Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Isaiah
Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 9

The Son that should be born, and his kingdom. (1-7) The
judgments to come upon Israel, and On the enemies of the kingdom
of Christ. (8-21)

1-7 The Syrians and Assyrians first ravaged the countries here
mentioned, and that region was first favoured By the preaching
of Christ. Those that want the Gospel, walk in Darkness, and in
the utmost danger. But when the Gospel comes to any place, to
any soul, Light comes. Let us earnestly pray that it may shine
into our hearts, and make us Wise unto Salvation. The Gospel
brings joy with it. Those who would have joy, must expect to go
through hard work, as the Husbandman, before he has the joy of
Harvest; and hard conflict, as the soldier, before he divides
the spoil. The Jews were delivered from the Yoke of many
oppressors; this was a Shadow of the believer's deliverance from
the Yoke of Satan. The cleansing the souls of believers from the
power and pollution of Sin, would be By the influence of the
Holy Spirit, as purifying Fire. These great things for the
Church, shall be done By the Messiah, Emmanuel. The Child is
born; it was certain; and the Church, before Christ came in the
Flesh, benefitted By his undertaking. It is a Prophecy of him
and of his kingdom, which those that waited for the Consolation
of Israel read with pleasure. This Child was born for the
benefit of us men, of us sinners, of all believers, from the
beginning to the End of the world. Justly is he called
Wonderful, for he is both God and Man. His Love is the wonder of
angels and glorified saints. He is the Counsellor, for he knew
the counsels of God from eternity; and he gives counsel to men,
in which he consults our welfare. He is the Wonderful
Counsellor; none teaches like him. He is God, the mighty One.
Such is the work of the Mediator, that No less power than that
of the mighty God could bring it to pass. He is God, one with
the Father. As the Prince of Peace, he reconciles us to God; he
is the Giver of peace in the Heart and Conscience; and when his
kingdom is fully established, men shall learn War No more. The
government shall be upon him; he shall Bear the Burden of it.
Glorious things are spoken of Christ's government. There is No
End to the increase of its peace, for the happiness of its
subjects shall last for ever. The exact agreement of this
Prophecy with the doctrine of the New Testament, shows that
Jewish prophets and Christian teachers had the same view of the
person and Salvation of the Messiah. To what earthly King or
kingdom can these words apply? Give then, O Lord, to thy people
to know thee By every endearing name, and in every glorious
character. Give increase of Grace in every Heart of thy redeemed
upon Earth.

8-21 Those are ripening apace for ruin, whose hearts are
unhumbled under humbling providences. For that which God
designs, in smiting us, is, to turn us to himself; and if this
point be not gained By lesser judgments, greater may be
expected. The leaders of the people misled them. We have reason
to be afraid of those that speak Well of us, when we do ill.
Wickedness was universal, all were infected with it. They shall
be in trouble, and see No way out; and when men's ways displease
the Lord, he makes even their friends to be at War with them.
God would take away those they thought to have help from. Their
rulers were the head. Their false prophets were the tail and the
Rush, the most despicable. In these civil contests, men preyed
On near relations who were as their own Flesh. The people turn
not to Him who smites them, therefore he continues to smite: for
when God Judges, he will overcome; and the proudest, stoutest
sinner shall either bend or break.