For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful…
In interpreting the peculiar language employed, it is impossible to enter into its true significance without remembering that in ancient times, and more especially in the practice of the Jews, names had oftentimes, when applied to individuals, a significance which they have not when given, as among ourselves, upon no principle except family custom or personal preference. Among the Jews especially, they were often selected and given on the ground of some peculiarity in the circumstances or character of the person named; so that they ceased to be empty and arbitrary signs of the parties thus designated, and became truly descriptive of something in their history or condition. It is in this way that the name of God Himself is used as a synonym for the character of God (Exodus 23:21; Exodus 34:5-7; Proverbs 18:10). And it is in this way, undoubtedly, that we are to understand the language of the prophet when he tells us, in refer. once to the coming Deliverer, that "His name shall be called, Wonderful," etc.
(J. Bannerman, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.