Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Examining Isaiah 9:6

Gassen Duu had sent me an article written by Jews4Judaism for me to look at. I thought I may take a look at some of the assertions that have been made in the article. Let's dive in

Counter-Missionary objection


“For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to  us, and the government was upon his shoulder, and he called his name –  wonderful counselor, mighty God, father unto (eternity), prince of peace.”
The missionary interpretation jumps out of this excerpt  from scripture. Who can this child be? Why would a human child be entitled with  divine names if he was not in fact divine? The missionaries argue that the  child of this verse, can only be Jesus of Nazareth.
The most prominent problem with the missionary rendition  of this verse in Isaiah, is that it flies in the face  of the context of this verse. But before we get to context, let us examine the  words of the verse itself. The prophet is speaking of a child having been born,  in the past. Can this be a reference to Jesus who was born several centuries  after Isaiah spoke these words? Isaiah speaks of “government.” Did Jesus  “govern” in any sense of the word? In what way can Jesus be considered a  “wonderful counselor”? In what way did Jesus earn the title “mighty God”?  Jesus’ career did not produce any demonstrations of wondrous counsel, nor was  it an expression of strength in any manner. These would not be the titles given  to Jesus. In fact the Christians who worship Jesus as a deity do not refer to  him as a wonderful counselor or as a mighty God (unless they are paraphrasing  this particular verse in Isaiah). Christians do not call Jesus a “father.” On  the contrary, he is called a “son.” So without resorting to the context of the  verse, we can see how the missionary interpretation is problematic, at best.

Ok, First thing to tackle in Isaiah 9:6 is whether it is a past event, present or future. 

Nakdimon has made this following observation in his response to Tovia Singer on the Trinity:
"Rabbi Singer’s ultimate argument against the divinity of Yeshua is found in Isaiah 9. For the majority of the time, rabbi Singer addresses the issue and difficulties of the Messianic interpretation of this section. According to rabbi Singer, this passage is about Hezekiah (Heb. Chizkiyahu), about his time of distress and the deliverance from the siege of Jerusalem by Sancheriv, the king of Assyria. We are going to examine this claim and look at the part that is considered Messianic and look at how Chizkiyahu fits this description.

Calling this an “exotic reconstruction”, rabbi Singer objects to the fact that the Christian translators use the future tense because it’s “a little annoying” to have it in the past tense. However, rabbi Singer makes one principle mistake. Just because something is written in past tense, doesn’t mean that it is actually talking about a past event. There are passages in the Bible that are in the past tense and are actual prophecies. One excellent example is Isaiah 53. Although the passage is written almost entirely in the past tense, surely no orthodox Jew will deny that Isaiah 53 is a prophecy rather than a description of a past event? In essence, this passage is so obviously messianic, that it has to be stripped of it’s messianic status in order to get the focus off of Yeshua and divert it to anyone else, in this case that would be Chizkuyahu. So if this is actually speaking of an event that happened in the past then it cannot in any way shape or form be messianic. So all the words that are in the past tense must and shall be understood to be about a past event. But if this entire passage is about an event that happened in the past, then why on earth are there sentences in the future tense? Yes, you are reading it correctly: rabbi Singer left all the future references completely untouched and focussed entirely on the past tenses:

8:21 And they shall pass this way that are sore bestead and hungry; and it shall come to pass that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse by their king and by their God, and, whether they turn their faces upward, 22 or look unto the earth, behold distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and outspread thick darkness. 23 For is there no gloom to her that was stedfast? Now the former has lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but the latter has dealt a more grievous blow by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in the district of the nations. 9:1 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 2 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased their joy; they joy before you according to the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 3 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as in the day of Midian. 4 For every boot stamped with fierceness, and every cloak rolled in blood, shall even be for burning, for fuel of fire. 5 For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace; 6 That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hostsshall  perform this.


Future events can be described in past tense, but past events cannot be described in future tense, unless it is a recap of a dialogue. Furthermore, rabbi Singer calls to witness Isaiah 10 and 37 to support his case, that these chapters are an elaboration of the events described in Isaiah 9, a past events that speaks of Chizkiyahu. Yet the text of Isaiah 10 is entirely written in the future tense:

20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and they that are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto El Gibbor. 22 For though thy people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them shall return; an extermination is determined, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For an extermination wholly determined shall the Lord, the GOD of hosts, make in the midst of all the earth. 24 Therefore thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts: O My people that dwell in Zion, be not afraid of Asshur, though he smite you with the rod, and lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall be accomplished, and My anger shall be to their destruction. 26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up against him a scourge, as in the slaughter of Midian at the Rock of Oreb; and as His rod was over the sea, so shall He lift it up after the manner of Egypt. 27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall depart from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed by reason of fatness.

