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 – 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. We’d looked at the first part of the verse, ‘For unto us a child is born’, and part 2, ‘a son is given,’ and part 3, ‘and the government shall be on His shoulder’.
his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor…
Wonderful – pele’. This word is derived from the verb pâlâ’, to separate, to distinguish, or to make great. It is applied usually to anything that is great or wonderful, as a miracle; Exodus 15:2; Lamentations 1:9; Daniel 12:6. It is applied here to denote the unusual and remarkable assemblage of qualities that distinguished the Messiah. Those are specified more particularly in the other part of the verse; such an assemblage of qualities as to make proper the names Mighty God, etc. ‘The proper idea of the word,’ says Hengstenberg, ‘is miraculous. It imports that the personage here referred to, in his being and in his works, will be exalted above the ordinary course of nature, and that his whole manifestation will be a miracle.’ Yet it seems to me, that the proper idea of the word is not that of miraculous. It is rather that which is separated from the ordinary course of events, and which is suited to excite amazement, wonder, and admiration, whether it be miraculous or not.
This will be apparent if the following places are examined, where the word occurs in various forms. It is rendered marvelous, Psalm 118:23; Psalm 139:14; Psalm 98:1; Job 5:9; wonderful, 2 Samuel 1:26; Psalm 139:14; Proverbs 30:18; Job 42:3; Psalm 72:18; Psalm 86:10; hidden, Deuteronomy 30:2; things too high, Psalm 131:1; miracles, Judges 6:13; Exodus 15:2; Psalm 77:14; Psalm 88:10; Psalm 89:5; the word is translated wonders, in the sense of miracles, in several places; and hard, Deuteronomy 17:8; Jeremiah 32:17. From these passages, it is clear that it may denote that which is miraculous, but that this idea is not necessarily connected with it. Anything which is suited to excite wonder and amazement, from any cause, will correspond with the sense of the Hebrew word. It is a word which expresses with surprising accuracy everything in relation to the Redeemer. For the Messiah was wonderful in all things. It was wonderful love by which God gave him, and by which he came; the manner of his birth was wonderful; his humility, his self-denial, his sorrows were wonderful; his mighty works were wonderful; his dying agonies were wonderful; and his resurrection, his ascension, were all suited to excite admiration and wonder.
Counsellor – This word has been sometimes joined with ‘wonderful,’ as if designed to qualify it thus – “wonderful counselor;” but it expresses a distinct attribute, or quality. The name “counselor” here, denotes one of honorable rank; one who is suited to stand near princes and kings as their adviser. It is expressive of great wisdom, and of qualifications to guide and direct the human race.
Our Wonderful Counselor, personification of all-wisdom, guidance, and counsel, stands ready to hear you and me in prayer. Bring your troubles to Him, bring your worries to wisdom personified. Praise His glorious name, one of which is Wonderful.