Faithlife Corporation

Unto Us A Child is Born

Notes & Transcripts

Scripture: Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given ... and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

These words were written by the prophet Isaiah more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus. As far as I’m concerned, that simple fact is sufficient proof that the Bible is God’s word. Some people try to claim that the Old Testament prophecies are actually just stories, written after the events to make it seem like God had revealed it beforehand. While I totally reject that idea, it simply doesn’t arise in relation to this verse. Seven hundred years! This is no fabrication, this is the revealed word of God spoken through Isaiah.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given ... and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Some people try to claim that these words merely predicted the birth of another one of Israel’s kings, a good king to replace the evil Ahaz who reigned at the time. But as I will show in a moment, this is totally impossible.

It is appropriate to read these words at Christmas because they were clearly fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son. No one in the history of the world comes even close to being worthy of the name given in this verse. This is the revealed word of God spoken through Isaiah.

The Name in detail

In Hebrew there are 8 words in this Name, arranged in pairs. In each pair there is one word that speaks of something metaphysical, something divine, something about the character of this Son who was to be given; and the other word is more functional, speaking of what this person would do, what his role would be.

They are:

WONDERFUL /Counsellor
GOD Mighty/Hero
Prince /PEACE

Let’s work through these words one by one to uncover what they really mean.

1. Wonderful Counsellor


A. Wonderful  (hbrw – pele)

What do you think of when you read this word “wonderful”?

For all you soccer fans, the root word in Hebrew is pele.

“Pele” is used in Ps 78:12 which says that “God did wonders in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt”. It means there that God is a doer of miracles, of marvellous, wonderful things that are almost beyond understanding and are certainly beyond mere human ability.

It is also used in Judges 13:18 where it does mean “incomprehensible” or “beyond understanding”. In that verse it is talking about God.  (And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?”)

Because other parts of the Bible say that God is pele, is wonderful, there is no doubt that when Isaiah calls this promised Child pele he means to say that he was divine, that this would be God Himself coming in the form of a child. In fact, the coming of the child would be the greatest wonder of them all, God’s greatest act of salvation.

b) Counsellor

What do you think of with the word “counsellor”?

Isaiah 11:2 - speaking of the new king that would arise from “the stump of Jesse” (King David’s father), says that the spirit of the Lord will rest upon him, “the Spirit of counsel and of power”.

Micah 4:9 - another verse that links the word “counsellor” with the king.

Counsel speaks of that perfect wisdom that enables the king to make right decisions in leading the people. It refers to perfect understanding of the will of God, knowing exactly what is right and what God’s purposes are.

Kings have around them a team of counsellors, advising them about the different aspects of their kingdom. But, the Wonderful Counsellor of Isaiah’s prophecy has no need of a team of advisers. He is able in Himself to know what is right and to make right decisions without resort to a second opinion. Later on in his book, Isaiah explicitly says that these are characteristics of God Himself:

Isa 28:29 - “All this comes from the Lord Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.”

So, to call the promised child “wonderful counsellor” is a clear statement of deity, that this child is God. He is the perfect king for His people because He is not merely another human king, but a wonder of a king, perfect in wisdom and knowledge, able to lead and guide his people with perfect justice and truth.

2. Mighty God

A.   Mighty
What comes to mind when you hear someone described as “mighty”?

Literally, the root word used here is gibbor”, which means “hero”, a doer of great things, of mighty acts done for someone else that they couldn’t do for themselves.

Has anyone driven down the HWY 410 from Trenton to Toronto? What do they now call that strip of highway. It is called the Highway of Heroes. They are men and women who have given their lives in service to others, doing for others what they could not do for themselves. Deeds worthy of commemoration and worthy of being honored as special, as heroes.

In the Bible, think of Moses leading the people out of Egypt; or Joshua leading them against Jericho into the promised land,; or young David, when he took on Goliath who had dominated over the armies of King Saul for so long. Slaying that giant was a mighty act, a heroic act of salvation for the people at that time.

The promised child, says Isaiah, will be mighty. He will do for others what they cannot do for themselves to bring deliverance.