This is a chapter later. What past event is this talking about? Although I believe that Isaiah 37 is an entire recap of the events unfolding in 2 Kings 19, Isaiah 9 and 10 are not! Isaiah chapters 7-12 are soaked with allusions to the messianic age. God simply uses past events to describe the future redemption of the Jewish people. In Isaiah 9, 10 and 11 God simply uses the events of Egypt, Midian and Assyria as a parallel to the events when the redemption comes through the Messiah. How the Jewish people were first carried away and oppressed, but when Messiah comes to establish the throne of David forever, Israel will be restored. God will send Messiah to redeem his people, which will result in the praises of Israel to their God in Isaiah 12."

This deals firstly with the subject of Isaiah 9:6 being in a past tense or not. Gassen Duu has also suggested the following to me when I asked for his feedback and comments:

"The prophet is speaking of a child having been born, in the past. Can this be a reference to Jesus who was born several centuries after Isaiah spoke these words? Isaiah speaks of “government.”

Yes, Isaiah 9:6 is an example of Hebrew literary technique using the past tense to refer to a future event. We can call this technique “Prophetic Perfect Tense”.

Consider another example.
Isaiah 5
13 Therefore my people have gone into captivity,
Because they have no knowledge;
Their honorable men are famished,
And their multitude dried up with thirst."

Next, As for governing, Jesus will do that in his second coming. In fact authority as already been given to him  (Matthew 28:18) but for now he is allowing us to repent and accept him before we are allowed into the kingdom. He will not set up his Kingdom completely until he returns on the clouds of heaven as Daniel 7 predicts. 

We know move on to the subject of Jesus being the Wonderful Counselor.

Even if the NT doesn't explicitly call him such, he carries the qualities of the Wonderful Counselor. As John MacArthur notes:
"Wonderful Counselor, and those two should go together, a Wonder of a Counselor. Men today search for wisdom, they search for answers, they search for the meaning of life, they search for solutions to their problems, they go to psychologists, psychiatrists, analysts, counselors. they read books, they try everything, they seek demons, they never get any help, and the Word of God says, are you looking for a Wonderful Counselor? I offer you Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The perfect Counselor. You see as God He knows everything, wouldn't you like to have a counselor who knew everything? You do.

He knows all about you, He knows all the needs of your heart, He knows how to answer those needs, He knows what's best for you, He knows how to solve your problems, He gives you wise counsel, He's not like Satan He never lies and He never plays nondirective technique games, He gives you straight stuff. He knows what you need. And a wayfaring man, though he be a fool, need not err." Jesus Christ is a Wonder of a Counselor. But you know there's got to be more to it than just that too, it's nice to have a Counselor, and to have one who's constantly faithful, never leaves you, He never forsakes you, He's there all the time counseling you every waking moment of every day."


Nextly, the subject of Jesus being referred to as the Mighty God, this is simply a reference to his divinity and he is not simply being referred to as "a mighty god", though you could say that it is a mighty god for Hezekiah possibly (If it refers to Hezekiah that is). However, the very same term is used of God in Isaiah 10:21 which does lend credibility to the Trinitarian position. Either way, he is worthy of the title Mighty God because of what he came to do and what he accomplished. If El Gibbor refers to being Jesus being YHWH, then how much more so is he worthy to be called the Mighty God? the One by whom all things consist and hold together.

Now often many love to bring up Ezekiel 32:21 which says the following:
"21 From within the realm of the dead the mighty leaders will say of Egypt and her allies, ‘They have come down and they lie with the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.’

The phrase is eley gibborim. Essentially most will say it's El Gibbor but in the plural, Ok... What bearing does this have on Isaiah 9:6 and Isaiah 10:21? None, furthermore the context of Ezekiel is speaking of gentile nations being judged, verse 21 refers to Egypt:

"17 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, wail for the hordes of Egypt and consign to the earth below both her and the daughters of mighty nations, along with those who go down to the pit. 19 Say to them, ‘Are you more favored than others? Go down and be laid among the uncircumcised.’ 20 They will fall among those killed by the sword. The sword is drawn; let her be dragged off with all her hordes. 21 From within the realm of the dead the mighty leaders will say of Egypt and her allies, ‘They have come down and they lie with the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.’"

