Of the increase - In the common Hebrew Bibles, and in many MSS., this word is written with the close or final ם למרבה . But in twelve of Kennicott's MSS., and twelve of De Rossi's, it is written with the open מ mem ; but here it is supposed to contain mysteries, viz., that Jerusalem shall be shut up, closed, and confined, till the days of the Messiah.
This is an illustrious prophecy of the incarnation of Christ, with an enumeration of those characters in which he stands most nearly related to mankind as their Savior; and of others by which his infinite majesty and Godhead are shown. He shall appear as a child, born of a woman, born as a Jew, under the law, but not in the way of ordinary generation. He is a Son given - the human nature, in which the fullness of the Godhead was to dwell, being produced by the creative energy of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin. See Matthew 1:20, Matthew 1:21, Matthew 1:23, Matthew 1:25, and Luke 1:35, and Isaiah 7:14, and the notes on those passages. As being God manifested in the flesh, he was wonderful in his conception, birth, preaching, miracles, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension; wonderful in his person, and wonderful in his working. He is the Counsellor that expounds the law; shows its origin, nature, and claims; instructs, pleads for the guilty; and ever appears in the presence of God for men. He is the mighty God; God essentially and efficiently prevailing against his enemies, and destroying ours. He is the Father of eternity; the Origin of all being, and the Cause of the existence, and particularly the Father, of the spirits of all flesh. The Prince of peace - not only the Author of peace, and the Dispenser of peace, but also he that rules by peace, whose rule tends always to perfection, and produces prosperity. Of the increase of his government - this Prince has a government, for he has all power both in heaven and in earth: and his government increases, and is daily more and more extended, and will continue till all things are put under his feet. His kingdom is ordered - every act of government regulated according to wisdom and goodness; is established so securely as not to be overthrown; and administered in judgment and justice, so as to manifest his wisdom, righteousness, goodness, and truth. Reader, such is that Jesus who came into the world to save sinners! Trust in Him!
This whole passage reduced to its proper and entire form, and healed of the dislocation which it suffers by the absurd division of the chapters, makes a distinct prophecy, and a just poem, remarkable for the regularity of its disposition and the elegance of its plan. It has no relation to the preceding or following prophecy; though the parts, violently torn asunder, have been, on the one side and the other, patched on to them. Those relate principally to the kingdom of Judah, this is addressed exclusively to the kingdom of Israel. The subject of it is a denunciation of vengeance awaiting their crimes. It is divided into four parts, each threatening the particular punishment of some grievous offense - of their pride, of their perseverance in their vices, of their impiety, and of their injustice. To which is added a general denunciation of a farther reserve of Divine wrath, contained in a distich, before used by the prophet on a like occasion, Isaiah 5:25, and here repeated after each part. This makes the intercalary verse of the poem; or, as we call it, the burden of the song.
"Post hoc comma (cap. Isaiah 9:4;) interponitur spatium unius lineae, in Cod. 2 et 3: idemque observatur in 245. in quo nullum est spatium ad finem capitis 9." Kennicott, Var. Lect.
"After this clause ( Isaiah 9:4;) is interposed the space of one line in Cod. 2 and 3. The same is likewise observed in Cod. 245, in which no space exists at the end of chap. 9."
Of the increase - The word rendered “government” here, משׂרה mis'râh means properly his government as a prince - his principality, and is a continuation of the idea in the previous verse, ‹the Prince of Peace.‘ It means that his reign as a prince of peace - in extending and promoting peace, shall be unlimited.
And peace - This does not signify in the original, as our translation would seem to do, that there should be no end to the increase of his peace, but that there should be no limit to peace, that is, that his reign should be one of unlimited peace. The whole is a description of a prosperous, wide-extended, ever-growing and unlimited empire of peace.
No end - The word used here - קץ qêts - may refer either to space or time. The connection, however, seems to confine it to time, and to mean simply that over his wide-extended and peaceful principality he should reign forever.
Upon the throne of David - See the note at Acts 2:30. This was in accordance with the promise made to David; 1 Kings 8:25; 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Psalm 132:11. This promise was understood as referring to the Messiah. The primary idea is, that he should be descended in the line of David, and accordingly the New Testament writers are often at pains to show that the Lord Jesus was of that family; Luke 2:4. When it is said that he would sit upon the throne of David, it is not to be taken literally. The uniqueness of the reign of David was, that he reigned over the people of God. He was chosen for this purpose from humble life; was declared in his administration to be a man after God‘s own heart; and his long and prosperous reign was a reign over the people of God. To sit upon the throne of David, therefore, means to reign over the people of God; and in this sense the Messiah sat on his throne. There is also a similarity in the two administrations, in the fact that the Messiah was taken from humble life. and that his reign will be far-extended and prosperous. But the main idea of resemblance is, that the reign of each extended over the people of God.
