Isaiah 9:6 YLT: For a Child hath been born to us, A Son hath been given to us, And the princely power is on his shoulder, And He doth call his name Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.

For a child has been[a] born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called Wonderful Adviser, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV)

But most English versions call him "Eternal Father" like the ESV,

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (ESV)

Is not God the Father of eternity and isn't that a title that only God can bear?

6 Answers 6


That's correct. Everlasting Father is a title that only God can bear. However, since in the Trinitarian understanding Jesus's essence is the same as that of God the Father, Jesus can also bear the title.

This Gospel Coalition article How Can Jesus Be Our Everlasting Father gives 3 answers to the question "How can Jesus the Messiah, the second person of the Godhead, be called Everlasting Father?"

  1. Isaiah is not confusing Jesus the Messiah with the first person of the Trinity.

    ... It’s unlikely Isaiah has the Trinity in mind at all when he says the Messiah will be called Everlasting Father. It’s not the Messiah’s role within the Godhead, but the Messiah’s character toward us that Isaiah has in mind. ...

  2. Isaiah is highlighting the divine nature of the Messiah.

    ... More than any other author, Isaiah loves to speak of eternity. ... Isaiah is speaking of a child who will be born some 700 years in the future—yet he makes clear that this child is the author of eternity, the “father of time”! This truly boggles the mind.

  3. Jesus the Messiah is the only one who can reveal God’s fatherly character to us, for he is one in nature and essence with the Father.

    Isaiah couldn’t have fully seen the light of glory that shone from Jesus when he dwelt among us. But from Jesus’s own lips, words such as these were spoken:

    • I and the Father are one . . . know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. (John 10:30, 38)
    • Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? (John 14:9–10a)

    If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. Jesus is the perfect image of God, and the exact representation of his being. Jesus alone makes the Father known. Indeed, no one can come to the Father except through him (John 14:6).

  • 1
    Good answer - (+1)
    – Dottard
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 21:44
  • Why do you (along with many others) persist with the nonsense derived from, "I and the Father are one" inferring that, Jesus is "one in nature and essence with the Father"? This is clearly not what the scriptures present and is actually explained by Jesus himself in John 17:11,21. This 'one essence' stance is analogous to citing 1 John 5:7 as some kind of official proof of a trinity. - which it might be if it was not a corruption of the text.
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 0:22
  • @Steve - That is a good text. Another in Phil 2:5, 6 - Jesus is "in very nature, God".
    – Dottard
    Commented Sep 30, 2023 at 11:12

[Isa 9:6 NLT] (6) For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This is actually a mistranslation.

First of all, let me point out that traditional Christianity, aka Trinitarianism, likes to quote this verse, which is clearly Messianic, to say that the Messiah will be the Father (Almighty God). However, true Judaism and true Christianity are fiercely monotheistic. That is, while many are called “gods” in the scripture, there is always a sharp distinction between these heroes who are referred to as “gods” and such (as in the same name above) and God, the Father, the Almighty. This passage is not meant to blur that line.

The correct translation and significance is something more like “Father of Innumerable [Children]”:


See Gesenius.

It is the word in the following verse for David’s innumerable troubles:

[Psa 40:12 NLT] (12) For troubles surround me--too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can't see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.

This becomes more obvious in the next verse:

[Isa 9:7 NASB] (7) 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.

This is how, of course, the promise to Abraham is brought to fruition:

[Gen 15:5-6 NLT] (5) Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, "Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That's how many descendants you will have!" (6) And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.

We see the continuously increasing and uncountable number of descendants in Revelation:

[Rev 7:9-12 NASB] (9) After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and [all] tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches [were] in their hands; (10) and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (11) And all the angels were standing around the throne and [around] the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, (12) saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, [be] to our God forever and ever. Amen."

The 144,000 in the previous section are the chosen remnant of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, living and dead, reunited with faithful Jews from Judah into the “one stick” of the united kingdom of Israel, under the one shepherd, the Messiah/Christ per Ezekiel 37. These that come after are the ever growing Christians from all nations, including Israel, living and dead, and composed of both Jews and gentiles. They are the first fruits. They have a different origin story than those that follow but other than that, they are one covenant people along with the ever increasing number that comes after:

[Eph 4:4-6 NLT] (4) For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. (5) There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.

The ones in the first group were an elect remnant, chosen by God and their number is given. The ones that follow are innumerable because their numbers keep growing forever. They are as uncountable as the stars in the sky and as the sand of the sea. In fact, they are described, not as you see in English translations, those who “came out” but rather “are coming out of the great trouble”. It is a present continuous, ongoing reality.

The NASB has modified this by adding an inappropriate comma and adding the word “they” which obscures this so I’ve taken the liberty of putting both in brackets below:

[Rev 7:13-17 NASB] (13) Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" (14) I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come [better: "are coming"] out of the great tribulation[,] and [they] have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (15) "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. (16) "They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; (17) for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes."

The Jehovah’s Witnesses organization claims falsely to be the 144,000 and royalty which is patently false. They also claim that the 144,000 have a different hope. This is somewhat true in that in that they were the ones who were to be raptured in order to join Jesus when he returned c. 70 AD/CE to judge the living and the dead of Israel:

[Jde 1:14-15 NASB] (14) [It was] also about these men [that] Enoch, [in] the seventh [generation] from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, (15) to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

The “armies of heaven” are these elect 144,000:

[Rev 19:14-15 NLT] (14) The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. (15) From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress.