Egypt is subject to ruination and judgement for their sins and they are "so called" mighty leaders rather that genuine mighty leaders or powerful leaders.

Sam Shamoun of Answering Islam has made the following observation in his response to Sami Zaatari, a muslim apologist:

"By appealing to these passages Muslims such as Zaatari think that they have found a way of refuting the doctrine of the Trinity and the OT witness to the absolute Deity of the Lord Jesus.
Yet there are several problems with this desperate approach, not the least of which is just because there may be other so-called mighty gods this doesn’t necessarily mean that Isaiah was placing the Messiah in this same category. Muslims are assuming that the prophet was simply calling the Messiah a mighty one as opposed to identifying this Davidic King as the human appearance of Yahweh God. This is simply a non-sequitor since it does not follow that the Messiah is not Yahweh simply because there are others who are called mighty gods. After all, would we assume that Yahweh is also in this same category of mighty gods seeing that he, too, is called the Mighty God? Of course not.
Second, these so-called mighty gods are the gentile leaders and kings of the nations."

and

"Hezekiah beseeches Yahweh to save his people from the Assyrians in order to show that he alone is God. This indicates that, as far as the biblical writers are concerned, there are no other gods which exist alongside Yahweh.

In light of the foregoing it seems evident that Ezekiel 32:21 and 31:11 are not saying that these heathen rulers were actually gods, albeit in a lesser sense than Yahweh. Nor are the terms being used metaphorically to denote rulers who were mighty, as Zaatari’s source erroneously assumes. From the overall context of the inspired Scriptures we can safely conclude that these gentile kings are ironically and sarcastically called gods, e.g. they are rulers who were wrongly considered gods by the peoples and yet died a humiliating and shameful death, dying like any other mere mortal.
This is completely unlike the context of Isaiah 9 where an inspired prophet gives the child the very titles of God himself as an indication of his character and rule.

Moreover, Zaatari’s anti-Trinitarian source conveniently turns to the book of Ezekiel while ignoring the fact that Isaiah uses the exact phrase El Gibbor in 10:21 in reference to the one true God, Yahweh. Thus, if this phrase means "Mighty Hero" then Isaiah is identifying both Yahweh and the Messiah as this one Mighty Hero who defends and fights for God’s people. After all, the Messiah is El Gibbor in the same sense that Yahweh is since he is given all of the very titles which Isaiah applies in other places to God, even though the prophet emphatically stresses the point that there is only one true God (ElElohim)"

I leave you to examine my words and Shamoun's with the inspired scriptures for yourselves. http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/jesus_mighty_god.htm
His article can be found above.

Lastly, Everlasting Father doesn't refer to his position in the Trinity, it refers to him being our progenitor. It can be understood as owner of eternity or progenitor of eternity. Jesus is Father in a creative sense, That is how he is the Everlasting Father. 

Counter-Missionary position

Now we look at the Rabbi's own position. One question I pose is, Even granted that this is about Hezekiah, Can it have fulfillment in the Messiah, Yes, it can. Let's take a look at the Rabbi's next point.

"When we examine the verse in context, the missionary  interpretation disappears. The passage in which this verse appears talks of a  military threat being miraculously eliminated, namely the threat of the  Assyrian king Sennacherib. Verse 3 (of chapter 9) of the  passage talks of the yoke of his (the nation’s) burden and the rod of her  oppressor being broken as on the day of Midian.  The “day of Midian” was when God miraculously put an  army of multitudes to flight before Gideon’s small band of 300 (Judges 6 and  7). This is a clear parallel to the miraculous annihilation of Sennacherib’s  troops (as described in chapters 37 of Isaiah, 19 of second Kings, and 32 of  second Chronicles). The various phrases in this passage are repeated over and  over again in the book of Isaiah as reference to the destruction of  Sennacherib’s army. The expressions “yoke” and ‘burden” (9:3) are used in 14:25  with a direct reference to Assyria’ army being  broken. The expressions “staff” and “rod” (9:3), can be found in 10:5,24,27, and 30:31, clearly talking of this same event. The  reference to Midian (9:3) is repeated in 10:26 in  relation to Sennacherib’s destruction. The concept of “burning” as a  description of this miracle (9:4), is mentioned in 10:16,17  and again in 30:31 and 31:9 as a description of the death of Sennacherib’s  soldiers. The concept of “counsel” (9:5) is used in 14:26,27  to speak of this miracle. The words “mighty God” (9:5), are repeated in 10:21  to describe Israel’s  return to God after this amazing event. The words “zeal of the Lord of Hosts”  is repeated in 37:32 in direct reference to this miraculous event. There are many more cross references from this passage to the  various passages that speak of Sennacherib’s destruction, but these can be used  as a starting point in understanding this passage.
It is only by disregarding the context of the verse, and  with no respect for the spirit of scripture that the missionary can wrench the  words out of context and use them as a reference to a pagan concept with no  foundation in scripture."

