In Isaiah 9:6 we learn that the child who is born is called by four names. Each of these names expresses his identity.

He is called ‘Wonderful Counsellor’.
In English this is comprised of an adjective and a noun. In the Hebrew it consists of two nouns: ‘wonder’ and ‘counsellor’.  By the word ‘wonder’ we are taken to something that is beyond human comprehension – something that humans can only stand and gaze upon with awe and wonder. This child is such a counsellor that humans are amazed.

As the one who bears the ‘government’ on his shoulders this child is the ‘counsellor’ – the one who guides and governs his kingdom with ultimate wisdom. He is the one who claimed to be ‘the truth’ and ‘the light’ [John 14:6; 8:12]. He is the one in whom the apostle Paul said ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ are hidden [Colossians 2:3]. He is the personification of ‘wisdom’ [Proverbs 8].

Of him Isaiah speaks in 11:2:

‘The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him –
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD’.

This is our Lord Jesus Christ: he is called a Wonder of a Counsellor – such a wonderful Counsellor that it is beyond our comprehension.

Lest we think that this child is just a wise, exalted human, let us look at Isaiah 28:29, where we read that the LORD Almighty is ‘wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom’. In 9:6 Isaiah, inspired by God, attributes to this child precisely what here in 28:29 he attributes to God.

This name identifies the child as God - the One of whom Isaiah wrote:

'Who has understood the mind of the LORD,
or instructed him as his counsellor?
Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and tho taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge
or showed him the path of understanding?' [Isaiah 40:13,14].


He is called ‘the Mighty God’.
If we doubted the deity of the child in the previous name, here we have no excuse. Here we are told clearly that the child is called ‘Mighty God’. We should have been prepared for this: Isaiah has already told us in 7:14 that a child will be called ‘Immanuel’, that is, God with us.

Again in the Hebrew there are two nouns, not an adjective and a noun. Literally, he is called ‘the hero God’. He is the Warrior God. The valiant, powerful, conquering, victorious God. The ultimate, eternal Hero who defeats the enemy, establishes justices, rights every wrong. We see glimpses of this during the three years of Jesus’ ministry. We see it hidden in the victory wrought over Satan by the cross. We see it in the triumph of Christ’s resurrection. But it is in the book of Revelation that this name of the child is repeatedly and deliberately portrayed.

He, ‘the Lion of Judah … has triumphed’ [Revelation 5:5].

He, ‘the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings’ [17:14].

He, the ‘rider on a white horse … judges and makes war … he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has his name written: King of kings and Lord of lords’ [19:11-16].

Jesus Christ is the ‘Mighty God’ – the focus of ‘the song of the Lamb’:

‘Great and marvellous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the ages.’ [Revelation 15:3].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2014