Isaiah 9

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Isaiah 9
Great Isaiah Scroll.jpg
The Great Isaiah Scroll, the best preserved of the biblical scrolls found at Qumran from the second century BC, contains all the verses in this chapter.
BookBook of Isaiah
Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Bible part23

Isaiah 9 is the ninth chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Isaiah, and is one of the Books of the Prophets.


Textual versions[edit]

Some most ancient manuscripts containing this chapter in Hebrew language:

Ancient translations in Koine Greek:

Verse 1[edit]

Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,
As when at first He lightly esteemed
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
And afterward more heavily oppressed her,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles.[3]

Cross reference: Matthew 4:13-16

The Gospel of Matthew chapter 4 cites this and the next verse as a fulfillment of Messianic Prophecies of Jesus.

  • "He lightly esteemed" (NKJV; "He lightly afflicted" KJV) - The word used here for "lightly", קלל qâlal, means properly, "to be", or "make light", or "small"; and in Hiphil, the form which occurs here, it often means to "esteem lightly, to despise, to hold in contempt;" 2 Samuel 19:43; Ezekiel 22:7. It probably has that sense here, as the design of the prophet is evidently to speak, not of a light affliction in the former time, but of a grievous, heavy calamity - a calamity which would be well denoted by the expression, 'he made them vile; he exposed them to contempt and derision.' The time to which reference is made here, was probably the invasion of the land by Tiglath-pileser; 2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26. In that invasion, the parts of Zebulun and Naphtali were particularly afflicted. 'Tiglath-pileser took Ijon, and Gilead, and Galilee, and all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria;' 2 Kings 15:29. This region had also been invaded by Benhadad two hundred years before the time of Isaiah; 1 Kings 15:20, and there might have been a reference to these various invasions to which this northern part of the land of Palestine had been subjected.[4]

Verse 2[edit]

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.[5]

Verse 6[edit]

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.[6]
  • "Wonderful Counselor": Isaiah 5:19; Isaiah 25:1.[7]
  • "Mighty God": Isaiah 10:21.[7]
  • "Everlasting Father": The New Oxford Annotated Bible interprets it "God as the eternal creator" Isaiah 40:28.[7]
  • "Prince of Peace": According to the New Oxford Annotated Bible, it is "a messianic title in Judaism and early Christianity".[7]

Verse 7[edit]

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (NKJV)[8]

Cross reference: Jeremiah 23:5

Christian interpretation[edit]

In Christian interpretation, based partly on the proximity of a quote of Isaiah 9:2 found in Matthew 4, [9] the name is taken as referring to Jesus and Messianic prophecy. The full verse "For 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." is quoted in the libretto of Handel's Messiah.

Verse 12[edit]

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.[10]

This refrain first appeared again in Isaiah 5:25 and appears again in 9:17, 9:21 and 10:4. According to the Pulpit Commentary, "the words imply that God's judgment upon Judah will not be a single stroke, but a continuous smiting, covering some considerable space of time".[11]

Verse 14[edit]

Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail,
branch and rush, in one day.[12]

Cross reference: Isaiah 19:15

Verse 15[edit]

The elder and honorable, he is the head;
The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.[13]

Verse 16[edit]

For the leaders of this people cause them to err,
And those who are led by them are destroyed.[14]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Timothy A. J. Jull; Douglas J. Donahue; Magen Broshi; Emanuel Tov (1995). "Radiocarbon Dating of Scrolls and Linen Fragments from the Judean Desert". Radiocarbon. 37 (1): 14. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  2. ^ Ulrich 2010, p. 347-349.
  3. ^ Isaiah 9:1
  4. ^ Barnes, Albert. Notes on the Old Testament. London, Blackie & Son, 1884. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998.
  5. ^ Isaiah 9:2
  6. ^ Isaiah 9:6
  7. ^ a b c d The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Augmented Third Edition, New Revised Standard Version, Indexed. Michael D. Coogan, Marc Brettler, Carol A. Newsom, Editors. Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 2007. pp. 990-992 Hebrew Bible. ISBN 978-0195288810
  8. ^ Isaiah 9:7
  9. ^ R. T. France The Gospel of Matthew, 2007 p142 "It also emphasizes the link between his Galilean location and the dawning of the light, which in the Isaiah context is the prelude to the great messianic prophecy of the child “born to us” who is called “wonderful counsellor,.."
  10. ^ Isaiah 9:12
  11. ^ Pulpit Commentary on Isaiah 5, accessed 8 March 2018
  12. ^ Isaiah 9:14
  13. ^ Isaiah 9:15
  14. ^ Isaiah 9:16


External links[edit]