Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Everlasting Father: the Father of eternity

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).

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 

This is a multi-part series looking at this wonderful verse of scripture from Isaiah and commentary from Barnes' Notes. I'd said that for me, the text is rich and full of truth; complex with spiritual meaning, yet can be read and understood by children; is a great a promise, one even spoken as had already happened, yet would not occur for hundreds of years hence; a faithful promise, and a comforting thought. Here are Barnes' Notes:

Everlasting Father

The everlasting Father - The Chaldee renders this expression, 'The man abiding forever.' The Vulgate, 'The Father of the future age.' Lowth, 'The Father of the everlasting age.' Literally, it is the Father of eternity. The word rendered "everlasting," properly denotes "eternity," and is used to express "forever;" see Psalm 9:6, Psalm 9:19; Psalm 19:10. It is often used in connection with ‛ôlâm, thus, vā‛ed ‛ôlâm, "forever and ever;" Psalm 10:16; Psalm 21:5; Psalm 45:7.

The Hebrews used the term father in a great variety of senses - as a literal father, a grandfather, an ancestor, a ruler, an instructor. The phrase may either mean the same as the Eternal Father, and the sense will be, that the Messiah will not, as must be the ease with an earthly king, however excellent, leave his people destitute after a short reign, but will rule over them and bless them forever (Hengstenberg); or it may be used in accordance with a custom usual in Hebrew and in Arabic, where he who possesses a thing is called the father of it.

Thus, the father of strength means strong; the father of knowledge, intelligent; the father of glory, glorious; the father of goodness, good; the father of peace, peaceful. According to this, the meaning of the phrase, the Father of eternity, is properly eternal. The application of the word here is derived from this usage. The term Father is not applied to the Messiah here with any reference to the distinction in the divine nature, for that word is uniformly, in the Scriptures, applied to the first, not to the second person of the Trinity. But it is used in reference to durations, as a Hebraism involving high poetic beauty. lie is not merely represented as everlasting, but he is introduced, by a strong figure, as even the Father of eternity. as if even everlasting duration owed itself to his paternity. There could not be a more emphatic declaration of strict and proper eternity.

It may be added, that this attribute is often applied to the Messiah in the New Testament; John 8:58; Colossians 1:17; Revelation 1:11, Revelation 1:17-18; Hebrews 1:10-11; John 1:1-2.



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