We have dealt with Sukkot and the terms associated with the festival and those related to the defeat of Gog and Magog in Isa 9.2-5. Now, we are going to deal with the Messiah and some names that will be applied to him in Isa 9.6 where it says, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” As you can see, the child being born is at the same time as the defeat of Gog and Magog. This verse is quoted in Christianity at Christmas time, but as we will see in a later teaching, he was not born on December 25th. There seems to be many names for just one person, but this is not unusual. There is a movie called “The Wind and the Lion” and it is based on a true story. The main character in this movie was called “Mulay Achmed Muhamed Raisuli the Magnificent, Sheriff of the Riffian Berbers, Defender of the Faithful.” Having many names, especially for a king, is not unusual. The names in Isa 9.6 are intended for the Messiah.
Jewish commentaries will have other explanations for them, saying they “apply to God” and to “Hezekiah”, etc. But, these are called “theophanies and titles” and that is when a name expresses an attribute of God, or something associated with his character and purpose. For example, the name Immanuel in Isa 7.14 means “God with us” but it refers to Isaiah’s son Maher Shalal Hashbaz (Isa 8.1-4). Here is the concept of many names again. Some of the problems people have is when it says “Mighty God” in Isa 9.6. But, in Hebrew it is “El Gibbor” and “gibbor” is a term you use for a warrior. David’s “mighty men” were called the “Gibborim.”Now, we will show that Yeshua was born at the festival of Sukkot. Everything above this passage is dealing with Sukkot, and so will the birth of the Messiah as we shall see.
Isa 9.7 goes on to say, “There will be no end to the increase of his government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom.” The word “increase” is “L’Marbeh” in Hebrew. We will get back to that word. In Isa 52.13 it says, “Behold, my servant will prosper, he will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.” In the Targum Ben Uzziel, it says “my servant, the Messiah.” Ben Uzziel was a first century scholar, so this is how they understood this verse in the time of Yeshua. When it comes to the Messiah, this will go beyond what any earthly king has or will do. Now, the word “increase” in Isa 9.7 alludes to that. Now, this has to have a fulfillment in Hezekiah’s day but he fell short of what this verse is saying.
A royal child will have many birth-names. This concept is covered in the book “Ancient Israel” by Roland Deveaux. These names were “prophetic” of what the child will do in his life and during his reign. It may take 50 years to fulfill these names, but it was a common practice. At the coronation, he got “coronation” names. This practice is still done today. For example, Prince Charles of England’s full style and titles are: “His Royal Highness the Prince Charles Phillip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Chester, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Grand Master and Principle Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Companion of the Queen’s Service, Order Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Counsel, Aide-de-Camp to her Majesty.” There are perhaps hundreds of other names and titles.
So, what we have in Isa 9 are birth-names, which was a very common practice among royalty and they were also prophetic. Now, let’s get back to the word for “increase” in Isa 9.7. The word “L’Marabeh” is written in Hebrew with a lamed, final mem, resh, beit and hey. A final mem is used to call attention to this verse because it is not supposed to be in this word. A “final” form of any letter is to be found at the end of a word, not at the beginning. And why is it a “final form mem?” To understand this, we need to dig a little deeper.
Luke 1.5-25 tells the story of Zechariah and it says that he was a member of the mishmar Abijah, the eighth course of kohanim to serve in the Temple (1 Chr 24.10). If you add the week of Passover and Shavuot when all the kohanim had to be in the Temple, this will be the tenth week of the religious year when Zechariah was in the Temple. He is chosen by lot to burn incense in the Heichal, where he is told by Gabriel that he is going to have a son. After his service is over, he goes home and his wife Elisheva conceives, so this is mid to late Sivan. Go forward nine months and we are back to the month of Nisan and the birth of Yochanon ha Matvil (John the Immerser). It is Passover season and the people were looking for Elijah. Yochanon was to come in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1.17). Now, Miriam conceives when Elisheva was six months pregnant with Yochanon. Gabriel comes to her about mid to late Kislev, the time of Chanukah. At Chanukah, they used the same prayers, names and ceremonies as Sukkot because when the Temple was rededicated at the time of the Maccabee’s, they missed Sukkot. Since the first Temple was dedicated at Sukkot, they used the same prayers and ceremonies and so Chanukah was seen as a “second Sukkot.” It was also called the “Sukkot of winter” and the “festival of lights.” We will see in a later teaching that what Miriam tells Gabriel is what is said in a Sukkah.
So, what we have so far is that Yeshua was conceived at Chanukah, and if you go ahead nine months you come to the festival of Sukkot. King Herod dies within 40 days of Yeshua’s birth because Miriam appears in the Temple with Yeshua after the birth of a son, fulfilling Lev 12.1-8. There is documentation that we will show later that says Herod died in September on the Julian calendar. If this year was a Jewish “leap year” that means that the festivals were over by the time Herod died, which exactly fits the scenario of Yeshua’s birth, their flight to Egypt, and then being back in the Temple within 40 days.
Now, back to Isa 9.2-7. You have a Sukkot passage and what is clearly a messianic passage in Isa 9.6 about a child being born. The “closed” or “final” mem of L’Marbeh in Isa 9.7 is an allusion to the Virgin Birth, and here is why. The letter mem in Hebrew thought is associated with the womb. An open mem is an open womb, a closed mem is a closed womb. The Talmud, Sefer Yetzirah 3.4, Bahir 8.5, Etz Chaim, Shaar ha Yereach are just a few of the sources for this. However, another good source is the article “The Mystery of the Closed Mem” by Daniel Botkin. You can access this article on the Internet.
When Gog and Magog invade Israel and are destroyed right before Sukkot, Messiah Yeshua will be “born to us” (Israel) in the heart (Ezek 39.22, Isa 10.12, 10.20) in a spiritual rebirth. This prophecy has spiritual and natural applications, alluding to the birth of Yeshua at Sukkot as well as the birth of Yeshua in the hearts of the people at the defeat of God and Magog around the time of Sukkot during the Birth-pains (another allusion).
In Part 38, we are going to take this concept a little deeper and discuss the birth of Yeshua at Sukkot. In doing so, we are going to pick up many new concepts that will help you interpret the Scriptures correctly.