Isaiah 9:6 Unto us a Child is born


In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve walked with God.  They sinned and as a result, they hid from him.  But, the Lord (the pre-incarnate Christ) sought them out.  He went looking for them.  We all know that eventually God covered them with animal skins and promised them a deliverer. Then, through the ages, God shaped history and periodically revealed more and more about the coming deliverer.  God spoke through his prophets.  He narrowed the possible families to the descendants of Abraham, then he narrowed it through his son Isaac, then through David.  God told how the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem in the book of Micah.  In Zech. 12:10 God spoke of how he himself would be pierced.   Isaiah 53 described him as a suffering servant who would bear our sins.  There are many such prophecies about Jesus.  But we aren’t going to look at them all.  Instead, we’re going to examine just one.

Turn with me in your Bibles to Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us

  1. What do you think of when you see a newborn baby?
    1. Do you think of power, strength, and majesty?
    2. Or do you think of a cute, new life that is vulnerable, and needs warmth, protection, and food.
    3. The preciousness of life is best seen in the frailty of the newborn and we love and value the little ones. 
    4. How much more should we value the precious life of Christ who, when he became a Child, and was delivered from his mother’s womb, entered our world the same way we did.
    5. We have no capacity to understand the incredible humiliation that was involved when the Word became flesh.
    6. It is an unfathomable reality that defies comprehension when we think of the 2nd person of the Trinity entering into humanity…forever, because Jesus will forever be a man in which the eternal word will dwell.
  2. When The Word (John 1:1) became a child
    1. The infinitely powerful became weak
    2. The wonderfully majestic became humble
    3. The creator of the universe became one of us.
    4. The infinite, eternal, self-sustaining being, who created every atom in the universe and put them all in their places, became dependent on the nourishment of his mother’s breast and the warmth of her loving touch.
    5. As a child, the Eternal Son was in a state of submission to the will of God the Father in heaven and also to the guidance and rule of his parents on earth.
    6. This is incredible.  This is unfathomable.
    7. It is a demonstration of infinite love and incredible humility.
    8. At his birth we see the beginning of the work of redemption
  3. What did the Word give up to become a child, a small son?
    1. “A Child will be born” speaks of the Word becoming flesh
      1. John 1:1,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
      2. Gal. 4:4, “But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.”
      3. Heb. 2:9, “But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”
      4. Luke 2:52, “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
    2. He became one of us to die for us.
    3. He became like us to free us.
    4. He walked among us to guide us.
    5. He stayed with us, to teach us.
    6. He died on the cross to set us free from the treachery and consequence of sin, not only in this world, but in the one to come.
    7. But he didn’t stay dead.  He rose from the grave to prove that his sin sacrifice was acceptable to God the Father, and to demonstrate that what he said about God, sin, and redemption was true.
    8. In that child, The Majesty of God…the Glory of God…the Omnipresence of God was in submission to the Law in the form of an infant child that could be held in the arms of his earthly mother.
    9. His being “a son that was given” is a gracious gift from God the Father.
      1. It was the Father who sent the Son.  John 8:18, “I am He who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
      2. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
    10. The Word did NOT give up his deity when he joined to the human nature and became the person of Jesus, the Christ.  Instead he cooperated with the limitations of humanity. 
      1. Phil. 2:5-8, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
    11. So, when the Word became flesh.
      1. The eternal became the mortal.
      2. The infinite became the finite.
      3. The glory put on sandals
      4. The majestic wore clothing
      5. The creator walked among us
      6. Eternal love eventually became bleeding flesh

And the government will rest on His shoulders

  1.  “The government will rest on his shoulders”?  What does this mean?
    1. The Hebrew word “government” is (misrah) and it occurs only here and the next verse.
      1. Isaiah 9:7, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom…”
    2. Government was often seen as a burden by the Israelites, especially when they under subjugation to foreign powers which happened frequently in Israel’s history. 
    3. Furthermore, government was sometimes symbolized as a key laid on someone’s shoulders.
      1. Isaiah 22:22, “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, when he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open.”
    4. The sign of a military rank is the ensign worn on the shoulder.  We see this in the Navy, for example.
    5. But, in the context of Isaiah 9:6, it is a rebuttal to the oppressors of Israel spoken of in …
      1. Isaiah 9:4, “For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.”
    6. So, the verse is talking about the kingly aspect of his ministry that points to the peaceful and perfect rule of Christ.
      1. Amillennialism?
      2. Premillennailsim?
    7. Jesus said in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
    8. We are called out of this world, and into the kingdom of God. 

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

  1. His name exhibits four aspects of his character
    1. These specific titles do not appear in the New Testament in reference to Jesus as direct quotes, but they are alluded to
    2. Names mean things in the Bible
      1. It is like the Indian style of names:  Running Bear, Flying Eagle, etc.
      2. Gen. 5, genealogy names in English, “It is appointed to mortal men sorrow, but the blessed God will come down.  When he dies, it will come.  Bringing to the despairing, rest.”
    3. Wonderful Counselor
      1. John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
      2. Acts 2:22, “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.”
      3. Jesus gave us wisdom and teaching.  He is the wonderful Counsel.
    4. Mighty God
      1. John 1:1,14…
      2. John 20:28, “Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
      3. Heb. 1:8, “But of the Son He says, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.”
    5. Eternal Father
      1. John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.”
      2. John 14:9, “Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
      3. Heb. 1:3, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature…”
      4. Rev. 1:18, “and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”
    6. Prince of Peace
      1. Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
      2. John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
      3. Matt. 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
      4. Col. 1:20, “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross…”


For the world, Christmas has become a commercialized frenzy of crazed shoppers who trample each other underfoot while trying to get a good deal on shoes, games, and clothing. They have forgotten what Christmas is about… God made man so that he might redeem us from the consequences of our own sin.

 For the Christian, Christmas is a time of celebration of the birth of the Lord God in our world so that He might save us. Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy that is fulfilled in Jesus who was born so that He might die.  It was Jesus who was born in a manger so that He might hang on a cross. In the birth of Christ is our redemption, our blessing, our cleansing, and all our hope.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.