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: Isaiah 9:6, the Everlasting Father  ( 2510 )
AndrewG
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« : January 04, 2009, 03:45:38 PM »

On behalf of Sherlene

This is an extract from Identifying the Unknown God (updated version, not available on the website at this stage). This is a draft version of the update of Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6 - The Mighty God; The Everlasting Father
Isaiah 9: 6
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."

Please note that even the King James Version does not state that the Messiah bore the title of the Almighty God; it is the mighty God.

It is important to realise that the translators of the King James Version of the Bible were Trinitarian in belief and it is difficult to ignore the fact that this doctrinal persuasion did not influence their choice of words in translating this verse.

A literal transliteration appears in the Concordance Literal Translation which renders the text in the following manner:

“For a Boy is born to us; a Son is given to us, and the chieftainship shall come to be on His shoulder, and His name is called “Marvelous." Counsel to the master shall He bring, to the chief of the future, welfare.”

Young’s Literal Version renders it this way:
“For a Child hath been born to us, A Son hath been given to us, And the princely power is on his shoulder, And He doth call his name Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.”

Adam Clark’s Commentary on the Bible states in regard to Isaiah 9:6:
The everlasting Father- "The Father of the everlasting age"] Or
Abi ad, the Father of eternity. The Septuagint have
????????????????????, "the Messenger of the Great Counsel."

This text is said to support the doctrine of the trinity, however, this phrase ‘the everlasting father’ is not an attempt to declare that Jesus is His Father or that Jesus is the trinity.

Instead, Isaiah outlines certain characteristics which will identify the Messiah –
• His character;
• the nature of His mission;
• who authorised the mission; and
• the outcome of the mission.

In Hebrew culture 'character' is strongly linked with a name (Strong’s Hebrew Concordance # 8034: Name - 8034 shem - a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character).


Isaiah declares:
• the Messiah's character/name is “Marvellous” (ie. amazing, incredible, miraculous; see Strong's Hebrew Concordance, 6382, pele - wonderful).
• the Messiah's mission is authorised by His Father (i.e.Christ will be a Messenger for the Great Counsel that was held in heaven between only two divine beings (Zachariah 6:13)
• the Messiah would implement the plan of salvation which was designed in the heavenly Council of Peace between two divine beings (Zachariah 6:13) wink.gif; and
• the results of the Messiah’s mission as Chief or the Future or Prince of Peace, would ensure welfare/peace/safety.

Isaiah’s prophecy echoes the promise of blessing through Abraham, “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). It was through Abraham’s ‘seed’ or descendents that the Messiah would be born bringing blessings (peace, welfare) to the earth.

If the translation in the KJV is retained to read that the Messiah is the Everlasting Father then it can only be in the sense that Isaiah (a Jew), explains and that is certainly not in a trinitarian understanding. It must be understood in Jewish theology, not in post -4th century Christian terms.

The Everlasting Father = The government shall be upon His shoulder :
When will the government be upon the shoulder of Christ?

1 Corinthians 15:24
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

After Christ’s High Priest ministry is completed (when sin and death are no more in existence), then Christ enters His ministry as King. At the beginning of His kingly ministry - at this stage of His ministry, He shall be given the responsibility of government by the Father.

In Isaiah 9:6, the author links government with fathership – using the expressions "the everlasting father" and the "government shall be upon His shoulder."

Isaiah uses similar language and links both government and fathership again in Isaiah 22:20, 21

For example, Eliakim was given authority to govern Judah. The Bible states that Eliakim, as the ruler, became a spiritual father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Isaiah 22:20, 21 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah."

It is in a similar manner that Isaiah 9:6 is referring to the Messiah as being a father to the children of His kingdom. After the destruction of evil, Christ becomes the new Governor or Ruler and is installed with the NAME (i.e. becomes characterised) as the “everlasting father” to His subjects.

As the great truth of the 1888 message, Christ became the new representative ('the second Adam' - Romans 5) of the Human race when He was incarnated. After the self-destruction of evil, Christ takes back His rightful position as Governor or Ruler and is installed with the NAME, (i.e. title, honour, character) as the “everlasting father” to His subjects..

Could it be that the Roman Catholic Church has imitated this concept of joining government or authority, by calling their leaders/priests “father?”

The Everlasting Father – the Counsel of Peace

The expression “the everlasting father,” is not the best rendering of the Hebrew. Literally, the expression is transliterated, “Chief of the Future” or “Father of Eternity.” It does not convey the idea that the Messiah – the Son of God- is also His Father.

According to Adam Clark’s Commentary on the Bible, the Septuagint is better translated as “the Messenger of the Great Counsel” instead of “the Everlasting Father.” “The Septuagint have megal?s boul?s angelos, "the Messenger of the Great Counsel."

Also as previously noted, this rendering corresponds to the statement in Zechariah where the counsel of peace is shown to have been between only two Divine Beings.

Zechariah 6:13
“Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (not between the trio).

