Christmas Conundrum :: By Todd Hampson

Christmas Conundrum :: By Todd Hampson

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Isaiah 9:6 is quoted frequently at Christmastime. You may have seen the passage on Christmas cards, oftentimes along with a manger scene.

The well-known (but usually not fully understood) verse reads, “To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Notice that the first three phrases correlate to three distinct events in the ministry of Jesus, each separated by time.

First, he was born.

Then 33 years later, the Son of God was given as a sacrifice for sin (John 3:16).

Then one day yet future, the government will be on his shoulders. He will reign over all the nations of earth during the millennial kingdom as the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7 continues the kingdom theme, saying, “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”

The incredible prophecies in Isaiah about the first coming, the tribulation period, and the millennial kingdom should get our attention.

Many believers understand the import of Isaiah 9:6 at Christmastime but fail to interpret literally what Isaiah 9:7 says about a future kingdom in which the government of the entire world will be on the Messiah’s shoulders.

This twofold pairing of prophecies occurs in the book of Isaiah as well as in other prophetic books.

Getting a clear comprehension of the twofold prophecies related to the first and second advents of Jesus is key to understanding God’s plan for the ages.

As we approach Christmas and as the world continues to trend toward the tribulation, let us never lose hope that God is sovereignly bringing about the conditions that will usher in the Kingdom—and before all of that, we anxiously await our blessed hope!

Todd Hampson |

The above is adapted from Todd’s latest book, The Chronological Guide to Bible Prophecy, in which he covers key prophetic themes and lists the percentages of prophecy found in each book of the Bible.

Grace and Peace,

Todd Hampson

Animation Development & Production |

Author | | podcast

Contact | 706-426-0951


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1 Comment

  • Reply December 24, 2023


    The Greek word being translated to “inn” here is kataluma. That word can mean “inn,” but it doesn’t have to. The only other time kataluma is used in the New Testament is in reference to the well-furnished guest room where Jesus ate the Last Supper with His disciples. We know Joseph had family in Bethlehem so it’s safe to assume that, in this case, kataluma is referring to a family guest room. The word “manger” here does mean an animal feeding trough, but at the time, a family’s animals were often brought into the house itself at night to protect them from theft. It was not at all uncommon for families to have mangers in their ground-floor rooms so the animals could be fed at night while the human members of the household slept in the upper levels.

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