Fifth Response to Dalton Lifsey – Isaiah 9:5,6 (6,7)
I will be using the numbering of the verses from the Hebrew Bible.
I will first tell you that the verse can be read as follows: “The Mighty God, Father unto eternity and Prince of peace is planning a wonder”. In other words, the name of the child is a complete sentence describing the work of God. Just to help you with the Hebrew, I’ll do this word for word.
Pele – a wonder
Yoetz – He is planning (this is the key – this word can be a verb and is not necessarily a noun)
E – l – God
Gibbor – mighty
Avi – Father
Ad – until (generally translated as: “everlasting”)
Sar – minister
Shalom – Peace
The second thing I will tell you is that the verse does not necessarily say “Mighty God” or “Everlasting Father”. The very same Hebrew phrase that is translated here as: “Mighty God”, is used in Ezekiel to describe Gentile warriors in the plural format (Ezekiel 32:21). The Hebrew word: “Ad” – which is translated as everlasting – can also mean spoils as in Genesis 49:27 and Isaiah 33:23. In other words the verse reads: wonderful counselor, mighty warrior, father of spoils, prince of peace”.
The third thing I will tell you is that the name “Hezekiah” actually means: “Mighty God”.
Finally I will comment on the words: “and he called his name”. The Scriptures use the term: “called a name” in a sense that is not necessarily literal (e.g. Ruth 4:11). In fact, as far as I know, no-one in history was literally called by any of these names. The concept of “calling a name” can mean; making a mark, this child will be remembered for these concepts; in the minds of men these concepts will forever be associated with the memory of this child.
The destruction of the Assyrian army at the gates of Jerusalem was the fulfillment of this prophecy. That event is inextricably tied up with the memory of Hezekiah king of Judah.
The passage in which this verse appears talks of a military threat being miraculously eliminated, namely the threat of the Assyrian king; Sennacherib. Verse 3 (chapter 9) talks of the yoke of his (the nation’s) burden and the rod of her oppressor being broken as on the day of Midian. The “day of Midian” was when God miraculously put an army of multitudes to flight before Gideon’s small band of 300 (Judges 6 and 7). This is a clear parallel to the miraculous annihilation of Sennacherib’s troops (as described in Isaiah 37, 2Kings 19, and 2Chronicles 32). The various phrases in this passage are repeated over and over again in the book of Isaiah as reference to the destruction of Sennacherib’s army. The expressions “yoke” and ‘‘burden” (9:3) are used in 14:25 with a direct reference to Assyria’s army being broken. The expressions “staff” and “rod” (9:3), can be found in 10:5,24,27, and 30:31, clearly talking of this same event. The reference to Midian (9:3) is repeated in 10:26 in relation to Sennacherib’s destruction. The concept of “burning” as a description of this miracle (9:4), is mentioned in 10:16,17 and again in 30:31 and 31:9 as a description of the death of Sennacherib’s soldiers. The concept of “counsel” (9:5) is used in 14:26,27 to speak of this miracle. The words “mighty God” (9:5), are repeated in 10:21 to describe Israel’s return to God after this amazing event. The words “zeal of the Lord of Hosts” is repeated in 37:32 in direct reference to this miraculous event.
Do you think that all of these are mere coincidences?
Verse 5 tells us that the child HAS been born. In other words when Isaiah spoke these words the child was already born.
Overall Context (Totality of Scripture)
I want to contrast your usage of this passage with Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 4:15.
1) The passages that I quote are COMMANDMENTS – the passage you quote is not.
2) The Divine Author of Scripture put His finger on the passages that I presented – and said – here is where I am teaching you something about who it is that you are to worship and who it is that you are not to worship. It was God who made it clear that He wants us to associate the passages that I quoted with the concept of worship of the divine. The passage that you presented is placed by the Divine Author in a completely different context. It is the Christian theologian who must highlight this passage as a central teaching on the nature of God. The Divine Author of Scripture did NOT highlight this passage in that way.
If I needed to formulate a statement that would succinctly describe the Jewish position on the question of who it is that we are to worship – I would say: “we worship the God who revealed Himself to our ancestors at Sinai – as our ancestors preserved that revelation”. This sentence is just a rewording of the passages I quoted – plus a bit from Deuteronomy 4:9. The complete sentence that expresses my world-view on this subject is contained in the passages that I quoted.
Now you go and try to formulate a complete succinct sentence on the basis of the passage that you quoted that would describe your belief.
4) No-one ever presented an alternative explanation for the passages that I quoted that would render them irrelevant to this discussion. Many Jewish and Christian scholars have disputed your interpretation of the passage you presented.
5) Who is speaking?
The passages that I quoted describe God Himself presenting a teaching to the entirety of the nation – not through the medium of a prophet or a book – but directly – God to Israel.
Let me explain something to you about communication. The point of communication is NOT to get the idea out of the communicator’s head – but rather to get the idea into the head and heart of the target audience. If a teacher stands in a classroom and lectures – the words that the teacher spoke are not what was taught – it is the ideas that the students carry in their heads as they walk out of the classroom – THAT is what was communicated.