Even heH1931 shall buildH1129 (H853) the templeH1964 of the LORD;H3068 and heH1931 shall bearH5375 the glory,H1935 and shall sitH3427 and ruleH4910 uponH5921 his throne;H3678 and he shall beH1961 a priestH3548 uponH5921 his throne:H3678 and the counselH6098 of peaceH7965 shall beH1961 betweenH996 them both.H8147

Zechariah uses the same words “counsel” and “peace” as found in Isaiah 9:6, which are translated as Counsellor and Peace (in the King James Version)

The counsel of peace was between two divine beings only. (i.e. the Father and Son).

Zechariah acknowledges the Messiah’s pre-existence and involvement in the Great Counsel of Peace of which Isaiah spoke.

If it is accepted that the expression “the everlasting Father” is the correct interpretation, instead of The Messenger of the Great Council or the Father of Eternity, or Chief of the Future, then it is interesting to note the different usage of the word “everlasting” in the Bible.

Hebrew for “Everlasting”
At least two Hebrew words are translated in the King James Version as “everlasting.” These words have been mistakenly understood ONLY to mean “without beginning and without ending” in our Westernised thinking, but the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon reveals that the Hebrew language has much wider meanings and can mean 'long lasting, continuous existence; forever from a certain point into the future.' Habakkuk 3:6 uses both Hebrew words for “everlasting.”

Habakkuk 3:6
6He stood <05975> (8804), and measured <04128> (8787) the earth <0776>: he beheld <07200> (8804), and drove asunder <05425> (8686) the nations <01471>; and the everlasting <05703> mountains <02042> were scattered <06327> (8691), the perpetual <05769> hills <01389> did bow <07817> (8804): his ways <01979> are everlasting <05769>


1. The word “ed” #5703 – everlasting is applied to mountains.
2. The word “eulm” #5769 – everlasting -eulm ` owlam or elm ` olam

Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Lexicon
“everlasting” –
#5703 ed ` ad ad from <05710>; ; n m AV-ever 41, everlasting 2, end 1, eternity 1, ever + <05769> 1, evermore 1, old 1, perpetually 1; 49

1) perpetuity, for ever, continuing future
1a) ancient (of past time)
1b) for ever (of future time)
1b1) of continuous existence
1c) for ever (of God's existence)

#5769 – everlasting -eulm ` owlam or elm ` olam from <05956>; ; n m
AV-ever 272, everlasting 63, old 22, perpetual 22, evermore 15, never 13, time 6, ancient 5, world 4, always 3, alway 2, long 2, more 2, never + <0408> 2, misc 6; 439

1) long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world
1a) ancient time, long time (of past)
1b) (of future)
1b1) for ever, always
1b2) continuous existence, perpetual
1b3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

According the massive evidence in the Bible, Christ is everlasting - immortal, but He was not without beginning. He Himself proclaims that, “As the Father hath life in Himself, so He hath given to the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26) and that He came out from His Father (Prov 22:8-30; 30:4 Ps 2:7-12; Heb 1:1-10).

Christ is the Father of His Children

Isaiah also refers to our Redeemer – Christ, and His children.

Isaiah 63:16
“For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.”

Isaiah 8: 18
“Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.”

Paul also quotes Isaiah 8:18 when in reference to Christ, he says in Hebrews 2:11 –13
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren…. I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.”

Isaiah describes the Son as a father to the inhabitants of the earth. The Father gave His Son authority to govern. The Son is a father to us - Christ calls us his children.

The Legal Concept
Adam had stood as father at the head of the human race and he had to accept the responsibility for placing the whole human race in rebellion against God.

Romans 5:19
“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Christ, as the second Adam, became, by his incarnation, the new father of the human race and has assumed the responsibility for the salvation of humanity.

Christ Claims Fathership of Israel

Exodus 4:22
And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

Hosea 11:1
“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”

1 Chronicles 28:6
“And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.”

Ellen White states in the Kress Collection p 126, 4 July (1900)
“All communication from heaven to earth since Adam’s fall has come through Christ.”

The Son of God spoke to Moses and claimed the Israelites as His son. This proclamation of the Son of God, by His own statement, placed Him in the position of being a Father to Israel, His adopted children.

In The Persons of God, (1996) p 241, author Rachel Cory-Kuehl suggests, “’Christ is our ‘Everlasting Father’ (Isa. 9:6) but God is His Father (Prov 8:22-30, 2 John 1:3). He is our ‘Mighty God,’ but THE Father is ‘His God’ (Eph. 1:17, Rev. 3:12, Rev 1:6). We might say that Christ is our Father and God is our Grand Father.” (end of reference: Cory-Kuehl)

Christ was the only begotten Son of God by inheritance, however repentant members of the human race are the “adopted” sons and daughters of God.

Romans 8:15
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. “

Galatians 4:5
“To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

Ephesians 1:5
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. “

So Christ is our everlasting father, the messenger from the counsel of peace, the Mighty Divine Being who is equal to God His Father in all of the divine attributes. The Son of God accepts the protective position of a father to His human family.

From the other writings of Isaiah and also the other Bible texts just studied, it can be seen that Isaiah 9:6 does not teach that Christ is a member of a trinity or a twin-ity, but that Christ was, in His pre-incarnate form, a Divine Being, the true Son of the Living God.

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