Isaiah 9

The Darkness Turns to Light

1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

The LORD’s Anger Against Israel

8 The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel.
9 All the people will know it— Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria— who say with pride and arrogance of heart,
10 “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.”
11 But the LORD has strengthened Rezin’s foes against them and has spurred their enemies on.
12 Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west have devoured Israel with open mouth. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.
13 But the people have not returned to him who struck them, nor have they sought the LORD Almighty.
14 So the LORD will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both palm branch and reed in a single day;
15 the elders and dignitaries are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail.
16 Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray.
17 Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men, nor will he pity the fatherless and widows, for everyone is ungodly and wicked, every mouth speaks folly. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.
18 Surely wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns, it sets the forest thickets ablaze, so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.
19 By the wrath of the LORD Almighty the land will be scorched and the people will be fuel for the fire; they will not spare one another.
20 On the right they will devour, but still be hungry; on the left they will eat, but not be satisfied. Each will feed on the flesh of their own offspring[a] :
21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh; together they will turn against Judah. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.

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Isaiah 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

The Son that should be born, and his kingdom. (1-7) The judgments to come upon Israel, and on the enemies of the kingdom of Christ. (8-21)

Verses 1-7 The Syrians and Assyrians first ravaged the countries here mentioned, and that region was first favoured by the preaching of Christ. Those that want the gospel, walk in darkness, and in the utmost danger. But when the gospel comes to any place, to any soul, light comes. Let us earnestly pray that it may shine into our hearts, and make us wise unto salvation. The gospel brings joy with it. Those who would have joy, must expect to go through hard work, as the husbandman, before he has the joy of harvest; and hard conflict, as the soldier, before he divides the spoil. The Jews were delivered from the yoke of many oppressors; this was a shadow of the believer's deliverance from the yoke of Satan. The cleansing the souls of believers from the power and pollution of sin, would be by the influence of the Holy Spirit, as purifying fire. These great things for the church, shall be done by the Messiah, Emmanuel. The Child is born; it was certain; and the church, before Christ came in the flesh, benefitted by his undertaking. It is a prophecy of him and of his kingdom, which those that waited for the Consolation of Israel read with pleasure. 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. 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? Give then, O Lord, to thy people to know thee by every endearing name, and in every glorious character. Give increase of grace in every heart of thy redeemed upon earth.

Verses 8-21 Those are ripening apace for ruin, whose hearts are unhumbled under humbling providences. For that which God designs, in smiting us, is, to turn us to himself; and if this point be not gained by lesser judgments, greater may be expected. The leaders of the people misled them. We have reason to be afraid of those that speak well of us, when we do ill. Wickedness was universal, all were infected with it. They shall be in trouble, and see no way out; and when men's ways displease the Lord, he makes even their friends to be at war with them. God would take away those they thought to have help from. Their rulers were the head. Their false prophets were the tail and the rush, the most despicable. In these civil contests, men preyed on near relations who were as their own flesh. The people turn not to Him who smites them, therefore he continues to smite: for when God judges, he will overcome; and the proudest, stoutest sinner shall either bend or break.