In the case of a human teacher – we can perhaps assume that the teacher did not properly calibrate his or her words – and the students walked away with an understanding different than what the teacher intended. With God we cannot say this. God actually declares that Israel understood His teaching properly – Deuteronomy 4:35.
The passage that you quoted was presented to us through the medium of a prophet. Every Jewish prophet expected their words to be understood in light of the teaching that Israel carried in their hearts since God put it there at Sinai.
The child that this verse speaks of will be a cause for the salvation of the Jewish people from the oppression of Sennacherib. It was Hezekiah’s prayer that was the catalyst for God’s intervention on behalf of His people (Isaiah 37:21, 2Kings 19:20). Isaiah is comforting his people. Although Ahaz (Hezekiah’s father) was evil, but his child was holy and righteous. In the merit of this holy child, who bore upon his shoulders the government of his people, God will display His wondrous counsel, His might, His mastery over time (Isaiah 38:8), together with a peace that lasted as long as Hezekiah lived (Isaiah 39:7).
Your Problems with the Jewish Interpretation
Please forgive my temerity in assuming that I know what you will ask me – but since this conversation is public – I am sure that someone reading this is asking the following questions.
1) Question: How can you say that the passage is talking of Hezekiah? Doesn’t the passage say that there will be no end to the peace?
Answer: The very same words “en ketz” are used in Isaiah 2:7 as a description of the chariots and treasures of sinful Israel. The words do not necessarily have to be understood in their most literal sense. (See below for some more).
2) Question: Doesn’t the prophet say that the peace and the government will last from now and forevermore? Didn’t Hezekiah’s kingdom go down in smoke only a century and half later with the Babylonian invasion? How can this be talking of Hezekiah?
Answer: The peace and the government that the prophet is referring to, is the peace and government of David’s throne. David is still the king of Israel and will be so forever. Even the Messiah will be sitting on David’s throne – in other words – he will be filling David’s shoes. You may be surprised to learn that David is still the king of Israel – even now. Through the songs of his holy Psalms, David still leads the heart of all who are loyal to God. My loyalty today is to the dynasty of David, the king after God’s heart. And my loyalty to the Messiah will be an expression of the loyalty that is already in my heart now. The Davidic throne is a concept that lives on in the minds and in the hearts of men – Jews and Gentiles. The Davidic throne will forever represent mankind’s submission towards God.
Hezekiah, as a legitimate successor to his ancestor David – made a lasting impact on that concept that already existed. His career added a new layer of meaning to the goal of mankind’s submission towards God. The miraculous destruction of Sennacherib’s army and the salvation of Jerusalem that were done by God in the merit of Hezekiah’s prayer – gave us a completely new understanding of the Davidic throne and what it stands for. These events presented a picture for posterity, and they presented a hope for posterity. It was against the backdrop of these spectacular miracles that the prophecies of Isaiah were pronounced. God chose to articulate the Messianic hope of all man-kind through the words of Isaiah and in the context of the destruction of Sennacherib’s army. It is the words of Isaiah that were chosen to be written on the side of the U.N. building, and it is Isaiah’s metaphor of the lion lying with the lamb that is most often used to describe God’s plan of peace for all humanity.
The miracles that were performed in Hezekiah’s times are still reverberating, and they will continue to do so until the coming of the Messiah and beyond.
You may perhaps disagree with what I’ve written here, but let me put our disagreement into context.
There are actually two separate disagreements that we have about the Christian doctrine of the incarnation; we disagree as to whether the concept is even possible, and we disagree as to whether it actually happened. These are two separate disagreements.
My position is that to point to a man, who looks like a man, smells like a man, and does everything else like a man – and say that this man is somehow the God of Israel – is even more impossible and absurd than saying that good is bad, that light is dark and that east is west. This is not a “predisposed assumption”, but a truth that is based on the teaching of God (you could start with Isaiah 44).
That is my position on our first disagreement.
My second disagreement with you (and you seem to believe that this is our only disagreement) is that when you say that the incarnation actually happened, I say it did not. I say this primarily because of my position on our first disagreement, but I say this for other reasons as well. These are two separate disagreements.
You will acknowledge, I assume, that the burden of proof rests entirely on your shoulders. It is not enough for you to raise a question, a doubt in the minds of men, that this could have perhaps happened. You need to bring conclusive evidence that erases any shadow of doubt. The reason I say this, and the reason that I expect you to acknowledge this is simply because if you are wrong, then directing worship towards the man you are pointing to would represent the deepest violation of Israel’s covenant with God, and it would represent the most perfidious rebellion from created towards Creator.
It’s your turn Dalton.
P. S. Dalton, you may not be aware, but as part of my “anemic” contribution to this discussion I have already discussed this passage. I would humbly suggest that you find the articles I am referring to on my blog and on the Jews for Judaism website.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Beautiful answer R’Blumenthal. A Historical event…not messianic. CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT! Worth repeating!
