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).
Yesterday I’d begun a multi-part series looking at this wonderful verse of scripture. I’d posted some comments 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. We’d looked at the first part of the verse, ‘For unto us a child is born’.
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 – Prince of Peace
Here’s more. Barnes’ Notes-
A son – This word does not differ materially from the word translated child. In the future scenes, as they passed before the mind of the prophet, he saw the child, the son that was to be born, and described him as he appeared to his view – as a child. Fixing the eye on him, he proceeds at once to designate his character by stating the appropriate names which he would bear.
Is given – The Messiah is often represented as having been given, or sent; or as the rich gift of God; the note at Acts 4:12; John 3:16; Ephesians 1:22; John 17:4. The Messiah was pre-eminently the gift of the God of love. Man had no claim on him, and God voluntarily gave his Son to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
And the government shall be upon his shoulder – The sense of this passage is, that he shall rule, or that the government shall be vested in him. Various interpretations have, however, been given of the phrase ‘upon his shoulder.’ Some have supposed, that it means simply he shall sustain the government, as the shoulder is that by which we uphold any thing. Pliny and Cicero thus use the phrase; see Rosenmuller. Others, that it means that he should wear the royal purple from a child. – Grotius. Lowth supposes that it refers to the ensign of government – the scepter, the sword, the keys, or the like, that were borne upon the shoulder, or suspended from it; see the note at Isaiah 22:22. It is evident, from this latter place, that some ensign of office was usually borne upon the shoulder. The sense is, that he should be a king, and under this character the Messiah is often predicted.