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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Isaiah 9

Verses 1-7

ISAIAH - CHAPTER 9

DARKNESS BANISHED BY "THE LIGHT OF ISRAEL"

(A Message of Hope After Judgment)

Verse 1-7: LIGHT OUT OR DARKNESS,

1. Here is a far-reaching ray of hope: Israel’s gloom shall be forever banished.

2. In former times God brought the land of Zebulun and Naphtali into humiliation - a light affliction in comparison with their sin, (2 Kings 15:20; 2 Chronicles 16:4).

3. In the latter time, however, "Galilee of the nations" (from which the Canaanites were not exterminated, Judges 1:30-33) is made glorious; upon those who walked in darkness, and dwelt in the very shadow of death, the "Light of the world" has shined, (Matthew 4:12-16).

4. To walk "in the light of the Lord" is to know the joy of His presence - the joy of growth, prosperity and victory over one’s enemies, (Verse 3; Isaiah 2:5; 1 John 1:7; Isaiah 26:15; Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 65:14; Isaiah 65:18-19; 1 Samuel 30:16).

5. As obviously as the Lord gave victory to Gideon, in the day of Midian, so will He ultimately break the yoke of Israel’s burden, the staff of his shoulder and the rod of his oppressors, (Verse 4; Judges 7:16-25; Isaiah 10:26-27; Isaiah 14:25; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 54:14).

6. Then shall warfare cease; the instruments of warfare shall be burned and a righteous government established such as this world has never known, (Verse 5; Isaiah 2:4; cf. Psalms 46:9-10; Zechariah 9:9-10).

7. As a basis for such hope, the prophet forsees the birth of a unique man-child (who will be more than a man) with kingly authority, (Isaiah 11:1-2; Isaiah 53:2; Micah 5:2; Luke 2:4; Luke 2:11; John 1:1-2; John 1:14; Psalms 2:6-12).

8. To the coming One is given a series of significant, divine titles:

a. "Wonderful Counsellor" - whose purposes are unfathomably deep, (Is 28:29; comp. 1 Peter 1:12).

b. "Mighty God" - whose power enables Him to accomplish His purposes, (Isaiah 10:21; Deuteronomy 10:17; Nehemiah 9:32; cf. Romans 1:4; Matthew 28:18).

c. "Father of the Ages"’- the Maker of all things, (Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8; comp. John 1:1-2; Colossians 1:16-18).

d. "Prince of Peace", (Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 26:12; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 54:10; Isaiah 66:12; Psalms 72:3; Psalms 72:7).

9. His shall be a peaceable rule, upheld by justice and righteousness, from the re-established throne of David (Isaiah 11:4-5; Isaiah 32:1; Isaiah 42:3-4; Isaiah 63:1; Isaiah 16:5); and of His universal kingdom there will be no end, (Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13-14; Daniel 7:27; Micah 4:7; Revelation 11:15).

10. This will be accomplished by "the zeal of the LORD of Hosts", (comp. Isaiah 37:32; Isaiah 59:17; Isaiah 37:32).

Verses 8-12

1. Let it be understood that this is directed to the NORTHERN kingdom (composed of 10 tribes) - Jacob, Israel, Ephraim, Samaria.

2. It is a rebuke of their attitude when a part of their territory has been wrested from them by Tiglath-Pileser, (2 Kings 15:29).

a. That attitude is called "pride and stoutness of heart". (Isaiah 46:12; Isaiah 48:4-5; Psalms 76:5; Zechariah 7:11-12; Malachi 3:13).

b. "The bricks are fallen", they say, "but we will (re) build with hewn stones" - better than ever!

3. Thus, the Lord has set the adversaries of Rezin (king of Israel) against him, and has stirred his enemies to unite their efforts toward his defeat - Syria in front and the Philistine behind; together they will devour him with open mouth, . (comp. Psalms 79:5-7; Jeremiah 10:25).

4. The anger of the Lord is not yet turned away from this proud and rebellious nation, "but His hand is stretched out still"; they have not learned to fear Him.

Verses 13-17

Verse 13-17: ISRAEL’S LEADERS TAKEN AWAY

1. In spite of the hand of God’s judgment against them, the people of Israel have not turned to Him, (Jeremiah 5:3; Hosea 7:8-10) - nor even sought the Lord of Hosts, (comp. Isaiah 31:1; Hosea 3:4-5).

2. So, the Lord has cut off from Israel both "head and tail" (her respected leaders and lying prophets) in a single day, (Isaiah 3:1-3; Isaiah 28:15; Isaiah 30:9; Jeremiah 23:14; Jeremiah 23:32; comp. Isaiah 19:15; Revelation 18:8).

3. The false leaders have caused the people to err (comp. Amos 2:4); thus, those whom they "call blessed" are swallowed up, (comp. Isaiah 3:12; Matthew 15:14; Matthew 23:16).

4. The Lord has no joy in their young men; nor will he show compassion toward the fatherless and widows of Israel, (Jeremiah 18:21; Amos 4:10); they are ALL hypocritical evil-doers whose mouths are filled with villany, (comp. Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 14:20; Isaiah 31:2; Micah 7:2; Matthew 12:34).

5. The Lord’s anger is still not turned away, "but His hand is stretched out still!"

Verses 18-21

Verse 18-21: THE SAD EFFECTS OF SIN

1. Verse 18 pictures the burning anger of the Lord, by which the. wicked are devoured, (Isaiah 1:7; Nahum 1:9-10; Malachi 4:1).

2. It is through the wrath of "the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 10:6) that:

a. The land is darkened - burned and left desolate, (Joel 2:3).

b. The people are as fuel for the fire, (Isaiah 1:31; Isaiah 34:6).

c. And in this situation "no man spares his brother"; each considers only himself, (Micah 7:2; Micah 7:6; Jeremiah 5:26).

3. There is no satisfaction or peace for such a rebellious people; but perpetual trouble so long as their stubbornness persists. God will send both famine and warfare, in an effort to turn them back to Himself.

4. Still, the Lord’s anger against them is not assuaged; "but His hand is stretched out still".

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/isaiah-9.html. 1985.