Mar 2, 2011

21 Was Jesus the “mighty God” in Isaiah 9?

Believer says: It's inescapable that Jesus is God in Isaiah 9.

Isaiah 9:6 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.

But skeptic says:  Actually it’s escapable. That the Messiah Jesus was none other than Mighty God is just one way to take it. Isaiah 9 was likely a seventh- or eighth-century BC Jerusalem coronation hymn, Biblicists say. Any Jerusalem king was a messiah, an anointed leader, and so the hymn celebrated peace and protection to come when the new wise king ascended the throne. Well, at least the hymn expected those things. lt hoped that the God-fearing king would bring a final end to war and to other things that threatened the kingdom.

The words "mighty God” could say God was represented in the person of the king and in fact other translations say “the might of God,” “God's might,” and divine hero. Everybody had their hopes riding on the king, but it wasn't a prediction of Jesus.   

For what it's worth to bring up the Septuagint, the first Old Testament translation into Greek, it called the king "messenger" and not "mighty God"

9:6 And his name shall be called, messenger of the great council.

Believer says, also: Verse 7 says that the man to sit on the throne of David will do so forever. That person will have to be Jesus.

But skeptic says: Again it's one way to read it. But another explanation is that when the king set up justice, his subjects hoped that his fair and just rule would continue from ruler to ruler 

Isaiah 9:7 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.

So the king himself wouldn't continue to be a monarch forever, since a new king would replace him eventually.

Recap: Isaiah 9 was a coronation hymn to a new king and the passage expressed the hope that he would establish nonstop peace. Or it predicted Jesus to come. Let the readers decide.

Related post:
22 Did Jesus call himself God in John 8?

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