Everlasting Father - Isaiah 9:6 Part - 3
by Chuck Jones
As mentioned before, we are left at the mercy of the translators in giving us what the ancient manuscripts said. In this article the point of interest is, I think, properly translated. Here we will find it isn’t what the text says, but our understanding of what we are presented with that makes the difference.
From Isaiah 9:6, I will be writing about one of the names that the son who would be king will be called: “Everlasting Father.” Although this may be a proper translation from the Hebrew, I don’t think we can make an immediate jump to connect this name to the Creator of all things. To do that would be to ignore some of the basic usages of the words that make up this name. It would also cause us to miss some aspects of the work the Son has done. Let’s investigate “Everlasting Father” and see if you don’t agree with me.
Our English word, everlasting, carries a meaning which may be quite different than the Hebrew word it is translated from. This is also true of the Greek word in the New Testament as well. The Hebrew word “olam” or “alom” and the Greek word “aeon” all refer to long periods of time. We use the word “age” often to reference this, such as “the age of dinosaurs” or the “bronze age”, this "present age," or the "age to come."
“Olam” indicates distant time whether past, present, or future. It is a term of perpetuity or a perpetual time. We can find this sort of usage throughout the Old Testament. Some examples are:
“The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God`s sons came to men`s daughters. They bore children to them: the same were the mighty men who wereof old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:4). Here “olam” makes reference to the distant past. Thesemighty men were from a remote time long gone.
“I will establish my covenant with you; neither will all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither will there anymore be a flood to destroy the earth." God said, "This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:11-13). We still can see the rainbow in the skybecause this covenant was made for “olam” generations. From that time and long into the future.
“I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you. Kings will come out of you. I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you. I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land where you are traveling, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. I will be their God” ( Genesis 17:6-8). These twopromises given to Abraham were from old, and will last on into the future.
“Olam” is used in a wide variety of ways and a connection can be made to Jesus of Nazareth. In 2 Samuel 7 we have the record of God speaking through Nathan the prophet to King David about his son Solomon, and beyond:
“When your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my loving kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before you: your throne shall be established forever.” (Verses 12-16).