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Messiah, Prince of Peace (9:1-7)
The southern kingdom under Ahaz was about to enter a time of increasing distress and darkness (see 8:21-22). The northern kingdom was about to be attacked by Assyria, and the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali in the far north Galilean region were about to be taken into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). Yet out of this darkness and from this conquered northern area will come the great deliverer, the Messiah, to lead his people to victory and to introduce an era of light, joy and peace. Oppressors will be overthrown and war will be banished (9:1-5).
This Messiah is the true Immanuel, ‘God with us’, and he was pictured in the child born in Ahaz’s day. The sign of Immanuel was given not merely to Ahaz personally, but to Ahaz as representative of the dynasty of David. Now the eternal God comes to dwell among humankind in the person of Jesus Christ, the mighty Messiah-King, the great descendant of David, who brings everlasting peace and rules with justice for ever (6-7; cf. 7:13-14; Matthew 1:21-23; Matthew 2:2).
The fall of Israel (9:8-10:4)
Isaiah now describes the situation in the northern kingdom Israel, which becomes weakened by enemy attacks and finally is conquered by Assyria. The northerners refuse to acknowledge that God is the one who has brought this catastrophe upon them. They make a show of self-assurance by saying they will rebuild, bigger and better, whatever their enemies have destroyed (8-12).
Because the people refuse to repent, God will punish them further. His purpose is to remove the whole nation from the land (13-14). Sin dominates in every level of Israel’s society, from civil and religious leaders to the common people. Therefore, all must fall under God’s judgment (15-17).
As a fire destroys a forest, so the people’s wickedness has destroyed their nation. This catastrophe has been sent by God, as a punishment on the people for their sins (18-19). They are greedy and jealous, and attack each other like a lot of wild animals (20-21). Special blame is placed on the judges and civil leaders who, through injustice and corruption, have oppressed the people while making themselves rich. But their wealth will not save them when God sends a foreign army to destroy the nation and take its survivors captive (10:1-4).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Isaiah 9". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30