Isaiah 9:5 – For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-joez- el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom; — JPS translation.
The above corresponds to Isaiah 9:6 in most Protestant translations.
Isaiah 9:7 – Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Hosts will perform this.
This scripture speaks of singular “name” that the promised Messiah was be called by. Usually, a name such as this is read as a sentence, not a series of “names” (plural). These verses are referred to in Luke 1:32:
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. [Yahweh] God will give to him the throne of his father, David,
Thus, the “son” that is given to Israel is the Son of the only Most High, Yahweh (Jehovah). (Genesis 14:22; 2 Samuel 22:14; Psalm 7:17; 18:13; 47:2; 83:18; 97:9; John 17:3) There is no reason to add to and read into the scriptures that the son of Yahweh is Yahweh of whom he is the son.
The name, being singular, should not be understood as depicting a series of names or titles as is given by most translations of this verse. That singular name is usually transliterated as Pelejoezelgibborabiaadarshalom. Often a “name” such as this given to a human or a thing is describing attributes of God/Yahweh, and addressing such a name to a human or thing does not designate the human or thing as being God/Yahweh. Thus, for example, when Jacob called a certain altar by the name, El-Elohe-Israel, which could be read as a series of titles: “God, The God, Israel,” we should understand that this is not what Jacob meant by this. Therefore, we should realize that he was not saying that the altar was “God,” or that the altar was “the God,” nor that the altar was Israel, but instead that the name of the altar was meant to say something about Jacob’s (Israel’s) God. Thus, this name is usually given a meaning something like: “God is the God of Israel,” or probably more likely, the first EL should be understood with the general meaning of might, strength, power, etc., thus: “Powerful is the God of Israel.”
The name in Isaiah 9:6 should also be understood similarly, since it is directly stated in the singular as a name, not plural, as “names.” Therefore, it is more correctly to be understood as describing Yahweh, not the Messiah who comes in the name of Yahweh. (Deuternomy 18:15-19) Some editions of the JPS give this name the following meaning: “Wonderful in counsel is God the Mighty, the everlasting Father, the Ruler of peace.” From this perspective, this singular name that is given to Messiah would be describing the only Most High, Yahweh, the Father of Messiah, not the Messiah himself.
Nevertheless, if EL GIBBOR should be understood as being a title of Jesus in this verse, the context as well as Luke 1:32 should let us know that the expression “el gibbor” would not signify Yahweh, the only Most High. Therefore, we should determine the meaning el gibbor as it would apply to the one given by Yahweh, and not automatically assume that it means that Jesus is Yahweh. In keeping with the context, then it should be understood corresponding to the way the term is used in Ezekiel 32:21, where the same expression in the plural is used. I do not know of any translation that renders the expression in Ezekiel 32:21 as “Mighty Gods”, but it is usually rendered similar to the King James Version, which renders it as “The strong among the mighty.”
Thus, in Isaiah 9:6, if this expression as “mighty god” is assumed to be a title for the Messiah, the anointed of Yahweh, who is therefore not Yahweh, then it should also be understood as in Ezekiel 32:21, “a strong one among the mighty.”
Additionally, if the title “everlasting father,” is to be understood as being applied to the Messiah, it should be seen in light of what Messiah became after his resurrection, the “last Adam,” who “became the life-giving spirit,” who, in effect, takes Adam’s place as the life-giver to the world. Unlike Adam, who disobeyed and became father only to a dying race (1 Corinthians 15:21,22), Jesus becomes father forever, thus “everlasting father.”
Praise Yahweh! Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, For his lovingkindness endures forever. (Psalm 106:1, World English Bible translation) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:30, King James Version)
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