Isaiah Chapter Nine

The Comings of Messiah

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In our study of Isaiah chapter nine, we look at the prophecies concerning the first and second coming of Messiah into this world. In chapter 8, we saw the prophecy of judgement on God's people and delivering them over to their enemies. Now, we see the prophecies of God's ultimate deliverance out of the hand of the enemy (the devil).

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Isaiah 9:1

But there will be no more gloom for those who are now in anguish. In the past the land of Z'vulun and the land of Naftali were regarded lightly; but in the future he will honor the way to the lake, beyond the Yarden, Galil-of-the-Goyim.

These were dark days for God's people but, here, He promises the return of light. Galilee was a despised area of the land to the Jews because it was an area where Gentiles had gathered to live. This verse speaks about the first coming of Messiah and the start of His earthly ministry in Kfar Naḥum (Capernaum).

Isaiah 9:2

The people living in darkness have seen a great light; upon those living in the land that lies in the shadow of death, light has dawned.

The people were divided and confused with each going his own way and following lies instead of the truth of God. This verse once again speaks to the fact that a light (the revelation of Messiah) was coming into the land.

Isaiah 9:3

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice in your presence as if rejoicing at harvest time, the way men rejoice when dividing up the spoil.

This verse speaks of the fact that, through Messiah, God's covenant with Avraham would be fulfilled as Avraham had been promised that he would be made into a great nation. Now, Isaiah turns to the prophecy of the second coming of Yeshua Messiah. We know that because this verse has not been fulfilled as the people of Israel even today do not rejoice before the Lord. There is not even a temple for the Jews to worship God as they gather at the wailing wall. This verse brings hope in the victory that is to come as they will rejoice in the final days.

Isaiah 9:4 & 5

For the yoke that weighed them down, the bar across their shoulders, and their driver's goad you have broken as on the day of Midyan. For all the boots of soldiers marching and every cloak rolled in blood is destined for burning, fuel for the fire.

In this passage we see that Messiah is going to suffer but we also see that the victory comes through faith. The day of Midyan refers to the events of Judges chapter eleven where, by faith, Gideon led Israel to victory over Midyan with just a small number of men. He goes on to explain that a result of this victory will be that there will no longer be a need for the boots of soldiers or the bandages for the wounded; it speaks of a time of complete peace.

Isaiah 9:6

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo'etz El Gibbor Avi-'Ad Sar-Shalom,

This verse tells of the provision of a Messiah and gives names that the child will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7

in order to extend the dominion and perpetuate the peace of the throne and kingdom of David, to secure it and sustain it through justice and righteousness henceforth and forever. The zeal of ADONAI-Tzva'ot will accomplish this.

Messiah will be called these names when He returns to Jerusalem and takes His place on the throne to reign over His kingdom (David's kingdom). When He returns, the nation will have true unending peace. It will be obvious to everyone that it is the Lord Almighty that has done it and He will be glorified.

Isaiah 9:8

Adonai sent a word to Ya'akov, and it has fallen on Isra'el.

This verse speaks of the fact that this prophecy of Yeshua Messiah was given to the people of Israel but it was not going to be received by them.

Isaiah 9:9 & 10

All the people know it, Efrayim and the inhabitants of Shomron. But they say in pride, in the arrogance of their hearts, "The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with cut stone; the sycamore-fig trees have been chopped down, but we will replace them with cedars."

The people of the northern kingdom of Israel, those that lived in Samaria its capitol had turned away from following the ways of God and had the attitude that their ways of thinking were better than God's. They said that after the judgement that God was bringing, they would come out better than they started and this speaks of their attitude that there were no consequences for disobedience to God. Many times we may not be actually be saying or thinking that our ways are better but, when we try our ways of doing things instead of God's way, our actions demonstrate the same attitude of pride that was on display in Israel.

Isaiah 9:11 & 12

So ADONAI has raised up Retzin's foes against him and spurred on his enemies - Aram from the east, P'lishtim from the west; and they devour Isra'el with an open mouth. Even after all this, his anger remains, his upraised hand still threatens.

