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…
It is not necessary to suppose that the prophet knew the literal meaning of his own words. He is but a poor preacher who knows all that he has said in his sermon. Had the prophet done so, he would be no longer the contemporary of his own epoch. It is the glory of prophecy to feel after. It is the glory of science to say long before the planet is discovered — there is another world there: no telescope has seen it, no message of light has been received from it consciously, but keep your telescope in that direction, there must be a starry pulse just there. The botanist knows that if he finds a certain plant in a given locality there will be another plant of another name not a mile away. He judges from one plant to another; he submits himself to inferential logic: he has not seen that other plant, but he tells you in the morning that because yesternight he found this leaf growing not far from the house in which he resides no will find another leaf of a similar pattern, or a diverse pattern, not far away; and at night he comes home, radiant as the evening star, and says, Behold, I told you this morning what would be the case, and there it is. So with the larger astronomy, and the larger botany: there is another planet somewhere yonder; when it is discovered call it the Morning Star, and inasmuch as there is triacle, treacle, in Gilead — a balm there — there shall be found another plant not far away; when you find it call it by some sweet name, such as the Rose of Sharon, or the Lily of the valley. It is the glory of the prophet to see signs which have infinite meanings — to see the harvest in the seed, the noonday in the faintest tint of dawn, the mighty man in the helpless infant, the Socrates in the embryo. This prevision made the prophets seemingly mad. Their knowledge was to them but a prison, so small, so dark, yet now and again almost alive with a glory all but revealed. The horizon was loaded with gloom, yet here and there a rent showed that heaven was immediately behind, and might at any moment make the dark cold earth bright and warm with eternal summer.
(J. Parker, 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.