“The passage in which this verse appears talks of a military threat being miraculously eliminated, namely the threat of the Assyrian king; Sennacherib. Verse 3 (chapter 9) talks of the yoke of his (the nation’s) burden and the rod of her oppressor being broken as on the day of Midian. The “day of Midian” was when God miraculously put an army of multitudes to flight before Gideon’s small band of 300 (Judges 6 and 7). This is a clear parallel to the miraculous annihilation of Sennacherib’s troops (as described in Isaiah 37, 2Kings 19, and 2Chronicles 32). The various phrases in this passage are repeated over and over again in the book of Isaiah as reference to the destruction of Sennacherib’s army. The expressions “yoke” and ‘‘burden” (9:3) are used in 14:25 with a direct reference to Assyria’s army being broken. The expressions “staff” and “rod” (9:3), can be found in 10:5,24,27, and 30:31, clearly talking of this same event. The reference to Midian (9:3) is repeated in 10:26 in relation to Sennacherib’s destruction. The concept of “burning” as a description of this miracle (9:4), is mentioned in 10:16,17 and again in 30:31 and 31:9 as a description of the death of Sennacherib’s soldiers. The concept of “counsel” (9:5) is used in 14:26,27 to speak of this miracle. The words “mighty God” (9:5), are repeated in 10:21 to describe Israel’s return to God after this amazing event. The words “zeal of the Lord of Hosts” is repeated in 37:32 in direct reference to this miraculous event.”
This is unique langauge that Isaiah brings to bear and is the SAME unique style of langauge the Prophet uses in the servant songs. Where a person to get the whole context must look at Is 41 through 54. When taken together, historically, Is 9 and 10, it is clear that is not a future prophetic event but one fulfilled, and verified elsewhere in Tanakh.
This, I’m afraid will be lost on Dalton, as apparently in his book he uses shoddy hermeneutics per at least this one persons review of his book.
“The author (Dalton Lifsey) jumps straight into discussion of such teaching without bothering to define any of these terms – but it soon becomes clear that `eschatology’ is about some bizarre events in the future where lots of nasty things are going to happen to Israel. It’s also troubling when you see an author using one-word quotes to support an argument(!). For example:
“the crisis will culminate in the salvation of `all Israel’ [Rom 11:25-26] when the Jewish people will be `delivered’ [Dan 12:1-3], `saved’ [Jer 30:7], `gathered’ [Jer 31:8-9], `redeemed’ [Isaiah 52:3], `healed’ [Hos 6:1-2], `awakened'[Is 52:1-2], `cleansed’ [Zech 13:1-2], and `brought into the bond of the Covenant’ [Ez 20:37] after `looking upon Him whom they have pierced’ [Zach 12:10] with deep sorrow and love” (p. 14).
If we’re going to base a belief system on one worded quotes this could get very creative indeed. Especially since this happens four times in the first 6 pages of the book!! But it gets better; just pick and choose what interpretation you want to suite your predetermined theological system and you get all sorts of assumptions and non-defined interpretations of scripture.”
It goes on, but you get the point. Dalton is evidently the type of Christian expositor that will get an idea in his head and then cherry pick words within a verse or a single verse to “show” his beliefs. Dalton, who patterns his language after Mr Michael Brown, is no Michael Brown.
But, what if he had studied it for years from an exegetical perspective and all those one word quotes were in context? Have you read his book? Seen his reasoning and expounding on all of those sections of scripture? I have. But the particular reviewer you quoted doesn’t really talk about the depths that Dalton goes to explain all of those sections of scripture in context. If the did, it would legitimize Dalton and delegitimize himself. Im guessing he doesn’t want that.
A third party’s biased opinion is not evidence that Dalton is “the type of Christian expositor that will get an idea in his head and then cherry pick words within a verse or a single verse to “show” his beliefs.” You have not even read the evidence yourself.
I hope you do not form your beliefs in God the same way. I hope you don’t base your beliefs on what someone thinks they know about God rather than spending time with God and seeking him directly by personal revelation and relationship with him.
In fact, speaking of Cherry Picking. You yourself cherry picked one bad review out of how many great reviews to attempt to discredit Dalton. Do you know what the biblical definition of that is? Most scholars would call it Hypocrisy.
There seems to be a common practice here of trying to malign and discredit someone without really knowing anything about them at all, but only declaring unfounded second-hand opinions about them as fact.
I am just trying to think of who else you might have done this with . . . hmmmmm
Nathan- I didnt cherry pick a bad review, it was the only one critical of the book on Amazon. The rest were obviously friends of Daltons with multiple posts by the same persons praising his book. After posting the above, I have since gone through Daltons blog and found excerpts of his book that showed the same thing. A cobbling together of one word quotes from various scriptures and then stitching them together as a theory. Very poor biblical exegesis.
As for your post: ““not a man who directs people’s devotion to himself . . . ”Unless he was God. That is the hinge point. Its the crux.”