No Christian would deny the historical context of a passage although I have made it clear in my articles on the angel of the Lord that Hezekiah isn't the subject. Granted IF it refers to Hezekiah, this wouldn't dismiss the Messianic application of the text. Proving it's Hezekiah would not remove it's future application to the Messiah. I have mentioned the following in one of my articles on the angel of the LORD:
"There are those like Sami Zaatari who try and say well people are called gibborim or el in the Bible, however, NO ONE, Not even Hezekiah is called Mighty God. In fact His name would be YHWH is my strength so that argument doesn't fly. To point of fact Hezekiah didn't have an    everlasting dominion. The prophets said that the coming One is actually God, the Angel of God who becomes the Son of David, and therefore the Messiah, According to Acts 7:52 as well Daniel 7:13-14 which is alluded to by Jesus at least 3 times explicitly, I have already alluded to Daniel 7 in other articles so I needn't labor that point. Nakdimon316 goes into detail about various titles used of God alone in his response to Sami Zaatari which is indeed a series worth checking out."

Also, consider that Maimondes interprets Isaiah 9:6 as Messianicly, though obviously he doesn't have Christ in mind and doesn't see Mighty God as a reference to the Deity of Christ. He says in his Epistle to Yemen: 

"How odd is your remark about this man, that he is renowned for his meekness and a little wisdom, as if these were indeed the attributes of the Messiah. Do these characteristics make him a Messiah? You were beguiled by him because you have not considered the pre-eminence of the Messiah, the manner and place of his appearance, and the marks whereby he is to be identified. The Messiah, indeed, ranks after Moses in eminence and distinction, and God has bestowed some gifts upon him which he did not bestow upon Moses, as may be gathered from the following verses: "His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:3). "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him." (11:2). "And Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins." (11:5). Six appellations were divinely conferred upon him as the following passage indicates: "For a child is born unto us, and a son is given unto us, and the government is upon his shoulder, and he is called Pele, Yoetz, el, Gibbor, Abiad, Sar-Shalom." (Isaiah 9:5). And another verse alluding to the Messiah culminates in the following manner "Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee." (Psalms 2:7). All these statements demonstrate the pre-eminence of the Messiah."

As I have said before, Maimonedes denies the Deity of Christ being referred to nor does he say that Mighty God is a divine title. Obviously his interpretation would differ from Christians but you get the idea. But by the anti-missionaries logic, I guess Maimonedes is disregarding the context as well. My whole point about Maimonedes is that there are Rabbis who do believe that Isaiah 9:6 (9:5 in the Hebrew Bible) is a passage referring to the Messiah. (Though recently I have been told that Rabbis interpret it midrashically to the Messiah, though that was in the context of Isaiah 53 that I was told this, the principle is the same.)

It is important to note that on a side note, Rabbinic Jews will claim Isaiah 53 is about the Messiah and Israel collectively, so why not suggest it can refer to Hezekiah and to the future coming of the Messiah?

Let me explain, If we grant it as Hezekiah, which I am willing to do here for arguments sake, He can be typified as what the Messiah will come and do. In other words, Hezekiah is a foreshadowing of the Messiah himself, with the Messiah doing and functioning the same way Hezekiah did, with a few minute differences.

Note what the Rabbi has said, Hezekiah is the one to accomplish what is seen in Isaiah 9:6-7 and makes comparisons to the days of Midian. There is a threat to God's people which Christ will eventually terminate when he comes to judge the world. Many of the saints shall rejoice at his return to the earth and those siding with Anti-Christ will be subject to desolation. Revelation 19 says:

"11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh."

Now, regarding the following:
"The expressions “yoke” and ‘burden” (9:3) are used in 14:25  with a direct reference to Assyria’ army being  broken. The expressions “staff” and “rod” (9:3), can be found in 10:5,24,27, and 30:31, clearly talking of this same event. The  reference to Midian (9:3) is repeated in 10:26 in  relation to Sennacherib’s destruction."

