Isaiah 11


‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.’ Isaiah 11:1-5

The Branch From Jesse

From the apparently dried up, that is, destroyed the house of David, Isaiah 10:33-34, shall arise One whose kingdom will be different from any kingdom before it. A shoot will spring up, upon whom the Spirit of the Lord will come. In other words, blessings will come under the Messiah.

Isaiah shifts from physical Israel to spiritual Israel, speaking of Christ, the Branch, Revelation 5:5 / Revelation 22:16 / Zechariah 6:12. Israel is cut off as a stump, but out of the stump would come to the Messiah, Revelation 5:5 / Revelation 22:16.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, is an obvious reference to Christ’s baptism, Matthew 3:16 / John 1:32-34.

With the ‘Spirit of wisdom’, He will judge the earth with righteousness, those who gave false judgements are contrasted with true judgement, 1 Corinthians 1:30 / Ephesians 1:17 / Colossians 2:3. And His would be all-powerful and the means of saving the righteous and destroying the wicked.

With the ‘Spirit of understanding’, He would be able to distinguish what was true and right in all matters of life, regardless of whether someone was rich or poor, Hebrews 4:15-16.

With the ‘Spirit of counsel’, He would make impartial judgments by freeing those who were oppressed, Isaiah 9:6.

With the ‘Spirit of might’, His destiny would be established, from which destiny He would not detour because of His strong character.

With the ‘Spirit of knowledge’, He would come with the knowledge of God for mankind, Matthew 11:27.

With the ‘Spirit of the fear of the Lord’, He would come doing the Father’s will, from which He wouldn’t turn away, John 4:34. He would be obedient in all things, Job 28:28 / Psalms 19:9 / Psalms 111:10 / Proverbs 1:7 / Proverbs 3:13 / Proverbs 15:33 / Proverbs 19:23.

The very words of Jesus have the power to judge the wicked, He only has to announce a judgment and it is done, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

He will judge with righteousness, John 7:24, He will judge justly, Deuteronomy 1:16-17, giving decisions for the poor, Matthew 5:3. In other words, when the Branch reigns all will be equal regardless of who they were or their status in society, John 2:24-25 / John 6:64 / Revelation 2:28.

‘The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, the young child will put their hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.’ Isaiah 11:6-9

Here we read of the nature of those who submit to the government of the Branch.

The wolf, leopard, lion, bear, cobras and vipers are all dangerous animals, but now they are depicted as being safe animals. They sit peacefully with the lamb, goat, calf, cow and little children.

This highly figurative language picturing wild beasts growing tame and animals which are natural enemies sleeping peacefully together represents the peace, harmony, and tranquillity which Christ would bring to those who submitted to and served Him, Revelation 21.

We must note that peace depends upon two things, 1. The righteousness of the rulers, and 2. Knowledge of the Word of God by those under the rule of the rulers.

Note that the peace, harmony, and tranquillity depicted here exist only in God’s holy mountain, Isaiah 11:9, not all over the world. This passage can no more be taken literally than the description of a sprout coming up out of Jesse, or of a rod or a sharp sword coming out of the mouth of Messiah.

The prophet isn’t looking to a time when animals of the natural world will live without enmity but he is describing the peace of those in Jehovah’s holy mountain, the kingdom of God.

‘In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies will be destroyed; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim. They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They will subdue Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them. The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals. There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.’ Isaiah 11:10-16

These verses tell us that ‘in that day’, that is, the day of Jesus, John 8:56, He being the Branch is to be a universal ruler.

Christ will be the ruler, the righteous ruler, the root of Jesse, Jesus, Revelation 5:5 / Revelation 22:16, would draw the Gentiles to Him through the preaching of the Gospel to all the Gentile ethnic groups throughout the world, Matthew 28:18-20 / Mark 16:15-16. The nations would rally to Him, Acts 2:5.

It will be a glorious day, a day when the Gentiles shall see the rest. Christ offers them spiritual rest and hope, Matthew 11:28-30 / Romans 15:12.

It’s also a time when Israel will be restored.

McGuiggan, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The ‘second’ time God restores Israel is under the Messiah and the implied ‘first’ time is from Egypt, as can be seen by verse 16, where the promises is reiterated. It is to be noticed that Israel and the Gentiles are not confounded here. They are viewed as distinct parties. They are not both spoken of under the term ‘Israel’. The Messiah would be a standard to which both groups could look. Israel is to be ‘restored’ under the Messiah. Judah and Ephraim are reunited into one kingdom, Ezekiel 37:15-28, and enjoy victory over all their enemies.’

‘Jehovah is viewed once more as drying up seas and rivers as He did of old in the days of Moses and Joshua. The ‘River’, of course. Speaks of the Euphrates, which in turn speaks of the power of Assyria, Isaiah 7:7, and is later used by John as a symbol of armed might, Revelation 9:13 / Revelation 16:12. And, as Egypt is often used as a representative of all the enemies of God’s people, so also is Assyria, Revelation 16:12.’

Go To Isaiah 12


"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."