Yes, it is the crux and G-d can not become a man. As I have posted elsewhere, that by definition would be a change in G-ds nature. Prexisting as a Deity of spirit nature, then becoming godman. The very act of taking on human nature CHANGES who G-d is from a singular nature to a bi-nature. (I cant help but notice that Dalton totally avoided this point). To illustrate my point:
Suppose that I, as a human being, were to have a god nature. human = god nature. Now, I love my dog but he sins. (true by the way!) Now in order to “save” him, I am going to become a human-dog. I will put my human nature in a dog, this dog will be a perfect dog (I am hypothectically divine remember) . So what have we got?
Has my humanity changed? No. But I have taken on an additional nature! I am now a human-dog…I have taken on the nature of his dogness. And when he dies, this resurrected dog, will be standing with me in heaven. So I have CHANGED. This is forbidden by G-d. He can not change.
So, just like G-d for many reasons can not be a man, one of which it means he has changed from a singular nature to a bi-nature, likewise, it is obvious that if I were to take on my dogs nature, I would be bi-natured and therefore changed.
It is the crux of the matter. And therefore Jsus can not be G-d.
Did you really just say that God can not do something? In that case, we dont believe in the same God. Everything he has done is part of his nature and Character. Heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool. My God is in Heaven, and He does whatever pleases Him. Your G-d apparently only does stuff that you think is possible.
God told Moses plainly, that no man can see His face and live. So we know that to be 100% true with out any doubt. And because of that we know that all of these people are lying about seeing God:
Jacob (Thats also Israel in case you were confused) in Gen 32:30
Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel in Ex 24:9
God himself lies in Num 12:8
I could go on, and on.
So there is something that your “G-d can not do”, based on your reasoning, and yet . . . my God is doing it all throughout history.
Anyone tells me God can not do something, I say to them, where were you when God laid the foundations of the world?
Nathan- You cant be serious. Of course there are things G-d cant do. He cant do anything that would end up with A) G-d sinning B) G-d changing C) G-d dying ….and many others.
G-d can not become a man BECAUSE that would A) Man him a liar and B) make him CHANGE and G-d can not lie or change.
Can your god lie? Can your god change? If so, you are not worshiping the G-d of the Tanakh (but since you worship a hybrid grecco-roman godman…you in fact dont worship the G-d of Abraham do you)
So even though some claim to have seen G-ds “face” or spoken to His face…and they lived, CLEARLY something else must be happening. I know what those other things are…seek it out..but from Jewish teachers.
Why cant G-d become a man or rather inhabit the body of a man?
You tell us.
Can God become stupid? Can he get alzheimers? can God become “not God”? If God were to become “not God” would he still be worthy of worship?
In any case – there is enough on this blog to help you sort through that worn out argument – go learn.
To get a feeling of just who Dalton Lifsey truly is go here to start.
He invites Alan Hood a Preacher at the IHOP of Kansas City.
IHOP is joining with the Bethel Church of Redding Calif and some other one in Toronto.
Then go here to witness their holy spirit filled drunkendness prayer meetings. This is truly strange stuff.
I know this is not adding to the discussion here. But it is important to get a feeling what type of man Dalton is.
Larry, I like your commentaries on this site, and while these videos are curious, I think it’s best to focus on the arguments, not the persona.
Thomas. I truly wish it would not put pictures up here, just the links would be enough. Anyway, as you wish, I will refrain.
Larry, What an absolute lie. You should be ashamed of yourself! You can’t try playing “6 degrees of separation” like that with people to link them to absolutely ABSURD practices like the one seen in the Youtube video you posted. Both of these incredible men (R’Blumenthal and Dalton) respect each other and are having an honest biblical debate in love. And you pull this to try and discredit Dalton? Something to which we both know he has NOTHING to do with? If you would like to try and discredit Dalton, do so with scripture alone. If you want to know who Dalton is and what he is about, meet him, talk to him, spend time with him. Don’t just do a Google search and try to link random things together.
I would recommend to the author of this site that your comment be removed entirely. Its completly absurd and 100% speculative.
Nathan– Thanks for not calling me a liar, it’s not nice to shoot the messenger. This is not a You Tube video, it is a John the Babtist TV Video. It has been posted on You Tube probably for the same reasons as you say, to expose “ABSURD practices” of certain churches and people. Let’s be clear, it has NOTHING to do with Blumenthal, only Mr Dalton. This is a three part series and it speaks for itself. Like the bibles Old Testament, you can choose to believe what is presented is not what you see with your own eyes, it it something else entirely different.
I have seen all three parts of that documentary before and am in agreement with some of it and disagreement with some of it. However, you can not say that THIS is what Dalton is all about or who he truly is. If you want to know who Dalton is, get to know him. Talk with him, meet him, spend time with him. Dont just randomly link him to things that you dont know about him. As you can read in his responses, he clearly has insight into the scriptures. This depth of insight and wisdom does not come from man. Thank God for his desire to search the scriptures with an open heart!
This type of attack is like saying that a pro baseball player is no good because someone who is also a pro baseball player used to struggle with betting on horse races. Therefore all pro base ball players are bad. Shall we apply the same strategy to Mr. Blumenthal? Can you imagine what kind of terrible untruths we could link him to in using your tactic? How disrespectful! I wouldn’t think of it! If I could afford it, I would love to meet Mr. Blumenthal and get to know him directly even though I may disagree with some of his beliefs. I want to hear what these honorable men have to say, I want to and learn from them both so I can strengthen my faith in God. That is my goal.
