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…
The word is employed in the Bible frequently of those who assisted in the councils of kings. Jonathan, the uncle of David, was called "a wise counsellor" to his prince; Ahithophel, the wisest man of his day, was termed "the king's counsellor," the king's adviser. And thus it is constantly employed of a person giving sound and wise advice. The name, then, evidently implies these three things respecting Him —
I. THAT HE SHOULD POSSESS ADEQUATE WISDOM.
1. When He came into the world He descended from the bosom of God.
2. As He was acquainted with God, He was acquainted with man. He "searches the reins and the hearts." He therefore has wisdom enough to guide His people through time to eternity, and to be their most effectual and safest Counsellor.
II. THAT HE SHOULD COMMUNICATE THIS WISDOM BY POSITIVE INSTRUCTION. And this includes the fulfilment of an earlier promise, made by Moses to the Church of God, "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, like unto me." Jesus came, then, to be this Prophet, to speak with authority from God, and thus to communicate that instruction to mankind, and especially to believers, which was needful for their welfare, He came, according to the Divine appointment, to reveal the character of God, which He knew; to communicate to mankind that amount of knowledge respecting God which they were capable of receiving. He could therefore say repeatedly, when He was upon earth, that He had manifested the name of God (that is, His character) to His disciples, who received His instruction.
III. THAT HE SHOULD URGE AND PERSUADE MEN TO RECEIVE THAT INSTRUCTION. The Lord Jesus Christ still communicates His Spirit to men, in order to open their understandings and their hearts; just as He did when at the outpouring of His Spirit on the day of Pentecost three thousand were subdued at once by the Gospel, and disregarding all the differences in their circumstances, and putting away from them all considerations of worldly ease or comfort altogether, at once embraced the Gospel of Christ, — just as much does Jesus Christ now communicate His Spirit, to subdue men to Himself, and is thus their effectual Counsellor. He has given instruction by His Word, but He makes that instruction effectual by His Spirit.
(B. W. Noel, M. A.)
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.