B.   GOD

The simplest Hebrew word for God is “El”. It is the word that is used to refer to the one true God, the Creator, the Supreme Being. It is used in conjunction with other words to give God a variety of more specific names such as “El Shaddei” or “God Almighty”. It is never used of a man – in fact it is often used as the opposite to the word “man”, eg “God is not a man that he should lie”.(Num 23:19)

Here, it is combined with the word “gibbor”, hero. In giving the child this name, Isaiah is describing him as a hero who is far more than Moses or Joshua or David; he is calling him a divine hero, a God who does heroic acts. This is the God of salvation. Isaiah says in 10:21, just a chapter and a half later, when talking about Israel returning from captivity in Babylon:

“A remnant will return, will return to the Mighty God.”

Think of Christ, healing the blind, the lame, the sick; think of Christ calling Lazarus from the tomb; think of Christ, rising triumphantly from the grave, victorious over sin and death! Is there a greater hero than the Lord Jesus Christ? He is El Gibbor, the Mighty God.

3 Everlasting Father

A.   Everlasting
This word speaks about forever. It means in perpetuity, with no ending, but also no beginning.

It is said of God that He “lives forever” – (Isaiah 57:15). Literally it means that He lives in the forever, He “inhabits eternity”. He is not caught up in or restricted by time as we are. Therefore, He does not change; He does not get older or slower or frail; nor does He need to mature, or grow or learn. He is the way He is, forever. Without beginning or end.
Isaiah says that the promised child is everlasting. Think about how astounding that statement really is. A child, born into the world, is yet called “everlasting”. This child will not come into existence when he is born, for he is everlasting -no ending, no beginning. Could Isaiah say any more plainly that this child is God incarnate, God become a child?

B.   Father
The best things about a good father include: compassion, loving care, protection, guidance, support, encouragement. Throughout the Bible God is called “Father”.

Ps 103:13“as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”
Isa 63:16You, O Lord, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name”

Isaiah’s prophecy boldly links these two names in relation to the promised child, saying that he is forever a father like that to his people. He is the Everlasting Father.

4. Prince of Peace

What a magnificent and emphatic exclamation mark this name is in Isaiah’s prophecy! Remember that it was spoken to a people who were at war and whose king did was not handling the situation well. The people of God were under threat, both from enemy nations and also from the ungodliness of their own leader, Ahaz.

That is why, at the end of Isaiah 8, God’s people at the time are said to “see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom.” To them is the promise that they will see a great light, that their warfare will end because “unto us a child is born” and his name will be PRINCE of PEACE!

He is Prince of peace – because his kingdom will be one of peace. It won’t be established by fighting a war, but by bringing peace; it won’t be maintained by keeping an army to prevent enemies attacking, but will be a kingdom that He upholds in peace.

What did Jesus say to Pilate?

Jn 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were my servants would fight to prevent my arrest …. {but} my kingdom is from another place.”

He is Prince of peace – because the cause of war, human sinfulness and rebellion against God, will be dealt with. Later in Isaiah we read about one who will suffer for the sins of God’s people, who will be crushed because our wrong doing is laid upon him, who will be punished in our place. The end result of all this – we will have peace. When we are made right with God through putting our faith in Jesus, we have peace – a peace that passes all understanding.


My friends, the people who originally heard this message were encouraged to rejoice before God like people about to reap a great harvest. The announcement, 2700 odd years ago, that Christmas would one day arrive and with it the “Child” was a great cause for celebration.

We, too, can celebrate with them. We too can say that “unto US a child is born, unto US a Son is given ..” and we too can know him by the fourfold Name: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.

What was it the Angel said to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their sheep by night?

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men./ [1]/

Be in no doubt this Christmas, that the child we remember is nothing less than God Himself, come to earth as human baby, in order to fulfil these and other great promises.

For unto to you is born this day….

The Christ child, the Son of God was born “unto you”

He came that you might receive the hope and joy of God’s promised salvation and deliverance. 

“For God so loved that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have “everlasting” life.”

Have you received God’s Christmas gift?

Have  you received His Son?

If not, why not receive him today?


[1] The Holy Bible : King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995, S. Lk 2:10-14

See the rest →
Get this media plus thousands more when you start a free trial.
Get started for FREE
See the rest →