What is your goal? To learn or to deceive?
Nathan- You say
What an absolute lie.
they you say
I am in agreement with some of it.
Then you talk about baseball. I am almost at a loss of words only because I cannot stop laughing. Here is a thought for you Nathan, If you walk into a room of about 100 people and you don’t know who the chump is, Guess what.
The problem here is that Isaiah 9 is being universalized. When apologists say Deut 4:15 doesn’t say God “won’t” or “can’t” appear or reveal a certain way- merely that “on that day” he did not- then make them be consistent- if Deut 4:15 only speaks of that immediate context, then all the more so with Isaiah 9, which isn’t even a command or teaching about who/how Israel should worship.
There seems to be pretty wide agreement that the original context of Is. 9 is Hezekiah, so I don’t think there’s really any debate there, so the only recourse anyone would possibly have is relying on a “fuller revelation” or whatnot, but that is another issue altogether, and it certainly does not change the fact that whoever the subject of Is 9 is, he is most certainly not God.
I am missing the reference in Isaiah 44 that says God can not or is incapable of being a man or looking like a man. Help me please.
I hope you find the following post helpful
The rabbi wrote:
“You will acknowledge, I assume, that the burden of proof rests entirely on your shoulders. It is not enough for you to raise a question, a doubt in the minds of men, that this could have perhaps happened. You need to bring conclusive evidence that erases any shadow of doubt.” Quite right. Dalton must show why Isaiah chapter 9 can only refer to Jesus, and why it says that Jesus is God in the flesh- it’s not up to Rabbi Blumenthal to prove that it isn’t.
The most salient point is of course that a prophetical, poetical piece is used to suggest a fundamental doctrinal issue. Not one word about Jesus in Exodus 20, or Deuteronomy 4, or Deuteronomy 13:1-11 or Deuteronomy 18. I would have expected the exception to the rule of idolatry to be there somewhere. It isn’t so, QED it must be part of the rule.
Are there responses somewhere else by Dalton, that I am missing?
Yes, on the website for his book which is http://thecontroversyofzion.com
Do you really think that this glorious passage of scripture was fulfilled by King Hezekiah? That is far too weak an interpretation. It’s about a Messianic King alright, the greater David, Jesus of Nazareth. He is coming again to defeat the consummate Assyrian; we Christians like to call him the antichrist. He will break the rod of Israel’s future oppressor that Sennacherib was only a foreshadowing of. That is when we will see the highest interpretation of Isaiah 9:6-7. It will be a miraculous deliverance of a persecuted minority akin to Gideon’s victory in the day of Midian. He’s beautiful and He’s yours. His name is Yeshua. The Hebrew prophets all prophesied of the messianic age to come with a telescopic view based on events of their day. The story ends in your favor, all you need to do is believe it.
Peter, I understand your point, but surely you see that if your objection is that hezekiah could not have been the subject of Is 9 because he did not fulfill it with peace, clearly no one else has either- you are telling me about a second coming when Jesus will in the future fulfill it. So- without even getting into the textual justification (or not) of a second coming, one cannot claim that Is. 9 has been fulfilled at all- saying Jesus will return to fulfill it means he has not fulfilled it yet. If Jesus “will” come in the future to fulfill it, then at this stage, February 2012, no one – including Jesus – has fulfilled it, and it cannot be used as evidence for his messiahship, let alone his claimed deity.
Secondly, the text itself clearly does not speak of the king being God (at most a ‘divine’ king who possesses certain attributes, but most certainly not God- that is a given- unless you want to call Hezekiah, the clear original subject of this oracle, God), so what is Isaiah 9 supposed to prove then? How is the original context, speaking of a human king defeating Israel’s enemies, ‘fulfilled’ in someone Christianity tells us is God Incarnate? That is certainly not what Isaiah 9 was speaking of.
It’s not just me saying this- this is the scholarly view that Is. 9 does not speak of the king (or any king) being God:
“The King, even the one who was to come, was not regarded as divine, ‘cosubstantial with the Deity.’” Contours of Old Testament theology By Bernhard W. Anderson, Steven Bishop
“So Isaiah 9 articulates hope for a perfect king, though not one who was divine in our sense of the term.” Introduction to the Prophets. By Paul L. Redditt
If we are looking at Hezekiah as a foreshadow – we should look to something parallel to Hezekiah – a man who humbles himslef before God and who inspires Israel to return to God – not a man who directs people’s devotion to himself – that would be a parallel to Sennacherib – not Hezekiah
“not a man who directs people’s devotion to himself . . . ”
Unless he was God. That is the hinge point. Its the crux. If he was (and is) God, what an amazing and perfect parallel to Hezekiah!
Of course, many scholars deny that these terms refer to the king at all, and instead refer to God, not the king. Others say this type of oracle is an Egyptian-style coronation ode which is hyberpolic and exaggerated, and no one really thought any king was, or could be perfect. Not to mention that in its original context, and even looking ahead to that ideal king, there is no indication they thought he was God.
