Friday, December 9, 2016

"For unto us a child is born..."

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6).

How rich and full of truth this verse is! How complex with spiritual meaning, yet can be read and understood by children! How great a promise, one even spoken as had already happened, yet would not occur for hundreds of years hence! How faithful a promise, and how comforting a thought!

Part 1 - For unto us a child is born
Part 2 - A Son is given
Part 3 - And the government shall be upon his shoulder
Part 4 - 'and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor'
Part 5 - Mighty God
Part 6 - The Everlasting Father: the Father of eternity
Part 7 - Jesus is the Prince of Peace 

Barnes Notes comments on all the parts of the verse. Let's look at a few excerpts of the commentary today and tomorrow. "For unto us a child is born..."

For - This is given as a reason of the victories that were predicted in the previous verses. That it has reference to the Messiah has been almost universally conceded; and indeed it does not seem possible to doubt it. The eye of the prophet seems to have been fixed on this great and glorious event - as attracting all his attention. The scenes of coming times, like a panorama, or picture, passed before him. Most of the picture seems to have been that of battles, conflicts, sieges, dimness, and thick darkness. But in one portion of the passing scene there was light. It was the light that he saw rising in the distant and darkened Galilee. He saw the joy of the people; the armor of war laid aside; the image of peace succeeding; the light expanding and becoming more intense as the darkness retired, until he saw in this region the Prince of Peace - the Sun of Righteousness itself. The eye of the prophet gazed intently on that scene, and was fixed on that portion of the picture: he sees the Messiah in his office, and describes him as already come, and as born unto the nation.

Unto us - For our benefit. The prophet saw in vision the darkness and gloom of the nation, and saw also the son that would be born to remove that darkness, and to enlighten the world.

A child - This word usually denotes a lad, a boy, a youth. It is commonly applied to one in early life; but no particular stress is to be laid on the word. The vision of the prophet is, that the long-expected Messiah is born, and is seen growing up amidst the surrounding darkness of the north of Palestine, Isaiah 9:1.

Is born - Not that he was born when the prophet spake. But in prophetic vision, as the events of the future passed before his mind, he saw that promised son, and the eye was fixed intently on him; see the Introduction, section 7, and the note at Isaiah 1:1.

To be continued!

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