To begin with, there are differing interpretations of Isaiah 9:6 among Jewish and Christian scholars. Jewish scholars do not believe it refers to Jesus. However, I am going to explain this verse within the Christian understanding. If we accept it as referring to Jesus, then it doesn’t align with Him when we compare the verse to the Christian concept of Jesus.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty El, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 uses the word ‘El,’ and it’s not capitalized but rather in lowercase ‘g,’ which is known as ‘god.’ therefore, within the context of the verse, it does not refer to one God. Nevertheless, in this verse, it states that a child is given to us, indicating a separation between God and the child. When ‘El’ is employed, it conveys the child as a mighty and respected messenger, as the word ‘El’ can also refer to any messenger. Continuing with the verse, it mentions The phrase “Everlasting” typically implies continuous existence until the end of the world because it’s not said to be eternal. This term usually describes someone alive before the world’s end, signifying a prolonged duration without a specific end point but not necessarily an existence beyond time. However, in Christianity, Jesus is sometimes considered everlasting, but according to Christian belief, he experienced death and was subsequently resurrected by God, so he is no longer everlasting in the same sense. In contrast, in Islam, the crucifixion of Jesus is not accepted, and the term “everlasting” aligns more closely with Islamic belief. The word “everlasting” can have various interpretations, but Christians often use this phrase, even though it doesn’t perfectly match their belief due to Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is important to note that this distinction highlights the difference between “everlasting,” which suggests a prolonged existence within time, and “eternal,” which implies an existence beyond the constraints of time and is often associated with divine or timeless qualities.
Reference: Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy)
Reference: Where Are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?
He will reign on David’s throne
The phrase ‘The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this’ means that God will make this happen, not the child himself. It shows that God’s determination and power will ensure the establishment of this righteous rule. The enduring nature of the message in Isaiah 9:6 emphasizes that the fulfillment of the prophecy, including the establishment of a kingdom marked by justice and righteousness, is because of God’s will and determination, often called ‘The zeal of the LORD Almighty.’ This phrase highlights the unwavering commitment and divine purpose behind the message. However, we know that Jesus didn’t rule on David’s throne because the Jewish people rejected him. Today, the kingdom of David is predominantly Muslim, as we believe Jesus predicted the coming of Prophet Muhammad, which is also mentioned in the Bible. So, when Prophet Muhammad arrived, he completed the message, and the kingdom continued with Islam because Jesus himself was a Muslim. He didn’t intend to start a new religion called Christianity; instead, his followers were called Christians by others to signify their connection to Jesus. However, during his time, their faith was Islam as they submitted to the one true God. With time, the term Christian became linked to a religion founded by Paul, despite deviations from the original message. If Christians still believe this passage refers to Christianity, why is David’s kingdom predominantly Muslim today, as stated in the verse, ‘from that time on and forever’? If it referred to Christianity, the kingdom of David should be Christian-majority. The mention of ‘forever’ indicates that this divine message will have a lasting impact, with principles of justice and righteousness remaining relevant and enduring over time. This message is meant to persist, guiding people’s actions and serving as a standard for God’s judgment in the hereafter.
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Many Christians use this passage as evidence that it refers to Jesus and claim that Jesus is the Father, thereby indicating Christianity. However, as we continue to examine this verse with the assumption that it refers to Jesus, it’s important to note that during the time of Isaiah or Jesus, it was common to use the term ‘father’ without implying a biological relationship. Now, in this phrase, it mentions ‘Everlasting.’ According to Christianity, we know that Jesus has already died. This means he wouldn’t be considered ‘Everlasting’ in the sense of being continuously alive until the end of the world. The term ‘Everlasting’ typically refers to someone who is alive before the world comes to an end. In Christianity, Jesus has already experienced death, and the only difference between Jesus and others is that he was raised earlier by God, while others will rise up by God on the Day of Judgment. Therefore, this phrase ‘Everlasting’ also appears to be incongruent with Christian beliefs. I want to clarify once more that according to Christianity, the term ‘everlasting’ could be refers to a spiritual sense rather than someone needing to be alive continuously. As for my understanding, The term ‘everlasting’ is often used to describe a state of existence where someone or something will be alive for a long time but will eventually come to an end or die before the world itself comes to an end. It conveys the idea of enduring existence, suggesting that something or someone has a long lifespan but is not immortal, and their existence will eventually conclude, possibly even before the expected end of the world or a particular era. On the other hand, ‘eternal’ implies that something or someone is truly without end and will continue to exist even beyond the end of the world, transcending time and being infinite in nature. So, ‘everlasting’ emphasizes enduring presence but does not necessarily imply an absolute lack of end, while ‘eternal’ unequivocally signifies an existence without end, beyond the constraints of time.
Everlasting: A Comparative Perspective on Jesus in Islam and Christianity
In the book of Isaiah, it mentions that a child is given to us, which implies a separation between God and the child. Therefore, within this context, if the word “father” is referring to Jesus, it suggests his existence without divinity because God and the child were already separate from each other. It’s important to note that it’s not stated that the child himself came to us. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that according to Christian beliefs, Jesus has already died, which is why this interpretation does not align with the Christian viewpoint. This interpretation is more closely related to Islam, where it is believed that Jesus is still alive, he never died on the cross, signifying his everlasting existence, and he will return before the end of the world. Then, he will pass away, and God will raise him again.
Is ‘El’ Referring to One God in This Verse?
As we mentioned, in this verse, it states that a child is given to us, indicating a separation between God and the child. The words ‘el,’ ‘Elohim,’ ‘Adoni,’ and other titles related to God are used in the Bible for humans, messengers, and temples. Here are some examples:
📖1 Samuel 28:13-14
Don’t be afraid!” the king told her. “What do you see?” “I see a God (Elohim) coming up out of the earth,” she said. “What does he look like?” he asked. “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said, Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.
- Samuel is a prophet in the Bible, and the Bible refers to him as God (Elohim). It’s important to note that Elohim is a more respectful name for God than El because El is associated with false gods. Elohim is the plural form of the word ‘eloah’ and is used in the plural form to refer to the one God. I know that many Pauline Christians will argue that the woman says this, but it’s worth noting that Saul didn’t instruct her not to say Elohim. This is because within the Bible, it’s common to refer to a messenger as Elohim or El. While within the context, such titles can be used for God, the name of God in the Bible is more often expressed as Elohim to convey greater respect, as opposed to simply El. Additionally, the four letters representing the original name of God are not commonly used by anyone in the Bible.