I think the point, peter, is that Jews are not using Is. 9 as a proof text for their faith, but many Christians/messianics do exactly that- they say Isaiah 9 proves the messiah is God, etc. So in order for this to be relevant to our discussion, it needs to be demonstrated that it speaks of the messiah being God, and why only Jesus is the fulfillment of it- despite the point that he has not, as of now, actually fulfilled the promises of peace and defeat of Israel’s enemies. Even if (if) the doctrine of a second coming can be found in scripture, that can be said of any messianic claimant, and does nothing to prove they fulfilled this prophecy yet- because it has clearly not come to pass yet, in its “fullest” sense.
There is something a lot more grand going on in Isaiah 9:6-7 than a mere reference to King Hezekiah. Yes, the Lord was gracious enough to answer his prayer and send the Angel of the Lord to destroy the Assyrian army in Is. 37. But who is this “Child”? I see a glorious thread running through the opening twelve chapters of Isaiah that is an anchor of hope against the backdrop of Israel’s apostasy and imminent invasion by the Assyrian empire from the north in Isaiah’s day. Even as Isaiah calls for Israel’s repentance, he punctuates the narrative with visions of hope from the messianic future in chapters 2, 4, 11, and 12. This is the Hope of Israel that I believe in today as a Gentile Christian. God with us, then and now and in the future.
The Hope of Israel or Judah and the promise is not the hope of us that are not Israel. There was God and there were greater things before Jesus. And there are greater things now for Israel and more in the future. And none of that requires your hope.
You chose your “spouse”, so do not be all that concerned that Israel or the Jews prefer the “spouse that chose them”.
Peter- You see more in the text because you want to see more in the text. It is undeniably historical. But think about this:
Previously, G-d warned us in the Torah, not to copy the pagans (Dt 12) for the things they do, G-d HATES and is an abomination to Him. What were they doing? Human sacrifice. Shedding innocent blood (Jer 19:4, Psalm 106:37) G-d also told us, that no one can die for the sins of another. Dt 24:16, Jer 31:29-30, Ezek 18.
So, lets pet this into perspective for Isaiah 9. You see a glorious hope of a future god-man that dies for our sins. That means:
G-d, tells us He hates human sacrifice, the shedding of innocent blood but then tells his prophet Isaiah, to prophecy that HE will have a god-man child and then have a human sacrifice , just like the pagans?
G-d, tells us that each is responsible for our own sin and that no man can die for the sins of another man, but tells His prophet Isaiah, to prophecy of His own human son that will die for ALL sin? That makes G-d a liar!
Furthermore, G-d says He does not change, but then has His prophet Isaiah prophecy about G-d (the son) morphing into a godman when no such form of “God” previously existed?
The entire Middle East and Asia Minor was filled with gods. Some god-men, some virgin born, some resurrected, some with sacred meals, some promising everlasting life…..And what the church expects us to believe, is that the G-d of the universe, gives us a godman savior….that just happens to be like one of many other godman saviors already in existence? The G-d of the universe patterns His savior after the pagans, who engage in human sacrifce and vicarious human atonement?
G-d does not act like men. G-d is NOT going to offer a salvation plan that could be easily identified or confused with existing pagan gods and godmen.
No, the G-d of the universe STANDS APART. His salvation of mankind will be from Him and Him only. And the tools, he will use to manifest this, is the Jewish people. He is not using His Holy Prophet Isaiah, to prophecy of a savior, who mirrors pagan beliefs and practices. G-d forbid.
I am seeing exactly what is in the text for what it plainly says. It is your view that is failing to acknowledge what is plainly in this text, because it seems that you do not want to, because then you would be required to re-examine your assumptions. Is 9:6 is plainly designating names for God to this gift of a Child, adding even more light to the earlier promise of a sign of a Son born to a virgin in 7:14, who would be called Immanuel, or God With Us. The death of Jesus by crucifixion was not a sacrifice of a human made by humans to a false god, but God’s self-sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus is the Passover Lamb that the Torah prophesies. God imputed righteousness to Abraham becaused he believed in His promise. In the same manner, God imputes righteousness to us through faith in Jesus’ sacrificial work of atonement on our behalf. Like Is 53 says, “the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all” v.6 and “for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.” v.8. “For He shall bear their iniquities” v. 11 “and He bore the sin of many.” v. 12. This is substitutionary atonement. God imputes our sin to Him, and also imputes His righteousness to us. Hallelujah!! This is, “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” prophesied by Jeremiah in Jer. 23:5-6. This is the message of the Law and the Prophets that the world needs to hear and has been turning Gentiles to the God of Israel in droves for 2000 years. In this manner, we are indebted to the Jewish people for what God has wrought through this nation in bringing salvation to the world, so that in Abraham, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Gen 12:3
Peter–I’m sorry, I forget, where does Christ quote Isaiah pointing to the prophesy of his birth? As an ex catholic, on thing that always confused me was that we were taught that we were not required to believe in private revelations. You know, Our Lady of Fatima, Quadalupe, Lourdes. There are literally hundreds of them. In fact you can go here for a partial list– http://www.catholic.org/mary/#approved!a=2 —, But for some reason we were required to believe in the private revelation of Mary, Joseph concerning Chirst. What do you think of what Dalton says on his video “Alan Hood is one of the clearest voices on the earth right now” . Alan is apparently close friends with Bob Jones at the International House of Prayer who says he goes to heaven on a daily basis. Another private revelation. How about, Mike Bickle, who totally endorses Daltons book, he sees angles all the time. What do you think of those private revelations?