Cross References 74

  • 1. S Job 15:24
  • 2. S 2 Kings 15:29
  • 3. S Psalms 82:5; S Psalms 107:10,14; S Isaiah 8:20
  • 4. S Psalms 36:9; Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 60:19; Malachi 4:2; Ephesians 5:8
  • 5. S Luke 1:79
  • 6. Isaiah 58:8; Matthew 4:15-16*
  • 7. S Job 12:23
  • 8. S Psalms 4:7; S Isaiah 25:9
  • 9. S Exodus 15:9; S Joshua 22:8; S Psalms 119:162
  • 10. S Judges 7:25
  • 11. S Job 34:24; Isaiah 37:36-38
  • 12. Isaiah 14:25; Isaiah 58:6,9; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 30:8; Ezekiel 30:18; Nahum 1:13; Matthew 11:30
  • 13. S Psalms 81:6; S Isaiah 10:27
  • 14. Isaiah 14:4; Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 29:5,20; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 51:13; Isaiah 54:14; Isaiah 60:18
  • 15. S Isaiah 2:4
  • 16. S Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:2; Luke 2:11
  • 17. John 3:16
  • 18. S Matthew 28:18
  • 19. Isaiah 22:22
  • 20. S Job 15:8; Isaiah 28:29
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 7:21; Psalms 24:8; Isaiah 10:21; Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 42:13
  • 22. S Psalms 90:2
  • 23. S Exodus 4:22; Isaiah 64:8; John 14:9-10
  • 24. Isaiah 26:3,12; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 66:12; Jeremiah 33:6; Micah 5:5; S Luke 2:14
  • 25. S Isaiah 2:4
  • 26. S Psalms 85:8; Psalms 119:165; Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 26:3,12; Isaiah 32:17; Isaiah 48:18
  • 27. Daniel 2:44; Daniel 4:3; S Luke 1:33; John 12:34
  • 28. Isaiah 1:26; Isaiah 32:1; Isaiah 60:17; 1 Corinthians 15:25
  • 29. Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 16:5; Isaiah 32:1,16; Isaiah 33:5; Isaiah 42:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:14
  • 30. S Psalms 72:2
  • 31. S 2 Samuel 7:13
  • 32. 2 Kings 19:31; Isaiah 26:11; Isaiah 37:32; Isaiah 42:13; Isaiah 59:17; Isaiah 63:15
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 32:2
  • 34. S Isaiah 7:2
  • 35. S Isaiah 7:9
  • 36. Isaiah 46:12; Isaiah 48:4; Ezekiel 2:4; Zechariah 7:11
  • 37. S Genesis 11:3
  • 38. Amos 7:14; Luke 19:4
  • 39. 1 Kings 7:2-3
  • 40. S Isaiah 7:8
  • 41. 2 Kings 16:6
  • 42. S 2 Chronicles 28:18
  • 43. S Psalms 79:7
  • 44. S Job 40:11
  • 45. S Isaiah 5:25
  • 46. S 2 Chronicles 28:22; Amos 4:9; Zephaniah 3:7; Haggai 2:17
  • 47. Jeremiah 5:3; Ezekiel 7:9
  • 48. Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 17:7; Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 55:6; Jeremiah 50:4; Daniel 9:13; Hosea 3:5; Hosea 7:7,10; Amos 4:6,10; Zephaniah 1:6
  • 49. ver 14-15; Isaiah 19:15
  • 50. Revelation 18:8
  • 51. Isaiah 3:2-3
  • 52. S Isaiah 5:13
  • 53. Isaiah 28:7; Ezekiel 13:2
  • 54. S Job 13:4; S Isaiah 3:8; Isaiah 44:20; Ezekiel 13:22; Matthew 24:24
  • 55. Matthew 15:14; Matthew 23:16,24
  • 56. S Isaiah 3:12
  • 57. Jeremiah 9:21; Jeremiah 11:22; Jeremiah 18:21; Jeremiah 48:15; Jeremiah 49:26; Amos 4:10; Amos 8:13
  • 58. S Job 5:4; Isaiah 27:11; Jeremiah 13:14
  • 59. Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 32:6; Micah 7:2
  • 60. S Isaiah 1:4
  • 61. S Isaiah 3:8; Matthew 12:34; Romans 3:13-14
  • 62. S Isaiah 5:25
  • 63. S Deuteronomy 29:23; S Isaiah 1:31; Malachi 4:1
  • 64. S Isaiah 5:6
  • 65. S Psalms 83:14
  • 66. S Job 40:11; Isaiah 13:9,13
  • 67. Jeremiah 17:27
  • 68. S Psalms 97:3; S Isaiah 1:31
  • 69. S Isaiah 3:5; Micah 7:2,6
  • 70. S Leviticus 26:26; S Job 18:12
  • 71. Isaiah 49:26; Zechariah 11:9
  • 72. S Judges 7:22; S Judges 12:4
  • 73. S 2 Chronicles 28:6
  • 74. S Isaiah 5:25

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a prophecy, partly of comfort to the church and people of God, against the calamities predicted in the preceding chapter Isa 8:1-22; and partly of punishment, to be inflicted upon the ungodly Israelites by their enemies. The comfort promised arises from the appearance of Christ, the great light, in some certain places of the land mentioned, said before to be afflicted, Isa 9:1,2 which would occasion a joy among them; illustrated by some similes, by the joy in harvest, and at the dividing of spoils, Isa 9:3 the cause of which is a deliverance from a burdensome yoke of tyranny and bondage, wrought in like manner as that by Gideon formerly; different from all other salvations, which are usually obtained with noise and blood, Isa 9:4,5 the author of which is the Messiah; who is described by his birth as man, and by his divine sonship as God; or by his person, having two natures united in him; and by the government devolved on him; and by his several names, which express the greatness and glory of his person and office; and by the increase and administration of his government, Isa 9:6,7 then follows a denunciation of judgment on Israel, Isa 9:8 the instruments of which are pointed at, Isa 9:11,12, and the persons described that should suffer, high and low, rich and poor, young and old, Isa 9:14,15,17 the reasons of it, their making light of former corrections, Isa 9:9,10 their impenitence and hardness under chastenings, Isa 9:13 their going astray by means of their leaders; and their hypocrisy and wickedness, Isa 9:16-18 all which would occasion the wrath of God to burn against them, and consume them, Isa 9:18,19 yea, through hunger and want of provisions, should destroy one another, Isa 9:20,21.

Isaiah 9 Commentaries

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