Prince of Peace - Isaiah 9:6 - Part 4
by Chuck Jones
In this concluding article from Isaiah 9:6 I want to write about the “Prince of Peace.” It would be easy to simply take this name at face value and agree that Jesus is that prince. However, I don’t want to do that. I want to give this name the same consideration as the others. I think that it will help our understanding and appreciation of Jesus grow. It will also have an effect on how we conduct ourselves in life.
In Isaiah 9:6, the Hebrew word “sar” is translated for us as "prince." It is a masculine form of the word. It is used in reference to men. The feminine form is “sara.” Abraham’s wife’s name was changed from Sarai to Sarah (Genesis 17:15) which means princess. But it is the masculine form of the name that we are interested in here.
“Sar” as found in the Old Testament is translated in various ways. To be sure , the majority of occurrences is translated prince, but it is also translated in other ways. In each case it carries the idea of authority conferred because of competence, or a position inherited, as in the case of a prince. Here are some of the various ways “sar” is used in the Hebrew text. (Those words are in bold):
Exodus 1:11, “Therefore they set taskmasters [sar] over them to afflict them with theirburdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses.”
Exodus 18:21, “Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fearGod: men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”
1 Samuel 8:11,12 “He said, This will be the manner of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them to him, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and they shall run before his chariots; and he will appoint them to him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and [he will set some] to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots.”
1 Kings 5:16, “besides Solomon`s chief officers who were over the work, three thousand
and three hundred, who bore rule over the people who labored in the work.”
1 Chronicles 15:27, “David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites who bore the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song [with] the singers: and David had on him an ephod of linen.”
1 Chronicles 24:5, “Thus they were divided by lot, one group as another, for there were
officials of the sanctuary and officials of the house of God, from the sons of Eleazar and from the sons of Ithamar.”
In all these uses we can make application to Jesus of Nazareth. Basically, “sar” is a title given, in its various forms, to a person who has either been appointed or has inherited the position. Both of these certainly apply to Jesus. Here is more scriptural evidence:
“Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne” (Acts 2:30).
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus,
whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth” (Philippians 2:9-10).
From this testimony we can see that Jesus has received his throne by way of inheritance, and by appointment from God. He has manifested competence to rule as prince.
The second part of this name tells us about the reign of this prince. The English word "peace" is translated from the Hebrew word “Shalem” or “Shalom.” This word is found in the name of the great city, Jerusalem. It means, “founded on peace” or “flowing in peace.” When we are urged to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we can pray that its name would be fulfilled! "Shalom” is a state of being where there is an absence of strife of any kind. Whether that strife comes from those we live and work with (or drive on the freeway with), or strife of a personal nature. (That could be not having enough money in the check book or the turmoil over the presence of sin in our lives.)