Isaiah 9

Birth and Reign of the Prince of Peace

1 But there will be no more 1gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He 2treated the 3land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
2 4The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.
3 5You shall multiply the nation, You 6shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As 7men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For 8You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their 9oppressor, as at the battle of 10Midian.
5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
6 For a 11child will be born to us, a 12son will be given to us; And the 13government will rest 14on His shoulders; And His name will be called 15Wonderful Counselor, 16Mighty God, Eternal 17Father, Prince of 18Peace.
7 There will be 19no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the 20throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with 21justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore *. 22The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

God's Anger with Israel's Arrogance

8 The Lord sends a message against Jacob, And it falls on Israel.
9 And all the people know it, That is, 23Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, Asserting in pride and in 24arrogance of heart:
10 "The bricks have fallen down, But we will 25rebuild with smooth stones; The sycamores have been cut down, But we will replace them with cedars."
11 Therefore the LORD raises against them adversaries from 26Rezin And spurs their enemies on,
12 The Arameans on the east and the 27Philistines on the west; And they 28devour Israel with gaping jaws. 29In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out.
13 Yet the people 30do not turn back to Him who struck them, Nor do they 31seek the LORD of hosts.
14 So the LORD cuts off 32head and tail from Israel, Both palm branch and bulrush 33in a single day.
15 The head is 34the elder and honorable * man, And the prophet who teaches 35falsehood is the tail.
16 36For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.
17 Therefore * the Lord does 37not take pleasure in their young men, 38Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is 39godless and an 40evildoer, And every 41mouth is speaking foolishness. 42In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out.
18 43For wickedness burns like a fire; It consumes briars and thorns; It even sets the thickets of the forest aflame And they roll upward in a column of smoke.
19 By the 44fury of the LORD of hosts the 45land is burned up, And the 46people are like fuel for the fire; No 47man spares his brother.
20 They slice off what is on the right hand but still are 48hungry, And they eat what is on the left hand but they are not satisfied; Each of them eats the 49flesh of his own arm.
21 Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, 50And together they are against Judah. 51In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out.

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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 51

  • 1. Isaiah 8:22
  • 2. 2 Kings 15:29; 2 Chronicles 16:4
  • 3. Matthew 4:15, 16
  • 4. Matthew 4:16; Luke 1:79; Ephesians 5:8
  • 5. Isaiah 26:15
  • 6. Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 65:14, 18, 19; Isaiah 66:10
  • 7. 1 Samuel 30:16
  • 8. Isaiah 10:27; Isaiah 14:25
  • 9. Isaiah 14:4; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 51:13; Isaiah 54:14
  • 10. Judges 7:25; Isaiah 10:26
  • 11. Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 11:1, 2; Isaiah 53:2; Luke 2:11
  • 12. John 3:16
  • 13. Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:25
  • 14. Isaiah 22:22
  • 15. Isaiah 28:29
  • 16. Deuteronomy 10:17; Nehemiah 9:32; Isaiah 10:21
  • 17. Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8
  • 18. Isaiah 26:3, 12; Isaiah 54:10; Isaiah 66:12
  • 19. Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:32, 33
  • 20. Isaiah 16:5
  • 21. Isaiah 11:4, 5; Isaiah 32:1; Isaiah 42:3, 4; Isaiah 63:1
  • 22. Isaiah 37:32; Isaiah 59:17
  • 23. Isaiah 7:8, 9; Isaiah 28:1, 3
  • 24. Isaiah 46:12
  • 25. Malachi 1:4
  • 26. Isaiah 7:1, 8
  • 27. 2 Chronicles 28:18
  • 28. Psalms 79:7; Jeremiah 10:25
  • 29. Isaiah 5:25
  • 30. Jeremiah 5:3; Hosea 7:10
  • 31. Isaiah 31:1; Hosea 3:5
  • 32. Isaiah 19:15
  • 33. Revelation 18:8
  • 34. Isaiah 3:2, 3
  • 35. Isaiah 28:15; Isaiah 59:3, 4; Jeremiah 23:14, 32; Matthew 24:24
  • 36. Isaiah 3:12; Matthew 15:14; Matthew 23:16, 24
  • 37. Jeremiah 18:21; Amos 4:10; Amos 8:13
  • 38. Isaiah 27:11
  • 39. Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 32:6
  • 40. Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 14:20; Isaiah 31:2
  • 41. Matthew 12:34
  • 42. Isaiah 5:25
  • 43. Psalms 83:14; Isaiah 1:7; Nahum 1:10; Malachi 4:1
  • 44. Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 13:9, 13; Isaiah 42:25
  • 45. Joel 2:3
  • 46. Isaiah 1:31; Isaiah 24:6
  • 47. Micah 7:2, 6
  • 48. Isaiah 8:21, 22
  • 49. Isaiah 49:26
  • 50. 2 Chronicles 28:6, 8; Isaiah 11:13
  • 51. Isaiah 5:25

Footnotes 15

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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