Isaiah 9:6, "Everlasting Father" or "Father of Eternity?"

William Arnold III


Isaiah 9:6, it is said that "everlasting Father" can or should be "Father of eternity" and that Father in this sense does not connect Jesus to being God "the Father" but rather means he is the possessor of eternity (Ab-raham Father of many, Ab being the hebrew word for Father).


Concerning Isaiah 9:6, it is true that we could "literally" read this as "Father of Eternity." However, this is the way you would say "Eternal Father" in Hebrew. In comparison with English, the Hebrew language is deficient in adjectives. Instead, they would use constructions like this to do what our language does with adjectives. A noun following another noun in construct form can function this way. The word "eternity" is in a genitve construct with the word "Father." It is used in the same way in Hab. 3:6, where "everlasting mountains" is literally "mountains of eternity." The point is clear that he means "mountains which last forever." In 1 Chr. 29:2, "marble stones" is literally "stones of marble." As I said, this is how you would say "Eternal Father" in Hebrew and is why it not translated "Father of Eternity" in any major translation. Even the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament gives the meaning "Father forever" for this passage.

Email IBS | Statement of Faith | Home | Browse by Author | Q & A
Links | Virtual Classroom | Copyright | Submitting Articles | Search