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
Hebrew Bible partNevi'im
Order in the Hebrew part5
CategoryLatter Prophets
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian 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.


The original text was written in Hebrew language. This chapter is divided into 21 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text tradition, which includes the Codex Cairensis (895), the Petersburg Codex of the Prophets (916), Aleppo Codex (10th century), Codex Leningradensis (1008).[1]

Fragments containing parts of this chapter were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (3rd century BC or later):[2]

  • 1QIsaa: complete
  • 4QIsab (4Q56): extant: verses 10‑11
  • 4QIsac (4Q57): extant: verses 3‑12
  • 4QIsae (4Q59): extant: verses 17‑20

There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BCE. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; B; 4th century), Codex Sinaiticus (S; BHK: S; 4th century), Codex Alexandrinus (A; A; 5th century) and Codex Marchalianus (Q; Q; 6th century).[3]


The parashah sections listed here are based on the Aleppo Codex.[4] Isaiah 9 is a part of the Prophecies about Judah and Israel (Isaiah 1-12). {P}: open parashah; {S}: closed parashah.

[{S} 8:19-23] 9:1-6 {P} 9:7-12 {S} 9:13-20 {S}

Verse 1[edit]

Land of Zebulon and Naphtali overlaid on the land of Galilee
Land of Zebulon
Land of Zebulun/Zebulon (left) and Naphtali (right) in Israel/Palestine according to its ancient divisions & tribes. Published by George Philip and Sons 1852.
Land of Naphtali
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.[5]

The Gospel of Matthew chapter 4 cites this and the next verse as a fulfillment of Messianic Prophecies of Jesus. In the Greek "by way of the sea" (or "toward the sea") refers to a specific route, and Jones feels it should perhaps be more accurately read as "on the road to the sea."[6] In Isaiah this verse is in the section describing the Assyrian invasion of northern Israel, so "toward the sea, beyond the Jordan" refers to the geography from the view point of the Assyrian invaders. To them the region of Zebulun and Naphtali would be across the Jordan River on the way to the Mediterranean.[7]

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.[8]

Cross reference: Matthew 4:16

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.[9]
  • "Wonderful Counselor": Isaiah 5:19; Isaiah 25:1.[10]
  • "Mighty God": Isaiah 10:21.[10]
  • "Everlasting Father": The New Oxford Annotated Bible interprets it "God as the eternal creator" Isaiah 40:28.[10]
  • "Prince of Peace": According to the New Oxford Annotated Bible, it is "a messianic title in Judaism and early Christianity".[10]

Christian interpretation[edit]

In Christian interpretation, based partly on the proximity of a quote of Isaiah 9:2 found in Matthew 4, [11] 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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." is quoted in the libretto of Handel's Messiah.

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)[12]

Cross reference: Jeremiah 23:5

Verse 12[edit]

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.[13]

This refrain first appeared again in Isaiah 5:25 and appears again in 9:17, 9:21 and 10:4.

Verse 14[edit]

Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail,
branch and rush, in one day.[14]

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.[15]

Verse 16[edit]

For the leaders of this people cause them to err,
And those who are led by them are destroyed.[16]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 35-37.
  2. ^ Ulrich 2010, p. 347-349.
  3. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 73-74.
  4. ^ As implemented in the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 edition of the Hebrew Bible in English.
  5. ^ Isaiah 9:1 NKJV
  6. ^ Jones, Alexander. The Gospel According to St. Matthew. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1965.
  7. ^ Keener, Craig S. A commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999. pg. 147
  8. ^ Isaiah 9:2 NKJV
  9. ^ Isaiah 9:6
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ R. T. France The Gospel of Matthew, 2007 p. 142 "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 counselor,.."
  12. ^ Isaiah 9:7
  13. ^ Isaiah 9:12
  14. ^ Isaiah 9:14
  15. ^ Isaiah 9:15
  16. ^ Isaiah 9:16


External links[edit]