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Isaiah 9:6–“Everlasting Father”

Who is “Everlasting Father” In Isaiah 9:6?

Dr Grant C. Richison

The word “Father” in this context is an idiom that describes the Messiah’s relationship to time. It makes no reference to the Trinity. Thus, in this context the Messiah is benevolent and just ruler over His people. He will be a “fatherly Ruler.” Isaiah 22:21 uses “father” idiomatically in this same sense. Many kings in biblical times claimed to be a father to their people. The idea here is that the Messiah will be a Father to His people eternally.

“Everlasting Father” here refers to the Messiah who will be a Father to His people forever. He will rule over His people with fatherly concern for their benefit. The term “Father” is used here of the relationship of the Messiah to His people.

Everlasting” is a title that does not apply to any human ruler, except that the Davidic promise speaks of one who will rule on the throne of David “forever” (2 Sam 7:16). Since the next verse (9:7) refers to a person ruling forever on the throne of David, the “everlasting father” in verse 6 must be the same ruler. “Everlasting” shows that the Messiah will guard and sustain His people forever; He will be a Father in this sense even in eternity. The throne of David, which is to be forever, will be preserved into the eternal state. The word “Father” can convey the idea of source of eternity. Since the Messiah is eternal He can give eternal life to others.