Let's read Isaiah 10
"5 “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
    in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
6 I send him against a godless nation,
    I dispatch him against a people who anger me,
to seize loot and snatch plunder,
    and to trample them down like mud in the streets.
7 But this is not what he intends,
    this is not what he has in mind;
his purpose is to destroy,
    to put an end to many nations.
8 ‘Are not my commanders all kings?’ he says.
9     ‘Has not Kalno fared like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad,
    and Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols,
    kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria—
11 shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images
    as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?’”
12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he says:

“‘By the strength of my hand I have done this,
    and by my wisdom, because I have understanding.
I removed the boundaries of nations,
    I plundered their treasures;
    like a mighty one I subdued[a] their kings.
14 As one reaches into a nest,
    so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations;
as people gather abandoned eggs,
    so I gathered all the countries;
not one flapped a wing,
    or opened its mouth to chirp.’”
15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it,
    or the saw boast against the one who uses it?
As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up,
    or a club brandish the one who is not wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
    will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors;
under his pomp a fire will be kindled
    like a blazing flame.
17 The Light of Israel will become a fire,
    their Holy One a flame;
in a single day it will burn and consume
    his thorns and his briers.
18 The splendor of his forests and fertile fields
    it will completely destroy,
    as when a sick person wastes away.
19 And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few
    that a child could write them down.
The Remnant of Israel

20 In that day the remnant of Israel,
    the survivors of Jacob,
will no longer rely on him
    who struck them down
but will truly rely on the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return,[b] a remnant of Jacob
    will return to the Mighty God.
22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel,
    only a remnant will return.
Destruction has been decreed,
    overwhelming and righteous.
23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out
    the destruction decreed upon the whole land.
24 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:

“My people who live in Zion,
    do not be afraid of the Assyrians,
who beat you with a rod
    and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did.
25 Very soon my anger against you will end
    and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.”
26 The Lord Almighty will lash them with a whip,
    as when he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb;
and he will raise his staff over the waters,
    as he did in Egypt.
27 In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders,
    their yoke from your neck;
the yoke will be broken
    because you have grown so fat."

Assyria's destruction is similar to what happens in the days of Midian, The army is in disarray, God through his anointed ones defeats Israel's enemies and the burden of one's enemies has been removed. This happens in Judges, Hezekiah's day but not only that, When Jesus returns, he himself will remove the yoke of the nations who come against his people and free his people from those enemies who seek to destroy them. As found in Isaiah 30, Ha Shem brings judgement on the Assyrians and bring them to ruin, a foreshadowing of what Christ accomplishes when he returns to earth to judge it. The reasons for suffering with respect to the three events, whether it is suffering for wrong or right, is not relevant at this point.

"The concept of “burning” as a  description of this miracle (9:4), is mentioned in 10:16,17  and again in 30:31 and 31:9 as a description of the death of Sennacherib’s  soldiers. The concept of “counsel” (9:5) is used in 14:26,27  to speak of this miracle."

The enemies yoke is shattered within the context of Isaiah 9:4. In Isaiah 31 we see the following:
"31 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
    who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
    and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
    or seek help from the Lord.
2 Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;
    he does not take back his words.
He will rise up against that wicked nation,
    against those who help evildoers.
3 But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God;
    their horses are flesh and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
    those who help will stumble,
    those who are helped will fall;
    all will perish together.
4 This is what the Lord says to me:

“As a lion growls,
    a great lion over its prey—
and though a whole band of shepherds
    is called together against it,
it is not frightened by their shouts
    or disturbed by their clamor—
so the Lord Almighty will come down
    to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.
5 Like birds hovering overhead,
    the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem;
he will shield it and deliver it,
    he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”
6 Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against. 7 For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.

8 “Assyria will fall by no human sword;
    a sword, not of mortals, will devour them.
They will flee before the sword
    and their young men will be put to forced labor.
9 Their stronghold will fall because of terror;
    at the sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic,”
declares the Lord,
    whose fire is in Zion,
    whose furnace is in Jerusalem."

God is giving a warning to the Israelites not to trust in Egypt and tells them to repent and turn back to him. The burning refers to the destruction of the enemies of Israel, specifically in the context of the passage, the Assyrian people. At this point I don't have any other comments to make.

