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The Help Desk

The Help Desk

Author: Skip Moen
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6Isaiah 9:6
English: World English Bible - WEB

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Prince of Peace – The last title in Isaiah’s name for the child is the most startling of them all.  Today, we are so used to the “Prince of Peace” appellation for the Messiah that we no longer see how out-of-place this translation really is.  We don’t realize that the Hebrew word sar (in sar-shalom) is almost always a designation for a vassal king or a subordinate authority.  Isaiah does not want us to make this mistake.  In fact, this is the only place in all Scripture where the combination sar-shalom is used.  That should tell us to be very careful about how we translate this title.  It is not to be translated in the usual way.  This child is not a subordinate or lesser official in the Kingdom, as are all the rest of the sarim in the Old Testament.  When Isaiah coins the title, sar-shalom, he is not thinking of Yeshua as a subordinate god.  Isaiah is thinking of the further purpose of the Messiah, and that further purpose is not just about “peace” or about who has authority over peace.

How do we know that Isaiah doesn’t think of sar in the typically Hebrew way?  Because Isaiah has already given us two other titles that can only be ascribed to God Himself, el-gibbor and abi-ad.   The same child who is “mighty God” and “eternal Father” is also sar-shalom.  So, “prince” cannot be correct.  Some other translation is required.

To determine what sar means, we must think about the word shalom.  Of course, shalom does mean “peace,” and the alliteration “Prince of Peace” has a pleasant sound.  But “peace” is far too limited an understanding of shalomShalom is a word that really means well-being in all aspects of life; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  When one Jew greeted another with the word “Shalom,” it need not mean, “Have a nice day.”  It meant, “May all that you need for your well-being today come to you this day.”  That’s shalom.  This child is the official in charge of all shalom.  This child is the “well-being authority.”  If you really want shalom, then you must come to him, for he is the one divinely ordained to give it.

Of course, this means that Yeshua grants peace with God.  But that is not the limit of His authority.  All that is necessary for men to find well-being is under His care.  When Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing,” He meant it.  No effort toward well-being is accomplished without the expressed authority of  Yeshua, even if no one ever acknowledges His power over this effort.  All that I need for a life well-lived is to be found in Him.

No, “Prince of peace” is not enough.  His authority is much bigger than that.  John tells us that His authority extends to all creation; that everything came into being through Him.  This is no subordinate ruler.  This is no prince.  This is the King of glory, the absolute monarch of the ages, the Alpha and Omega of all that is.  This child is Pele-yoez-El-gibbor-Abi-ad-Sar-Shalom.  Quake before Him!  Kneel in submission!

Greek – Aleph and Omega … (Hebrew – Alef and Tav)

 

In another 1 Corinthians 11:31 Corinthians 11:3
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" href="http://skipmoen.com/2006/11/03/commentary-on-1-corinthians-113/">Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:31 Corinthians 11:3
English: World English Bible - WEB

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, Skip says:

Sar and melek have one unique distinction.  A king has authority in and of himself.  He is ruler by his own right.  But a sar is someone who has authority bestowed upon him by another.  He is a ruler, but a ruler by appointment, not title-designation.  This difference is absolutely critical.  The Suffering Servant, the Messiah, Emmanuel, is not a self-appointed ruler.  He is the One Who comes in the name of the Father, granted authority by another.  When we think of Yeshua as king, we must not get confused.  Isaiah understood.  The Messiah came as sar, not melek.

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