God has brought enemies victory over Israel and yet he is still angry with his people. We have been so focused on the fact that God is love that many believers do not even understand that God is also a jealous God. If it takes bringing enemies against you to get you back on track with him, then, that is what he will do. We also see that, even in the midst of this judgement, God has his hand out and is willing to accept the repentance of the people.

Isaiah 9:13

Yet the people do not turn to the one striking them, they don't seek ADONAI-Tzva'ot.

The purpose of the judgment that was brought on God's people was to bring them to repentance but Israel did not do so as they were not interested in having a relationship with God. Repentance is where our will is broken and our minds are brought into agreement with what God says is right. This leads to a changing of direction from our path to his path. It was this way throughout the Old Testament and it is the same for us today. Does it seem like God is against you? If that is the case, then we need to examine our lives to see if this repentance has happened and we are indeed following God's will for our lives.

Isaiah 9:14 & 15

Therefore ADONAI will cut off Isra'el's head and tail, palm frond and reed in a single day. The old and the honored are the head, while prophets teaching lies are the tail.

The leaders of Israel had led the people of God in the wrong direction. Even after God's correction they did not tell the people to repent and turn to God. Therefore, God says that He will remove them from their positions. That same type of responsibility applies to Christian leaders today in that, if they are leading God's people astray, God will remove them from their office in due time. It may be from a scandal which has happened many times recently or it could simply be God calling them home but either way they will be removed from their positions.

Isaiah 9:16

For those leading this people lead them astray, and those led by them are destroyed.

We see from this verse that not all of the blame is placed on the leaders. Those that follow them also receive blame and judgment. That is why it is important for us to read and study God's word and let the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts because, in the end, we are all responsible for our own walk with the Lord.

Isaiah 9:17

Therefore Adonai takes no joy in their young men and has no compassion on their orphans and widows; for everyone is ungodly and does evil, every mouth speaks foolishly. Even after all this, his anger remains, his upraised hand still threatens.

Because of their rebellion, God had basically let go of the people which opened them up to attack from the enemy and he was not going to intervene on their behalf. This verse speaks to the fact that all of the people had turned away from the things of God and so his wrath was poured out on them but still he is willing to accept their repentance. Today, we pretty much ignore the fact that God is going to pour out his wrath on those that turn their back on his offer of grace and mercy (see Revelation 16). But, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, it is coming soon.

Isaiah 9:18

For wickedness burns like fire, it devours briars and thorns; it sets the forest underbrush ablaze, with clouds of smoke whirling upward.

Briers, thorns, and weeds are usually symbols of sin and disobedience in the Bible. This verse speaks to the fact that all who walk in those ways will be consumed in the fire of God's wrath and this wrath demonstrates the majesty of God.

Isaiah 9:19

The anger of ADONAI-Tzva'ot is burning up the land; the people, too, are fuel for the fire - no one spares even his brother.

In Genesis chapter six, God poured out His wrath in the form of a flood. This time, it will be in the form of fire as the fourth angel pours out his bowl of wrath (see Revelation 16:8 & 9). We see that part of what is fueling this fire of judgement is the fact that people no longer love each other as God commanded.

Isaiah 9:20

The one on the right grabs but stays hungry, the one on the left eats but is unfilled. Everyone devours his own arm's flesh

This verse speaks of the emptiness and frustration in a time to come in which things get so bad that the people resort to eating human flesh. At first, we may say that this could never happen but Revelation 13 speaks of a time when people cannot buy food unless they worship the beast. When people get desperate, they do desperate things. For those of us who are in Messiah, we will not be here to worry about this but we need to warn those that are not saved that it is coming.

Isaiah 9:21

M'nasheh devours Efrayim; and Efrayim, M'nasheh; while together they oppose Y'hudah. Even after all this, his anger remains, his upraised hand still threatens.

This verse refers to the fact that the next generation (of Isaiah's day) should have been looking for the coming of the Messiah but they were attacking their brother (Judah). Even as this was happening, God was still willing to accept their repentance.

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