I absolutely am loving this debate! Thank you guys for continuing this in an open and honest way. I have a massive amount of respect for both of you and your insight into the scriptures. I did notice one thing in this response to Dalton that concerned me a bit. In one paragraph you open by saying,
“The second thing I will tell you is that the verse does not necessarily say “Mighty God” or “Everlasting Father”.”
you used the phrase “…does not necessarily say…” However at the end of that paragraph you write,
“In other words the verse reads . . . ”
Do you think that given the first sentence, the last sentence should read: “In other words the verse MAY read . . .”? Because it seems that you then base much of your argument off of the assumption that it DOES read that way, rather than that it MAY read that way. I am eager to hear your thoughts.
And let me say again what a blessing it is just to be able to read this debate and learn from it. Thank you.
My point was that ACCORDING TO THIS TRANSLATION the verse reads etc. Further on in my post I explicitly state which translation I prefer.
That explanation does not even come close to satisfying my point. What you are doing right there is the exact definition of eisegetical hermeneutics. You have taken a possible translation and set it in stone as foundational to your argument.
It seems to me, what your saying is that even though you prefer that POSSIBLE translation, you find no room whatsoever for any other translation? You have very eloquently bridged the wide gap between possible and absolute. With all due respect (and I really mean that) this doesn’t sound right not me.
You are doing that which you accuse Rabbi B of. It seems you prefer translations that are more biased against the original Hebrew. You keep saying what “you” believe, not what Isaiah believed. You keep applying historical events and words about those events, as if they existed only to “prophesy” something vague in the future. As if this history were only a fiction, a script to point to some future “reality”. A “reality” thst itself appears to be a fiction and unhistorical. As if prophets told hopeless people that they should have hope in words that will be written 600 years later and that won’t even be fulfilled after 2000+ years after that. Don’t worry about your cancer or your broken arms, your doctor will see you when he finds the time to comes around a few centuries from now, after he preaches a few words of Torah & prophets and then dies. If a godman (modeled after the heathen & pagan godmen that Israel is often being chastised by God for following) came in Isaiah’s time, then Jesus'”1st coming” was actually his 2nd, or 3rd or whatever. But not plainly as God or unmistakably as an “angel”, but vaguely as a mystery or as a riddle that can only be perceived or discerned by an elite “wise” few. If there was an Isaiah who spoke to a people, he spoke of what he knew directly to his audience standing before him and around him. God can be present & God can carry out his will without first becoming a man or first dying and rising” like all those pagan Canaanite, Egyptian, Assyrian-Babylonian gods that represent idolatry and abominations before Isaiah’s God. Or is your god a different god from Isaiah’s and Hezekish’s God?
Peter- You said”I am seeing exactly what is in the text for what it plainly says.”
No …you are merely taking assumptions from the NT that are plainly counter to the teaching of the Tanakh…looking for any scrap of justification for a god-man.
Had you been in Jerusalem in the years before the birth of JC, you would see that NOBODY understood Isaiah 9 as pertaining to a divine human being. (Hence, part of the reason for the Pharisees being upset with Jsus). To the error of the eisegesis of Isaiah 9, you then quote other false christian “proof texts”:
Virgin birth: False..doesnt say virgin in Hebrew…historically fulfilled at the time (unless you want say there have been TWO virgin births?) Jsus was not named Immanuel…God IS with us..(with Judah/King Ahaz)
Human Sacrifice: “The death of Jesus by crucifixion was not a sacrifice of a human made by humans to a false god, but God’s self-sacrifice for the sins of the world.” Again, I say to you, G-d does not copy the pagans. The pagans offered human sacrifices…and G-d does not then copy them by offering his own version of human sacrifice. Furthermore, Jsus died on a Roman torture device by suffocation. Not by blood loss by having his throat slit. His blood was not sprinkled on the Altar, his fat and ofal not burned, he was not a Chatat…sin sacrifice.
Jesus is the Passover Lamb that the Torah prophesies: Says who? Where does the Torah say that? This is just more reading-into the text. A passover lamb has ZERO atoning value. It is not a sin sacrifice. A Passover lamb must be eaten. The original Passover was the Israelites sacrificing the Egyptian Ram-lamb god…that is why the lamb was chosen. (Exodus 8:26)
“God imputed righteousness to Abraham becaused he believed in His promise. In the same manner, God imputes righteousness to us through faith in Jesus’ sacrificial work of atonement on our behalf:”
You again, read into the text meaning that is not there. The word FAITH only appears in Tanakh- 2 to 4 times depending on the version. And regarding Abraham and the promise fulfilled by G-d: G-d says this of Abraham: Gen 26:5 I will multiply your (Isaac) descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”
What? G-d said becasue Abraham OBEYED G-d? KEPT commands,statues and LAWS? Where is the word FAITH that Christians say is everything? NO, faith is a given…G-d wants us to OBEY and DO.
