In Isaiah 9:6, the child to be born will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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. Isaiah 9:6 ESV

A prince is one who will one day be king, but does not currently hold that position. Why doesn't Isaiah say that Jesus will be the King of Peace?

  • Interesting question, is this even in the Masoretic text? It's in the Greek and the Latin (newadvent.org/bible/isa009.htm)
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Oct 31, 2011 at 18:30
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    "A prince is one who will one day be king, but does not currently hold that position." Prince Albert of Monaco might disagree with you there.
    – TRiG
    Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 2:52
  • @Peter Turner, Yes it is. There's a one verse difference in the verse numbering. At the site you linked to see verse 5 "Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom;" They've hidden it by leaving that phrase in Hebrew. sar-shalom = Prince of Peace. Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 2:37

4 Answers 4


Before it meant the son of a king, or someone who was not yet king, the original sense of the word 'prince' was someone of the highest rank. (It's related to the word 'principal'.)

The Hebrew word שָׂר used in the original seems to have the same idea in it.

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    Nice answer! Welcome to the site! Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 11:18
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    I would add in English they undoubtedly used "Prince of Peace" rather than like "Chief of Peace" or "Ruler of Peace" (both of which would be Ok translations) because the two P's makes great alliteration. Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 2:33
  • @davidbrainerd: So you're saying that "Prince of Peace" was deliberately chosen by Architects of Alliteration?
    – Mason Wheeler
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 12:29
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    In the foreword to the KJV, King James was addressed as the most high and mightie Prince, James. This was very much the sense of the word in this era of English; all other uses of "Prince of Peace" are derivative. Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 22:45
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    In the Roman Empire (when the Vulgate was made) the Emperor was often called the Princeps, which is what the title “prince” refers to here. Hence, it is emphasizing the sovereignty of Christ, not downplaying it. Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 20:14

If we read the same passage (Isaiah 9:6) in different translations, for instances KJV, WEB, AMP, ASV, they all have «(The) Prince of Peace».

Then, we can read in Revelations 1:5 [KJV]

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth

Jesus here is also being introduced as prince, while in the other translations (WEB, AMP, ASV) we can read "ruler of kings".

To get more clarity, the greek word used in Rev 1:5 is archón (original word: ἄρχων). The same greek word is used in John 3:1 [KJV] but with the meaning of ruler

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

Basically KJV keeps true to what was told in the Old Testament (Isaiah 9:5) when there was no doubt (all the mentioned translations agree) Jesus is prince.

What does it mean if Jesus is prince? It means there's someone Jesus submits to, which is His Father in heaven.


The King has absolute authority, the Prince has certain limitation. God has given free will to man, even when it comes to the choice of whether to live in peace or in anxiety. Jesus as the Prince of Peace doesn't want to enforce His peace upon us if we prefer to live in trouble. He leaves it to us to be the 'king' to make the decision.


I am a former Jehovah's Witness. I have come out of that faith, and have learned a lot about God since leaving. My constant prayer has been to understand the NATURE OF GOD'S BEING. I still pray to Jehovah through Jesus name, but understanding that Stephen prayed to Jesus directly to receive his spirit as he was dying (acts 7:59) Yet, the Bible says elsewhere that the spirit goes back to God at death Ecclesiastes 12:7. hmmmm!?? So is Jesus God the King, God the Father or merely the son and prince?

Jesus is called our God in scripture and was worshipped, but I think the books of Daniel and Isaiah bring me closer to being a Trinitarian than ever! There the PRINCE OF HOSTS is spoken of as having his temple profaned (Daniel 8:11). This same prince is later taken out of the narration in chapter 11 and it says that the GOD OF GODS was the one who was magnified against when his temple was profaned (Daniel 11:36). That put me in mind of Isaiah 44:6: "Thus says the LORD, the KING OF ISREAL and his Redeemer, the LORD OF HOSTS: “I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.” now compare that to Joshua chapters 5 & 6 where presumably it is Jesus saying in Joshua 5:16 "...I am PRINCE OF JEHOVAH'S HOSTS; now I have come;' and Joshua falleth on his face to the earth, and doth obeisance, and saith to Him, 'What is my Lord speaking unto His servant?'" (FROM YOUNG'S LITERAL TRANSLATION ---THIS IS A DIRECT TRANSLATION FROM HEBREW) Yet, as you read through the chapter it is God himself who is with Joshua and the account ends in the last verse of Joshua chapter 6 stating that it was Jehovah who was with Joshua. hmmmmm again!

I SEE OVER AND OVER AGAIN THIS INTERCHANGEABLENESS OF THE TWO BEINGS. I do see where Jesus was used to lead and protect Israel and referred to as THEIR PRINCE and since the whole Old Testament is the story of Israel it makes sense Jesus would continually be referred to as PRINCE to the people because Jehovah was the God of the people, but when Jesus shed his blood, it seems to me that singular act did something to that relationship between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Now we see Jesus being relabeled by God himself as our Eternal Father, our source of life and light and being worshipped openly in the book of Revelation (where he is also referred to as the Alpha and Omega). Hmmmm...I am still confused beyond words, but I can say that after spending 40 years condemning anyone who worshipped Christ as God instead of Jehovah as God and Jesus as the mere Son of God who should not be worshipped...I am humbled to say I was wrong! At the very least, I see that Jesus is to be worshipped as a God in our time and that his shedding that blood took him from being a leader and a protector to being a savior and the eternal father in the sense that he gave us back the prospect of eternal life! And now...every knee should bend to Jesus and God wants it that way. Something amazing that I do not fully understand transpired after Jesus was raised up to heaven, Something that allowed God to make Jesus a King who sits on the ONLY throne of supreme power....something that allowed God to give Jesus power beyond what he had before he came to earth (See John 5:25-29 below)...Something that made a jealous God say 'worship him too! I said there would be no other God, but I have allowed Jesus to be a God with the power of life and death' Philippians 2:10- it is all mind blowing.

John 5:25-29—“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 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.”

So the short answer is Jesus was a Prince until he shed his blood and was raised to heaven...then he became the king of king and lord of lords....mind blowing! Next question is...is it a temp job? Look at 1 Corinthians 15....after all things are reconciled Jesus is said to step aside and hands all things BACK TO GOD SO THAT GOD MAY BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE WITH NO JESUS IN THE EQUATION. Presumably this would be JESUS RELINQUISHING ALL AUTHORITY OVER LIFE, DEATH, JUDGEMENT, ETC. BACK TO GOD. RESEARCH THAT ONE! I WILL.

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    Hi, Angie. I really sympathize with your story of leaving the Watchtower and your recognition of it as false, and I agree with your assessment of it and your answer here. Still, on this particular site, we ask that all comments and answers refrain from disparaging any particular group. Here, we just present evidence and answers and let the information speak for itself. Perhaps you might find a few books of comfort to you: "30 Years a Watchtower Slave", and "I, Witness". Nonetheless, your post here will be removed unless the disparagement is edited out.
    – Narnian
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 20:37
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    Welcome to the site! I'd echo what Narnian said and suggest the following posts, meant to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first): the help page and How we are different than other sites?, and What makes a good supported answer? Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 2:55

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