The words “mighty God” (9:5), are repeated in 10:21  to describe Israel’s  return to God after this amazing event. The words “zeal of the Lord of Hosts”  is repeated in 37:32 in direct reference to this miraculous event. There are many more cross references from this passage to the  various passages that speak of Sennacherib’s destruction, but these can be used  as a starting point in understanding this passage.

I haven't too much to say on the point here so I think I'll leave it at that. I'll leave you guys to judge what I have to say and what the Rabbi has to say.

Answering Judaism.

17 comments:

  1. The argument presented is an old one and without any foundation whatsoever. Isaiah 9 is historical not messianic. One distinguishes between the rarely used prophetic perfect and an actual past event by examining context and the context here (ie chapters 9 and 10) can only lead to the conclusion that the prophet is talking about Hezekiah and the delivery of Judah from the army of Sanheriv.

    Looking at 9:5 you see no mention of the mashiach, and certainly no mention of Jesus. Jesus was never referred to by any of these names in the NT. Isaiah is speaking about a child who was already born.

    Another grammatical issue. Vayikra is properly translated as "and (he) called". The verb is active not passive. The most commonly accepted translation from the Hebrew is as follows:

    For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace." In other words Hashem is calling Hezekiah the prince or ruler of peace. This is grammatically correct and fits into the context. Even if one changes the translation and applies the names to an individual it does not mean that the individual is God. In the Hebrew Bible many people are given divine titles. Even inanimate objects are called Adonai, etc. It is a means of describing something about Hashem- it is ridiculous to state that it means that the person or thing is God.

    The verse that follows reads:

    To him who increases the authority, and for peace without end, on David's throne and on his kingdom, to establish it and to support it with justice and with righteousness; FROM NOW and to eternity, the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this.

    Isaiah is referring to ongoing events. This passage is actually in the form of a prayer for the safety and stability of the Davidic throne. The phrase referring to the zeal of the Lord of Hosts is only used in the Hebrew Bible in conjuction with the deliverance of Judah and Hezekiah from the Assyrians. (eg see also Isaiah 37:32

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does any passage mention the Mashiach? Also, you are arguing from silence when you say the names are not given to Jesus in the NT.

      Delete
  2. I think you are missing my main point. Contextually, and linguistically the verse is historical not a future prophecy about the mashiach and certainly has nothing to do with Jesus. Christian apologists cannot speak out of both sides of their mouths at the same time. The KJB mistranslates the verbs and converts them from past tense to future tense with obvious Christological intent. Within the book of Isaiah the term vayikra appears 4 times and the KJB correctly translates it in the past tense in 3 out 4 cases the only exception being Isaiah 9:5. This is just playing with the Hebrew Bible. Realizing the inconsistencies, Christianity tries the prophetic perfect explanation- but a reading of the entire passage indicates ongoing current events as well as descriptions of what has already transpired, ie the child has already been born, the government was placed or IS on his shoulder. And as already stated the prophet goes on to state his wish for enduring peace and an enduring support for the Davidic throne-me'atah ie henceforth or from NOW- not 700 hundred years from when the statement is uttered.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is Yehuda Yisrael, and I agree with Barry above. Lets delve deeper into this:

    Isaiah 9:5. For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace."

    and… called his name: The Holy One, blessed be He, Who gives wondrous counsel, is a mighty God and an everlasting Father, called Hezekiah’s name, “the prince of peace,” since peace and truth will be in his days.

    Isaiah 39:8. And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good." For he thought, "For there shall be peace and truth in my days."

    There's your prince of peace! Hezekiah identifies HIMSELF as the one being spoken of by Isaiah as having "peace" in his days. I wonder here he got that from?!

    Isaiah 9:6 To him who increases the authority, and for peace without end, on David's throne and on his kingdom, to establish it and to support it with justice and with righteousness; **FROM NOW and to eternity,** the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this.

    from now and to eternity: The eternity of Hezekiah, viz. all his days. And so we find that Hannah said concerning Samuel (I Sam. 1:22): “and abide there forever.” And, in order to refute those who disagree [i.e., the Christians, who claim that this (Prince of Peace) is their deity], we can refute them [by asking], What is the meaning of: “from now” ? Is it not so that the “deity” (jesus) did not come until after five hundred years and more?

    Thus, this could not refer to jesus... From NOW until eternity means from THE TIME THAT ISAIAH MADE THE PROPHESY and to eternity. Since jesus wasn't born yet, it couldn't refer to jesus...

