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His dominion will be vast,[a]
and he will bring immeasurable prosperity.[b]
He will rule on David’s throne
and over David’s kingdom,[c]
establishing it[d] and strengthening it
by promoting justice and fairness,[e]
from this time forward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies[f] will accomplish this.

God’s Judgment Intensifies

[g] The Lord[h] decreed judgment[i] on Jacob,
and it fell on Israel.[j]
All the people were aware[k] of it,
the people of Ephraim and those living in Samaria.[l]
Yet with pride and an arrogant attitude, they said,[m]

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  1. Isaiah 9:7 tc The MT has לְםַרְבֵּה (lemarbeh, “to the abundance of”), where the first two letters לם were incorrectly duplicated from the end of the previous word (שָׁלוֹם, shalom) ending v. 6. Notice that the mem is in the form for ending words, i.e., ם not the expected מ. A few Hebrew mss, the LXX, Targum, and Vulgate reflect a text with רבה, “great is the dominion.”
  2. Isaiah 9:7 tn Heb “and to peace there will be no end” (KJV and ASV both similar). On the political and socio-economic sense of שָׁלוֹם (shalom) in this context, see the note at v. 6 on “Prince of Peace.”
  3. Isaiah 9:7 tn Heb “over the throne of David, and over his kingdom.” The referent of the pronoun “his” (i.e., David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  4. Isaiah 9:7 tn The pronoun “it” (both times in this line) refers back to “kingdom;” the noun and pronoun are both feminine.
  5. Isaiah 9:7 tn Heb “with/by justice and fairness”; ASV “with justice and with righteousness.”
  6. Isaiah 9:7 sn In this context the Lord’s “zeal” refers to his intense devotion to and love for his people which prompts him to vindicate them and to fulfill his promises to David and the nation.
  7. Isaiah 9:8 sn The following speech (9:8-10:4) assumes that God has already sent judgment (see v. 9), but it also announces that further judgment is around the corner (10:1-4). The speech seems to describe a series of past judgments on the northern kingdom which is ready to intensify further in the devastation announced in 10:1-4. It may have been written prior to the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom in 734-733 b.c., or sometime between that invasion and the downfall of Samaria in 722 b.c. The structure of the speech displays four panels, each of which ends with the refrain, “Through all this, his anger did not subside; his hand remained outstretched” (9:12b; 17b; 21b; 10:4b): Panel I: (A) Description of past judgment (9:8); (B) Description of the people’s attitude toward past judgment (9:9-10); (C) Description of past judgment (9:11-12a); (D) Refrain (9:12b); Panel II: (A) Description of the people’s attitude toward past judgment (9:13); (B) Description of past judgment (9:14-17a); (C) Refrain (9:17b); Panel III: (A) Description of past judgment (9:18-21a); (B) Refrain (9:21b); Panel IV: (A) Woe oracle announcing future judgment (10:1-4a); (B) Refrain (10:4b).
  8. Isaiah 9:8 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here and in v. 17 is אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay).
  9. Isaiah 9:8 tn Heb “sent a word” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV); NASB “sends a message.”
  10. Isaiah 9:8 tn The present translation assumes that this verse refers to judgment that had already fallen. Both verbs (perfects) are taken as indicating simple past; the vav (ו) on the second verb is understood as a simple vav conjunctive. Another option is to understand the verse as describing a future judgment (see 10:1-4). In this case the first verb is a perfect of certitude; the vav on the second verb is a vav consecutive.
  11. Isaiah 9:9 tn The translation assumes that vv. 9-10 describe the people’s response to a past judgment (v. 8). The perfect is understood as indicating simple past and the vav (ו) is taken as conjunctive. Another option is to take the vav on the perfect as consecutive and translate, “all the people will know.”
  12. Isaiah 9:9 tn Heb “and the people, all of them, knew; Ephraim and the residents of Samaria.”
  13. Isaiah 9:9 tn Heb “with pride and arrogance of heart, saying.”