Text 1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations 2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
verse 1: by way of the sea.
This is a specific prophecy. It is a place of trade also known as Galilee of the nations.
However, Jesus picks up on this specific prophecy about the Assyrian invastion and makes it a general prophecy in Matthew 4:14,
14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
verse 2: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light
This is brought up in Matthew 4:16
people. This is all people, Jews and Gentiles. All are in darkness, which means unrighteousness.
A great light. This is the Gospel. The Gospel shines in the darkness/unrighteous
verse 3: Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy
the Gospel is for all nations but the Jewish nation wants it for itself. The light is not content
staying in the corner but wants to fill the whole room.
“Many nations are received into the kingdom of God; this makes the Jews sick, by this they
are provoked to anger and envy (Rom. 11:8). This is what it means to lessen their joy.”
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
Verse 4: For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder
This is the people's burden. It could read “their burden”
“By nature all hate God and the things that are of God. This is not felt except in temptation. The whipped son is angry with his parent. No one likes discipline, not even God’s. Natural man would prefer that there be no law, because he is not able to perform what it demands. The sin that has been committed is the second tyrant, and it brings forth the third, namely, death and damnation. Who could be happy when he is answerable to these three? But now they have been vanquished, the Law is fulfilled by Christ and then also by us who have been endowed by the Holy Spirit. He adds the courage so that we may glory even in our sufferings (Rom. 5:3), and thus the Law is no longer outrageous in its dictates but an agreeable companion. The Law itself indeed is not changed, but we are.
“Where the conscience is not guilty, where there is no sin because it is forgiven, there is no power of death but peace of conscience, the certainty of eternal life.
“These are the things that overcome those enemies: the Word and the Holy Spirit in the Word preaching Christ as having died for us, etc. We draw no sword, but we only shout, hear, believe, confess: Christ died for us, etc. “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, etc.” (1 Cor. 15:57). The Law, sin, and death have attacked the sinless Christ, they converged upon Him; but they were themselves made culpable and guilty, they were condemned and rendered powerless by Christ, and this was for us. This is our joy and the reaping of the harvest.
Verse 4: 4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
The sign of the fleece to Gideon occurs in Judges 6 before the defeat of the Midians.
The day of Midian is recorded in Judges chapter 7. The Lord's army of 32,000 is reduced to 300. The Lord did this so that when Israel defeats the Midians all will know that the Lord did it.
Verse 5: For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
This prophecy is against earthly kingdoms such as Assyria, but also the fallen kingdom as well. Satan and all his host will be utterly destroyed. By whom?
Verse 6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Israel's army will not be reduced to 300 rather it will be reduced to One.
As mentioned in Isaiah 7:14, the Child will be born of the Virgin. His name will be God with us.
This Child is Christ. Single handed, He will bring all God's enemies to an end. This is accomplished with His death, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father. This victory will be made manifest on the Last Day with the resurrection of the death and the separation of the goats and the sheep.
The government is all the authority in heaven and on earth that Christ received and announced on the day of His ascension.
Wonderful – It is a wonder/a miracle that God should assume human flesh. The Christ now has two natures in one person of the Holy Trinity.
Counselor – This counselor needs no counselors. His judgment is always correct.
Mighty God – Elohim of Genesis chapter 1. The all-powerful God.
Everlasting Father – Connected to Genesis chapter 2, Yahweh. The personal God.
Prince of Peace – Accomplished in the resurrection. Delivered for the first time in the upper room. The Lord appeared to them through locked doors and said, “Peace be with you.” Not as the world gives but ….