Isaiah 9:6, Jesus the Mighty God

by Luke Wayne
9/13/16

"For a child has been born to us, A son has been given to us; And the rulership will rest on his shoulder. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace," (Isaiah 9:6, New World Translation)

The words of Isaiah 9:6 are one of the most powerful prophecies testifying plainly and clearly that the promised Messiah to come would, in fact, be God Himself born in human flesh. The child that is born, the son that is given, is to be called "Mighty God." Jehovah's Witnesses, however, contend that the Messiah is not really called God here, at least not in the sense that biblical Christians mean by this, because He is called mighty God rather than almighty God. They will concede that Jesus is a "god" in the sense of being a very powerful, spiritual being, but He is not Jehovah, the one and only almighty God. This is a very important distinction for Jehovah's Witnesses. It does not, however, hold up very well under scrutiny.

Israel has only one God and is forbidden to call on any other God. Isaiah is abundantly clear:

"'You are My witnesses,' declares the Lord [YHWH, or Jehovah], 'And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me,'" (Isaiah 43:10)

The word for "God" here is the simple Hebrew "el." The most basic word for "god" and the same word used of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6. If Jesus is the Messiah, He is the "Mighty God" or the "el gibbor," and He is to be called upon as such. But there is no other true, living God besides Jehovah. There is no "el" but He, and His people are surely not to call on a false god for their deliverance. Thus, even standing on its own, Isaiah 9:6 is rather clear that the Mighty God on whom they are to call is Jehovah and not some lesser god that would by definition be a false god since there is only one true God and never will be another. Still, Isaiah didn't stop writing at 9:6. In the very next chapter he says:

"Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord [YHWH, or Jehovah], the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God," (Isaiah 10:20-21).

Who are they returning to? To the Lord, Jehovah, the one true God of Israel. Here He is plainly called the "mighty God" [el gibbor] in the very same prophetic context as Isaiah 9:6. Indeed, only a chapter apart from it! Jehovah is the Mighty God. The Messiah is the Mighty God. There is only one God. The conclusion here is obvious. And the other prophets concur that Jehovah is the "mighty God." Jeremiah, for example, pronounces:

"who shows loving kindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God [el gibbor]. The Lord [YHWH, or Jehovah] of hosts is His name," (Jeremiah 32:18).

And Zephaniah lauds in similar terms:

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty [gibbor] one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing," (Zephaniah 3:17).

Jehovah is certainly "almighty," but He is also rightly called "mighty" by the prophets. He is the living God. He is the true God. He is the only God upon whom we are to call. He is the only savior. Jesus is the "mighty God" upon whom we are to call. He is our eternal savior. Jesus is Jehovah God.