There was no question in the first century Jewish mind that the Deliverer was near. His Name meant “anointed one” or “to smear.” It appears there were upwards of 20 or so people claiming to be be the Messiah at the time of Jesus. Why? Because as Jesus said, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” It was simply what the Law and the prophets had said would happen. Check out Luke 19:36-40! Consider what Jesus said. What He did. What He promises!
Dave’s take: Isaiah 9.1-7/NASB
“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
You shall multiply the nation, you shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence, as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
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. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness – from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”
Burnadette’s take: Isaiah 9.1-7/Message
“But there’ll be no darkness for those who were in trouble. Earlier he did bring the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali into disrepute, but the time is coming when he’ll make that whole area glorious—the road along the Sea, the country past the Jordan, international Galilee. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows – light! Sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants – all their whips and cudgels and curses is gone, done away with, a deliverance as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.The boots of all those invading troops, along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood, will be piled in a heap and burned, a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going. With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of GOD of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.”