[Eze 37:10-14 NLT] (10) So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet--a great army. (11) Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, 'We have become old, dry bones--all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.' (12) Therefore, prophesy to them and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. (13) When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the LORD. (14) I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the LORD has spoken!'"

However, afterwards there is but one flock, one shepherd, one hope, which is the hope of everlasting life together with Christ, wherever he is.


Why is Jesus called the “Father of eternity”?

Isaiah 9:6 King James Version (KJV)

6 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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The title "Father Eternity " refers to Jesus Christ whom God granted "All authority in heaven and on earth. (Mat 28:18 NASB) This authority includes the resurrection of the dead.

John 5:28-29 (NASB)

28 "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."

John 11:25-26(KJV)

25 "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

The Judgment. Recommend reading. (Matthew 25:31-46 NASB)

By means of this authority (Mat. 28:18) granted to him by God his Father, Jesus has the power to give humans the prospect of eternal life on earth.


31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. (Mat. 25:31-33) 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life (NASB)

The legacy of our first parent, Adam, was death. Jesus, the last Adam, "became a life-giving spirit."

1 Corinthians 15:45 (NASB) " So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."

1 Corinthians 15:22 (KJV) " For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Romans 6:9 (NASB) "Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, [a]is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him."

Just as Jesus, the Eternal Father, will live forever, so obedient mankind will enjoy the benefits of his fatherhood eternally.​Jesus will also apply his God-given authority to bring back to life many who have died.​ John 11:25-26

  • Sure sounds to me like you are saying, "when thou (mankind) shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he (the arm of the LORD in Isaiah 53) shall see his seed, (His offspring as sons of God) he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. So John 5:26 would be line upon line, precept upon precept: "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." Commented May 7, 2020 at 2:17

From the NET Bible Notes:

This title must not be taken in an anachronistic Trinitarian sense. (To do so would be theologically problematic, for the “Son” is the messianic king and is distinct in his person from God the “Father.”) Rather, in its original context the title pictures the king as the protector of his people. For a similar use of “father” see Isa 22:21 and Job 29:16. This figurative, idiomatic use of “father” is not limited to the Bible. In a Phoenician inscription (ca. 850–800 B.C.) the ruler Kilamuwa declares: “To some I was a father, to others I was a mother.” In another inscription (ca. 800 B.C.) the ruler Azitawadda boasts that the god Baal made him “a father and a mother” to his people. (See ANET 499–500.) The use of “everlasting” might suggest the deity of the king (as the one who has total control over eternity), but Isaiah and his audience may have understood the term as royal hyperbole emphasizing the king’s long reign or enduring dynasty (for examples of such hyperbolic language used of the Davidic king, see 1 Kgs 1:31; Pss 21:4–6; 61:6–7; 72:5, 17).

  • Hi Ryan and pleased to meet you. +1
    – Ruminator
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 14:12

How is Jesus “Eternal Father” at Isaiah 9:6?

Having children is what makes Jesus a father.

(American Standard Version Hebrews 2:13) And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold, I and the children whom God hath given me.

Hebrews 2:13 quotes Isaiah 8:18 which is applied to the Messiah. This is very close in proximity to Isaiah 9:6 and is related.

(American Standard Version Isaiah 8:18) Behold, I and the children whom Jehovah hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from Jehovah of hosts, who dwelleth in mount Zion.

The children will live forever because of his death.

(American Standard Version Hebrews 2:14) Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

(American Standard Version Romans 5:12) Therefore, as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:--

Paul calls Jesus the second and last Adam. (1 Co 15:45) Adam was the Father of the human race, but Jesus replaced him.

(American Standard Version1 Corinthians 15:22) For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Since these children receive eternal life by knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ, and he replaced Adam as our Father, he is our Eternal Father.

(American Standard Version John 17:3) And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.

He is not his own Father. His Father is the one who gave him children. They are “father” in a different sense and for a different reason.

So, no. It's not a title of God at all.


There is clearly a dogmatic traditional bias and discomfort among "Christians" in accepting the Messiah as the father of believers, as it go against their dogmatic preconceptions. The reasons are given in the answers. They somehow argue that this reference of the father is different and figurative than God the father, as though God the father is a literal biological father of all. YLT is coming with the same dogmatic bias, hence rendering it "father of eternity" rather than the everlasting father. I wonder why the YLT is still so popular when there are many literal versions available.

Consider how the anti-Messianic Jews translate the verse: the mighty God and Father will call him Prince of Peace.

Chabad translation 5For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace."

Without such traditional dogmas & presuppositions one wouldn't translate the verse using innovative ways to change plain the text.

The names are titles of the Messiah, depicting his divinity.

Rabbinic statements: “R. Yose the Galilean said: “The name of the Messiah is Peace, for it is said, Everlasting Father, Prince Peace” (Midrash Pereq Shalom, p. 101); “The Messiah is called by eight names: Yinnon [see Ps. 72:17], Tzemach [e.g., Jer. 23:5]; Pele [Wonderful, Isa. 9:6 (5)], Yo’etz [Counselor, Isa. 9:6 (5)], Mashaich [Messiah], El [god, Isa. 9:6 (5)], Gibbor (Hero, Isa. 9:6 (5)], and Avi’ Ad Shalom [Eternal Father of Peace, Isa. 9:6 (5)]; see Deuteronomy Rabbah 1:20.

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