And upon his kingdom - That is, over the kingdom of the people of God. It does not mean particularly the Jews, but all those over whom the divine administration should be set up.
To order it - To raise up, or confirm it. The word, also, is sometimes used to denote to found a kingdom. Here it means to confirm it, to cause it to stand.
And to establish it - To place it on a firm foundation; to make it firm.
With judgment - That is, under an administration that shall be just and right. Most kingdoms have been those of blood, and have been established by iniquity, and by the unjust overthrow of others. But the administration of the Messiah shall be established in righteousness, and shall be destined to extend and perpetuate justice and righteousness forever. “From henceforth.” That is, from the time which was the period of the prophet‘s vision, when he saw in vision the Messiah rising in the dark parts of Galilee; Notes, Isaiah 9:1-2.
The zeal - The word used here denotes “ardor,” intense desire in accomplishing an object; and means that the establishment of this kingdom was an object of intense and ardent desire on the part of Yahweh. It is also implied that nothing else than the zeal of Yahweh could do it. We may remark here:
(1) That if Yahweh feels so intense a desire for this, then the subjects of the Messiah‘s reign should also feel this.
(2) If Yahweh feels this zeal, and if he will certainly accomplish this, then Christians should be encouraged in their efforts to spread the gospel. His purpose to do this is their only encouragement - and a sufficient encouragement - to excite their zeal in this great and glorious work.
With prophetic vision David, the anointed of God, had foreseen that the coming of Christ should be “as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds.” 2 Samuel 23:4. And Hosea testified, “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” Hosea 6:3. Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the shadow of darkness and waking the earth to life. So was the Sun of Righteousness to arise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2. The multitudes dwelling “in the land of the shadow of death” were to see “a great light.” Isaiah 9:2. PK 688.1
The prophet Isaiah, looking with rapture upon this glorious deliverance, exclaimed: PK 688.2
In the later centuries of Israel's history prior to the first advent it was generally understood that the coming of the Messiah was referred to in the prophecy, “It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.” “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,” the prophet had foretold, “and all flesh shall see it together.” Isaiah 49:6; 40:5. It was of this light of men that John the Baptist afterward testified so boldly, when he proclaimed, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.” John 1:23. PK 688.4Read in context »
The apostle Paul says: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man [as the representative of the human race], he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:5-10). 1SM 243.1
The humiliation of the man Christ Jesus is incomprehensible to the human mind; but His divinity and His existence before the world was formed can never be doubted by those who believe the Word of God. The apostle Paul speaks of our Mediator, the only-begotten Son of God, who in a state of glory was in the form of God, the Commander of all the heavenly hosts, and who, when He clothed His divinity with humanity, took upon Him the form of a servant. Isaiah declares: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Isaiah 9:6, 7). 1SM 243.2
In consenting to become man, Christ manifested a humility that is the marvel of the heavenly intelligences. The act of consenting to be a man would be no humiliation were it not for the fact of Christ's exalted pre-existence. We must open our understanding to realize that Christ laid aside His royal robe, His kingly crown, His high command, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might meet man where he was, and bring to the human family moral power to become the sons and daughters of God. To redeem man, Christ became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 1SM 243.3Read in context »
I received your letters yesterday and read them with deep interest. I am always glad to hear from you concerning your family and the institution in which you are bearing responsibilities of no ordinary character. Your only safety is in obeying the word of the Lord, in walking in the light of His countenance. The enemy is continually seeking to devise methods by which he may steal a march upon us, and we need to pay strict heed to the cautions given by God. 8T 145.1
If those who in the past have been standard-bearers in the work of God had walked in the lines that He has marked out, they would better have honored Him and would have had increased usefulness. Some whose voices are now silent in death might have lived to warn, entreat, and advise. If those who in past years had been entrusted with large responsibilities had heeded the warnings and entreaties of the Spirit of God, they would now be walking before Him in strength and efficiency. When men educate others to rely on them and trust in them, when, by pen or voice, they dictate to others as to what they should do, they are teaching others to make flesh their arm, to give glory to human beings rather than to God. 8T 145.2
We are safe only as we exalt Christ, speaking in praise of His excellence. Isaiah says: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6, 7. 8T 145.3Read in context »