    Just to clarify, the Rabbis no problem with the interpretation that this prophesy ultimately will reach fulfillment in Messiah. However, it is clear that in the immediate context, Isaiah 9:5-6 refers to King Hezekiah. As it states, the ruling of this eternal kingdom will be "FROM NOW until eternity." By NOW, Isaiah is referring to his generation. Hezekiah is the only viable candidate for the initial context of this prophesy.

    The words "ad olam" are not exclusive to Hashem. Rashi cites I Samuel 1:22 as an example:

    I Samuel 1:22. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband: "Until the child is weaned, then I shall bring him, and he shall appear before the Lord, and abide there FOREVER.

    The Hebrew words used for "forever" in I Samuel 1:22 are עַד עוֹלָם or "ad olam."

    These are the EXACT SAME WORDS used to describe the "eternality" of the kingdom spoken of in Isaiah 9:6!

    Isaiah 9:6. To him who increases the authority, and for peace without end, on David's throne and on his kingdom, to establish it and to support it with justice and with righteousness; from now and to *ETERNITY,* the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this.

    Once again, the word "eternity" here translates to עַד עוֹלָם or "ad olam," just like "forever" in I Samuel 1:22!

    Using christian logic, Samuel is apparently "divine" as well, since he "eternally" abides!

    The point is that jesus did not fulfill any of of this prophesy...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rambam, “Letter to Yemen”:
    “…You have not considered the pre-eminence of the
    Messiah, the manner and place of his appearance and
    the marks whereby he is to be identified…Six
    appellations were divinely conferred upon him as the
    following passage indicates:‘For a child is born unto us,
    and a son is given unto us, and the government is upon his
    shoulder, and he is called Pele, Yoetz, El, Gibbor, Abiad,
    Sar Shalom’ (Isaiah 9:5).

    ReplyDelete
  5. // Hashem is calling Hezekiah the prince or ruler of peace//

    R. Hillel said: There shall be no Messiah for Israel, because they have already enjoyed him in the days of Hezekiah. R. Joseph said: May God forgive him [for saying so]. Now, when did Hezekiah flourish? During the first Temple. Yet Zechariah, prophesying in the days of the second, proclaimed, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold, thy king cometh unto thee! he is just, and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass

    http://www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_99.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Midrash Rabbah Deuteronomy likewise makes the
    above passage, Isaiah 9:5, to be speaking about
    Moshiach: Midrash Rabbah Deuteronomy:
    “‘I have yet to raise up the Messiah,’ of whom it is
    written, ‘For a child is born to us’ (Isaiah 9:5).”

    ReplyDelete
  7. First, assuming you are Christian, you don't believe in the Oral Law so why quote from it?

    Second, as has been explained ad nauseum midrash aggada never supersedes the plain meaning of the text (p'shat).

    Third, there are other passages in the Talmud which fully support Hezekiah as the subject of Isaiah 9:5. Again, these are homiletic and used for teaching various principles about Torah.

    Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness.28 What is meant by, among his fat ones [bemishmanav]29 leanness? — The Holy One, blessed be He, said: Let Hezekiah, who hath eight [shemoneh] names, come and mete out punishment to Sennacherib, who hath [likewise] eight.30 Hezekiah, as it is written, :

    . For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace." But is there not Hezekiah too?33 — That means, 'whom God hath strengthened;' alternatively, Hezekiah denotes 'Who strengthened' Israel [in their devotion] to their father in Heaven.34
    Tractate Sanhedrin Folio 94a

    Finally, the sages at some point thought various peple were mashiach. Hillel thought it might have been Hezekiah at one point. Rabbi Akiva thought it was Bar Kochba. Tell me, name one sage in the Talmud that opined that Jesus was the mashiach and name one that converted to Christianity as a result. If you cannot do this then please stop quoting from the Talmud.




































    ReplyDelete
  8. There are ancient sages who understand the plain meaning of the verse better than one who says “For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace." ”

    Targum Jonathan renders the verse:
    “For to us a son is born, to us a son is given; and he shall receive the Law upon him to keep it; and his name is called from of Old, Wonderful, Counselor, Eloha, The Mighty, Abiding to Eternity, The Messiah, because peace shall be multiplied on us in his days.”

    ReplyDelete
  9. //, there are other passages in the Talmud which fully support Hezekiah as the subject of Isaiah 9:5.//
    Rashi, Isaiah 9:5:
    “and…called his name The Holy One, blessed be He,
    Who gives wondrous counsel, is a mighty God and
    everlasting Father, called Hezekiah’s name, ‘the prince
    of peace,’ since peace and truth will be in his days.

