Isaiah 9:5b

Published by Richard C. McDonald

I am married to Nancy McDonald and we have two boys, Noah and Stephen. I am a high school history teacher at Whitefield Academy in Louisville, KY. I am also an adjunct instructor of Old Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College. I am a fan of LSU, and college football in general. My family and I are members at Sojourn Church-JTown in Louisville, KY.

5 thoughts on “Isaiah 9:5b

  1. What is the name of this English tense/aspect – ‘a child is born to us’ – used by most translations to finesse the difficulty? I have been hunting through grammar web pages and haven’t found it yet. ‘To be’ with a past participle is used for the present continuous passive – ‘millions of children are born every day’. But if one says ‘The children are born.’, the aspect is perfect. The basic grammars just give ‘the children have been born’. ‘The children are born’ is very dramatic.

    Compare ‘the plane has landed’ with ‘the plane is landed’. ‘The plane is landed.. all eyes are on the exit door..’. The focus seems to be on the plane in the present, rather than giving information about the action that has completed.


      1. I’ll look into it more. I must apologize. My replies have been rushed because my attention is divided. I’m currently working on school curriculum for next school year. I do this site on my free time and lately I have not had much. I appreciate your interactions; they are helping me be more clear and concise in my analysis and comments. Going forward, though, there may be delays in my responses as I need to direct a majority of my attention to the next school year. Thanks for visiting my site. I do hope it’s been somewhat of a help.


      2. English present perfect formed with ‘to be’ rather than ‘to have’ is considered to be archaic. Gets a mention in the Wikipedia article here: section on ‘Auxiliaries’:

        ‘Early Modern English used both to have and to be as perfect auxiliaries. The usage differs in that to have expressed emphasis in the process of the action that was completed, whereas to be put the emphasis in the final state after the action is completed.’


      3. After looking into it a bit more, I’m still of the opinion that it is in the present tense. Though, I would qualify it: present passive. Similar to ‘ask’: Present Active: “he asks.” Present passive: “he is asked.” The description I found is: “The simple present is used to make statements about events at a time later than now, when the statements are based on present facts, and when these facts are something fixed like a time-table, schedule, calendar.” Since Isaiah 9:5 is prophetic-therefore a certain event – I think it fits the description of the present tense as future.


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