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Read Isaiah 9

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

The Lord’s Anger Against Israel

The Lord has sent a message against Jacob;
    it will fall on Israel.
All the people will know it—
    Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—
who say with pride
    and arrogance of heart,
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
    but we will rebuild with dressed stone;
the fig trees have been felled,
    but we will replace them with cedars.”
11 But the Lord has strengthened Rezin’s foes against them
    and has spurred their enemies on.
12 Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west
    have devoured Israel with open mouth.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

13 But the people have not returned to him who struck them,
    nor have they sought the Lord Almighty.
14 So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail,
    both palm branch and reed in a single day;
15 the elders and dignitaries are the head,
    the prophets who teach lies are the tail.
16 Those who guide this people mislead them,
    and those who are guided are led astray.
17 Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men,
    nor will he pity the fatherless and widows,
for everyone is ungodly and wicked,
    every mouth speaks folly.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

18 Surely wickedness burns like a fire;
    it consumes briers and thorns,
it sets the forest thickets ablaze,
    so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.
19 By the wrath of the Lord Almighty
    the land will be scorched
and the people will be fuel for the fire;
    they will not spare one another.
20 On the right they will devour,
    but still be hungry;
on the left they will eat,
    but not be satisfied.
Each will feed on the flesh of their own offspring:
21     Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh;
    together they will turn against Judah.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

Go Deeper

Isaiah 8 finishes on a dour note, calling out to the “distressed and hungry” people to look to God, all while assuring us they will not. Isaiah explains that they will instead look to themselves and see only distress and darkness. Yet Isaiah 9 has a magnificent opening message: Those who are walking in darkness will see a great light. God’s goodness and kindness will dawn on the people and it won’t be because they deserve it. 

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says the people need to call on his name and, if they do, He will heal their land. In Isaiah 9, God takes all of the conditions off of His mercy. We don’t see repentance in Isaiah 8, but instead we see rebellion. We don’t even see it in Isaiah 9 after the great light has dawned. We merely see that the “zeal of the Lord Almighty” will accomplish this breakthrough of grace. He is enacting his mercy and his goodness simply because that is what he is like, not because his people have met the conditions necessary for him to reveal himself.

And in this short verse, we see an expansive explanation of what his plan of salvation is for his wayward children and we see the character of the God who will save. Verse 7 says that a child will be given to us and the government will be on his shoulders. This prophecy ties directly with the prophecy two chapters earlier that tells us the virgin will be with child and that this child will be called God-with-us. We know then that this child represents the truth that God is with us, but Isaiah 9 doubles down on the concept. Not only do we understand from this verse that God is with us, but we understand that this child is God. And if we look at the names by which the Triune God has revealed himself to man throughout scripture, Isaiah 9:6 offers a very interesting insight. This son is called the “Wonderful Counselor” (a descriptor used solely for the Holy Spirit in the New Testament), “Everlasting Father” (a descriptor used solely for the Godhead, YHWH, in other passages), and “Prince of Peace” (a descriptor used to describe Jesus, the Son). And all three of these are embodied in the child that is to come; the “Mighty God”. 

We don’t need to look any further for Biblical evidence that Jesus is the triune God made flesh. All uncertainties about his divinity were settled hundreds of years before his advent. The sad news is that in verse thirteen, we see that the people still do not submit their hearts to this savior. Israel’s salvation will fall completely on the will and grace of a God who works on behalf of obstinate people to draw them to Himself.


  1. What does this passage teach you about God? What does it teach you about humanity? 
  2. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Why is it so important that the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelled among us?
  3. Why are these prophecies in Isaiah so important to our faith today?  

Watch This

For more context on the prophecies in Isaiah 7-9, watch this video from Dr. John Oswalt, an Old Testament scholar.

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3 thoughts on “Isaiah 9”

  1. As a 10 year old girl, I, too, was walking in darkness. Pinholes of light were faithfully given through godly parents who daily exposed me to truth. It was through an experience at church camp that I threw open the door and the Light came flooding in. Undeserving as I was, His love and light chased away the darkness. I experienced the Hound of Heaven relentlessly pursuing me to make me his own. That’s when my life really began. Not to say that their haven’t been shadowy days, but it’s then that I choose to turn my gaze upward to the light and hope found in my Savior and dwell with him. What’s uncanny is that imperfect as I am, I get to bear his light to illuminate the darkness around me!

  2. God knows our hearts. We do right things and as a Father He celebrates us, but when we do wrong He corrects us. God made the way very detailed through this journey with Isaiah so that Christ could be. In verse 12 the end says “Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised. God had told them what and how to accomplish getting back to right standing with Him but they choose not to obey so He was forced to chasten them. God is incredibly patient but we also as we should and do respect Him as our Everlasting Father. Roman8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
    “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
    37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    God made the way through Jesus for us to be with Him. and in this passage He covered everything so NO-THING can separate us from HIM and HIS LOVE!!! In case you think you have an exception, Paul ends his list with “nor anything else in all creation.” This covers anything else you can possibly think of.

    God thank You for helping me to know in my knower that You are for me every step of the way. Thank You for making that way available through Jesus Christ my Savior. Thank You for helping me to bring Your Word to my mind when the world comes crashing in around me. This is the day You have made I will rejoice in it, whatever comes my way I can handle it through Christ who gives me strength, I am blessed and highly favored, God Your timing is perfect. Thank You for directing my path. Thank You for me being a light and loving on whomever You place in my path today in Jesus name amen.

  3. I read where instead of God being the Homemaker, He’s the Homewrecker of Israel. It states in v9 “ALL the people” of Israel will see His hand upraised (v17).
    In my study this morning with Jen Michael, she talks about laboring for the fatherless and the widows (humanity). She referenced 1 Timothy 3 & 5, and Ps 68:5-6 how we, the church, are people called to not only pray for each other, but to help in financial crisis as well. We are a family—and the church is our home. Israel is home to the fatherless and the widows(v17)—the people that Paul and David encourages up to look out for. But reading today, it makes me pay attention to even the ones God holds dear are not exempt from His wrath of anger. That’s a scary thought… Isaiah urges the people that once thought they had the hand of protection around them is now above them —raised!

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