New Defender's Study Bible Notes
9:1 Galilee. This is the first indication that the region of Galilee, in Isaiah’s time a part of the northern kingdom that was so “afflicted” by the Assyrians, would eventually be the first area in Immanuel’s land to see “a great light” (Isaiah 9:2) when Immanuel would begin His preaching ministry (Matthew 4:12-17).
9:2 great light. This prophecy was fulfilled, at least in part, when Jesus—the Light of the world—ministered in Galilee. Isaiah 9:1-2 is quoted with this application in Matthew 4:14-16.
9:3 not increased the joy. Because it seems more compatible with the general tone of the passage, many translators and commentators (ancient and modern) have eliminated the word “not.” However, the very fact that “not” seems so incompatible would make it unlikely that any copyist would (either intentionally or accidentally) insert the word into the passage. Thus, it is probably correct as it stands here. The meaning seems to be that, even though God had greatly multiplied the nation, as promised to Abraham (Genesis 22:17), there had been no increase in true joy among the people. Though they had been blessed and made free physically, they were still in bondage spiritually (see Isaiah 9:8-21).
9:6 child is born. This is truly one of the most amazing prophecies ever given. No doubt referring back to the promised virgin-born Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14), the child born is the human Jesus, born as a babe, while the Son given is the eternally begotten Second Person of the Godhead united in the glorious hypostatic union—God with us!
9:6 Wonderful, Counsellor. It is probable that the first name of His fourfold Name, paralleling the adjective/noun structure of the other three, is “Wonderful Counsellor.” The testimony, even of His enemies, was that “never man spake like this man” (John 7:46).
9:6 everlasting Father. The question might arise as to how the Son could also be “The everlasting Father.” Actually, this phrase could also be translated “Father of Eternity,” reminding us that the eternal Son was the Creator of Time, as well as Space and Matter and, in fact, all things (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). In the unfathomable, yet glorious mystery of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus noted also that “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
9:6 Prince of peace. “Prince of peace” indicates He is the very first leader who will bring true peace to the world. Melchizedek (who was either the preincarnate Christ or at least a type of Christ) is called “King of Salem,” which means “King of Peace” (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:2). He is the great Peacemaker (Matthew 5:9), who “made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20).
9:7 increase. Reigning eternally, Christ and His glorified saints will continue to extend His domain, by exploration, development, and utilization, throughout His infinite creation—forever. See notes on Revelation 22:3.
9:7 throne of David. Although His kingdom will be of unlimited extent, its center will be in the New Jerusalem, on the throne of David, as promised to Mary before He was born (note Luke 1:32,33; also see Ezekiel 37:25).
9:7 zeal of the LORD. This magnificent kingdom can never be achieved by human effort, but only by the “zeal of the LORD of hosts.”
9:12 stretched out still. Note the repetition of this phrase in verses 17 and 21—also in Isaiah 5:25 and 10:4. The raising of God’s hand in anger and judgment must inevitably follow unrepented rebellion and sin.