of Israel expressly for the purpose, so that Israel might not vaunt itself against the Lord, saying, My own hand hath saved me.3
5 The burning of military weapons, clothing, and equipment are spoken of here as being abolished so as to prepare our minds for the New Era under Messiah; but instead of the glorious New Age being foretold as the work of some new Joshua or Gideon, "It is the Child already foretold as Immanuel in Isa. 7:14."who suddenly appears as the hope of the whole world.3
6 This Child was born for the benefit of us men, of us sinners, of all believers, from the beginning to the end of the world. Justly is he called Wonderful, for he is both God and man. His love is the wonder of angels and glorified saints. He is the Counsellor, for he knew the counsels of God from eternity; and he gives counsel to men, in which he consults our welfare. He is the Wonderful Counsellor; none teaches like him. He is God, the mighty One. Such is the work of the Mediator, that no less power than that of the mighty God could bring it to pass. He is God, one with the Father. As the Prince of Peace, he reconciles us to God; he is the Giver of peace in the heart and conscience; and when his kingdom is fully established, men shall learn war no more. The government shall be upon him; he shall bear the burden of it.4
Glorious things are spoken of Christ's government. There is no end to the increase of its peace, for the happiness of its subjects shall last for ever. The exact agreement of this prophecy with the doctrine of the New Testament, shows that Jewish prophets and Christian teachers had the same view of the person and salvation of the Messiah. To what earthly king or kingdom can these words apply?4

References and notes
1.  King James Authorized Version
Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible -
3. Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament -
4. Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible -
Isaiah 9:5-6 – Historic Events or Messianic Prophecy? -


Learn More About ...
Isaiah 9
Bible Commentary
Verse 2 Fulfilled by Jesus
An Historical Perspective

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Author of Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah was the author of the book called by his name.


Verse 2 fulfilled by Jesus

The following passage from Matt. 4:12-16 is a fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah 9:2: When Jesus heard that John was delivered up he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people that sat in darkness saw a great light. And to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, to them did light spring up.2


An Historical Perspective

The ninth chapter in the Book of Isaiah deals with the crisis that existed in the Kingdom of Judah during a time when the Assyrian king Sannheriv wanted to destroy it.  Isaiah responds to the messenger sent by Hezekiah with a message in which he reaffirms the promise that God made to David, namely, that the kingdom would be preserved (see 2 Sam 7:12-16).  The army of Sannheriv, the king who previously exiled the tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, lays siege to Jerusalem seeking to capture and exile the people of the Kingdom of Judah.  The nation turned to God and obeyed Hezekiah's order not to respond and, as noted (see 2 Chron 32:21, above), a miracle occurred.  An angel came and slaughtered the Assyrian army, and the king, Sannheriv, was assassinated by members of his own family upon his return in defeat.  Thus, the Jewish nation that was on the brink of destruction, standing in the shadow of death, suddenly and miraculously was redeemed, and it stood in a great light.5


Isaiah Song Category

The Isaiah Song Category is a great starting point for searching the songs which make up this music category. The song category page contains Daily Scriptures and easy links to song previews and song pages. The song pages include interesting background information and commentary about the songs and the Bible author. Sometimes there are links to related web pages including Bible Quotes, Sermons, Music samples, and Bible Puzzles.

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