    However, Rashi states that Hezekiah would be
    disqualified from being Moshiach:

    Rashi, Isaiah 9:6:
    “And our Rabbis said: The Holy one, blessed be He,
    wished to make Hezekiah the Messiah and
    Sennacherib, Gog and Magog. Said the ministering
    angels before the Holy One, blessed be He, Should
    the one who stripped the doors of the Temple and
    sent them to the king of Assyria, be made a Messiah?
    Immediately, the Scripture closed it up.”

    ReplyDelete
  10. Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy for the coming of the Messiah, and together with other prophecies were fulfilled unparalleled by Yeshua the Messiah.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Please respond to my question. It's ludicrous for you as a Christian to quote from Talmud or from Yonatan (which is really a paraphrase rather than a translation). Christianity rejects the Oral Law. Christianity burned the Talmud. So please be so kind and tell me the name of one rabbi in the Talmud who states that Jesus is the mashiach and converted to Christianity.

    BTW aside from being Jewish and allegedly riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, Jesus never fulfilled any of the major prophecies concerning the mashiach which is the reason the the Christian invention of the second coming.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Christians, Jews, other scholars and students have the same access to ancient Jewish writings like you. It is not the Dark Age now. It has become obvious to the world that Judaism does not speak in one voice. However, when they read the plain meaning of the Hebrew Bible, some of them understand and cannot deny the Messianic prophecies that have been shown to be fulfilled by Yeshua.
    I have just demonstrated that some sages understand correctly that Isaiah 9:6 speak of the Messiah.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Some Christians burned the Talmud, and they do nor represent Christians as a whole. Btw, can you tell me who, how many of them, where and when they did it? Nowadays, it is the Christians who show the strongest support to Israel.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Here is an example how Yeshua fulfilled one of the Messianic prophecies
    Psalm 118
    22 The stone which the builders rejected
    Has become the chief cornerstone.
    Yeshua refers the stone to Himself.
    Matthew 21
    42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
    ‘ The stone which the builders rejected
    Has become the chief cornerstone.
    This was the LORD’s doing,
    And it is marvelous in our eyes’?

    In the next verse, He is alluding to another passage from Isaiah 8:
    43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

    The stone in Isaiah 8 is explicitly identified as the one that stumbles Israel.

    Peter, the disciple of Yeshua also alludes to both passages.
    1 Peter 2
    7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
    “ The stone which the builders rejected
    Has become the chief cornerstone,” Psalm 118:22
    8 and
    “ A stone of stumbling Isaiah 8:14
    And a rock of offense.”
    They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

    Paul also alludes to Isaiah 8:14; 28:16 about the Messiah being the stumbling stone.

    Romans 9
    33 As it is written:
    “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall,
    and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
    Rashi quotes Psalm 118:22 above, making
    Moshiach “The stone the builders rejected.”

    ‘The stone the builders rejected became a cornerstone.’ And his
    origin is from old – ‘Before the sun his name is Yinnon’
    (Psalm 72:17).”

    Furthermore, Rashi interprets the “fortress stone” of
    Isaiah 28:16 as King Moshiach:
    “Isaiah 28:16 ‘Behold, I have laid a foundation…’
    Behold I am He Who has already laid [a stone in
    Zion. Already] a decree as been decreed before Me,
    and I have set up King Messiah, who shall be in Zion asan ‘ehven bohan’, a fortress stone, an expression of a
    fortress and strength…”

    ReplyDelete
  15. 1. wrt Psalm 118, this is about King David. Rashi interprets the passage to be about Israel. No prophecy here.

    2.wrt Isaiah 8 This was fulfilled in Hezekiah’s time during the Assyrian invasion as is evident from the context.

    3.wrt Isaiah 28- agreed that Rashi says this metaphor is a reference to the mashiach., but he does not say that this is Jesus. Looking at the history of first century Judea does the Nazarene really fit the description of the cornerstone of the foundation ie an expression of a fortress and strength? Only if you already believe he was the messiah. After all, he was crucified, the temple was destroyed and a 2000 year old exile began for the Jewish people. This is not the image of King Messiah that Rashi is referring to. When mashiach is on the Davidic throne there will universal knowledge of the God of Israel, worldwide peace and re-establishment of the Third Temple. None of this materialized in the lifetime of your "cornerstone".

    ReplyDelete
  16. Singer actually does call Isaiah 53 a past event, speaking of Isaiah's ministry.

    ReplyDelete