“This is substitutionary atonement. God imputes our sin to Him”
Your Is 53 is A) not about Jsus and B) again shows that the church is in direct conflict with the word of G-d. I posted many and there are more, scriptures that say PLAINLY, A) one person can NOT dies for the sins of another and B) the righteous can NOT die for the unrighteous. You make G-d to be a liar. G-d forbid.
“…..turning Gentiles to the God of Israel in droves for 2000 years. In this manner, we are indebted to the Jewish people for what God has wrought through this nation”….
This is so sad. You think that this false narrative of the godman brings about your righteousness, and you are indebted to the Jewish people. Yet your antiJew NT is HARDLY is hardly a document that supports your assertion. History teaches otherwise, the Christians have brutalized the Jewish people for 2000 years, crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, holocaust. And Christians have always sought scriptural support for this behavior in the NT.
Yet, G-d CLEARLY says otherwise about how things will end up.
Ezek 36: ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
So there you have it…inspite of our flaws…G-d will redeem the Jewish people for HIS name sake and remove us from the nations and cleanse us (Why cleanse us if Christianity is righteous? If you have the truth?) and then we will KEEP THE LAW!
And then what happens? The Christian and muslim nations who abused the Jews will be Judged harshly..The story never ends with the Gentiles having the truth and the Jews coming the learn from the gentiles.
What I find unsettling about your response here is the perception that Christians as a whole have brutalized the Jewish people. I can tell you for one thing that anyone who has professed to be a believer in Jesus as the Christ yet treated his own brethren in this way is at best way out of step with Jesus himself. There is such a thing as an insincere Christian, one who is only such in name but who does not know God.
Paul, in the Christian New Testament, clearly taught about the fact that the Gentiles ought to love and respect the Jewish people, not to be arrogant or boastful against them (and I would hope, by extension, not to harm them!), as the promises and calling of God for Israel are still relevant and will be fulfilled. I certainly don’t understand it all, but I do have a deep respect for and a desire to understand further the people who God chose to be a light to all the world.
All I do know is that when I believed in him (Jesus) my heart and conscience were indeed cleansed and God’s law is written in my heart. I’ve never been the same, and never will again. I’m a Gentile woman, by the way.
Have a wonderful day.
Yvonne– The problem is that you are seeing yourself, at this point in history. The church at large, including the Reformers, Luther and Calvin were very anti-Jew. It has only been within the last 100 years, that the evangelical church (who tends to be Pauline in dogma) has embraced a philosemitic position. Even until recently in the USA, Jews were forbidden from memberships in clubs and organizations. And now, we see the pendulum of hate swinging back to a pre-holocaust fervor and Jews in Europe, the middle-east and even in the USA.
The overall point is this. The church for most of the last 2000 years HAS brutalized Jewish people. And if the church and her believers are supposed to be “spirit filled by the holy spirit” and “lead into all truth” by this holy indwelling of “god”, then how is it even possible to hate, murder, beat, steal from, drive from country to country the Jews? It just goes to show the total ineffectual nature of this alleged indwelling of god in a christain believer. It is unscriptural (Not in the “OT”) and is a heretical view of G-ds nature.
The idea of a god’s self-sacrifice is nonsense. It promotes the idea of a limited god. A small, finite god. To what god was that god’s “sacrifice” to? If it was not to a higher god, then it was no sacrifice, although in pagan religions such as a sacrifice was possible. In sun-god religions, a god could sacrifice himself, could die & could rise again in the morning or after 3 days in the “grave” after a winter death. But the sun-god was not a supreme god of all creation, including the sun. And that death was an illusion, the son-god never went out, the people just couldn’t “see” the god before their eyes; it was dead to them (like Jesus the prodigal son was dead to his father). That godman idea of the NT authors was not a new one. It was a very, very old idea of “the nations”, and it was very prevalent in many religions, from Apollo’s version that Paul of Tarsus (a city that was a “breeding ground” of mystery religions), found similar to his christ, to Isis, to Horus, to Mithras, and from Afica to Asia to the Americas. The gods of the nations that the God of Abraham, of Moses, and of Isaiah, etc. said Israel & the Jews should have no part of. Commanded against it. God said He was not a man or else He was a liar. Making God a small god, like mighty Zeus and Saturn and ba’al, that deserves to be forsaken & forgotten. God chastised Israel for those unbiblical, un-Godly ideas time and time again. So if ba’al (lord) be god, follow him, them.
Very interesting… I will say one thing, there are many false spirits in the world and in the so-called “Church” – yet, those who adhere to Judaism are just as darkened by the “god of this world.” All who reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah or eternal Savior are captive to the powers of darkness, they lack the light of understanding and life, which is given by faith alone.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
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