Translations: Chinese GB Big5

He will Honor Galilee

Isaiah 9:1-2

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Jesus fulfilled this prophecy

Matthew 4:12-17
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—  to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

And concerning the great light, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

So also Isaiah 9:6 goes on to speak of characteristics of the Messiah, which will be covered later.

 Zebulun and Naphtali were two of the 13 tribes of Israel. According to the Law of Moses they were given territory in the Galilee area. Here we see it is spoken of as "Galilee of the Gentiles", but actually the area by Jesus' time was a mixture of Jews and Greeks. For this reason Galilean Jews were despised by the Jews of Jerusalem.


The honoring of this despised territory is a Messianic theme. For Isaiah also writes of the Messiah himself, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not." Isaiah 53:3 And so also God esteems the humble "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word." Isaiah 66:2 And this we can see in Jesus life, teaching and ministry.

The first coming of the Messiah introduced a philosophical shift away from religious elitism but which failed to take hold initially. A great deal of Jesus' teachings focussed on humility versus pride. For example The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector , The Parable of the Lowest Seat, and his constant humiliating of the religious elite. There was also a shift away from elitism concerning authority in general. Luke 22:25,26  Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.  But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves." And about greatness, "The greatest among you will be your servant." Matt 23:11

Though intially starting off well, the Christian community fell back into elitism for centuries, but nonetheless these concepts of humility have helped to shape much of civilization and the present state of the Christian community is much healthier than in the dark ages of religious elitism.  So also we see a shift in forms of government away from elitist dictatorial forms towards more democratic forms, which requires more an attitude of servant leadership and less an attitude of entitlement. Concerning Christian fellowship, "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." Colossians 3:11 And everyone can equally approach God, there no longer being an elitist clery/laity division. And every Christian knows God personally, "No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest." Heb 8:11

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015