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– Imagine a world where the court system administers perfect justice;

– Imagine a world where one could live in perfect peace and harmony without any threat of violence or hostility; where even the animals no longer prey on one another but graze together side by side – a reversal of the curse of the fall

– Imagine a world where all peoples are unified in their submission to the majestic presence of the One True God whose name is Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11) – no more Jew/Gentile conflict; no more striving for the prideful enlargement of earthly kingdoms

This is the picture of the future Messianic kingdom that Isaiah presents in Chapter 11.

We have mentioned many times in our study of this great book, that the prophetic perspective has a telescoping effect – both events associated with the First Advent and the Second Advent of the Messiah can be blended together in the same passage. It is that mountain peak effect where you don’t see the valley that lies between. That is certainly true in today’s passage. But in a similar vein, the same perspective can be applied to OT content that relates to the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom which then merges into the eternal state after the Lord puts down the final rebellion of the wicked. The distinction does not get clarified until the last few chapters of the Book of Revelation that lays out the chronology for these end game events.

Isaiah’s vision here relates primarily to that Millennial Kingdom on earth that will see a reversal of those negative impacts on the environment that can be traced back to the Fall of Man in Genesis 3. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Rom. 8:19-22)



A. (:1) Human Origins

1. Humble Beginnings

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,”

Contrasting tree prophecy – end of Chap. 10 we saw the proud Assyrians characterized as the trees of Lebanon – cut down by God’s judgment; here we see a humble shoot springing up from a stump – nation of Israel cut down – things look like they might be over – but the Redeemer comes to the rescue

For He (Messiah) grew up before Him (God the Father) like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground. He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, (Isaiah 53:2).

Famous passage from Job 14 – where is hope for man in light of the finality of death??

The Messiah brings that hope for the nation of Israel — Resurrection implications – life from the dead

Beall: The Hebrew word for stump ([z:GE) is used only three times in the OT: Job 14:8; Isa 40:24; and here–again, evidence against the “two Isaiah” critical view of the book. Similarly, the term for branch, rc,nE, is used only 4 times in the OT, 3 times in Isaiah: here, Isa 14:19, and Isa 60:21 (i.e., in both portions of the book). The OT fulfillment of Matt 2:23 (“He shall be called a Nazarene”) may possibly be found in a word play with rc,nE, speaking of the Lord’s lowly beginnings. The humble origins of the Messiah is stressed again in Isa 53:1- 3 (see also Matt 2:23; John 1:46). A related word, xm;c,, is used messianically in Zech 3:8 and 6:12; and Jer 23:5 and 33:15.

2. Fruitful Results

“And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.”

Fruit is the evidence of life

Concept of the righteous branch

B. (:2) Divine Empowerment and Enlightenment

1. Divine Empowerment

“And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,”

Bob Utley: Qal perfect denoting a settled condition. It will abide and remain. This same truth is stated in different ways in 42:1 )”Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.”); 59:21; 61:1 (“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to …”) ; Matt. 3:16; Luke 4:18.

Beall: we know from the NT that at Jesus’ baptism, “the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him” (Matt 3:16). The same words are used in Isa 61:1, quoted by the Lord in Luke 4:18-19 (“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me . . . “).

Van Parunak: Throughout the OT, we are reminded that people can only do something worthwhile when God acts through them by his spirit.

PreceptAustin: Like David (1Sa 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.”), this king will be energized by the Lord’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit will rest on the Messiah (permanently; not temporarily come upon, e.g., Nu 11:25, 26), a prophecy that was fulfilled at His first coming but will also be fulfilled at His Second Coming. This is a fascinating and somewhat mysterious statement in view of the unity of the Trinity. And yet the Gospels speak of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus. Beloved, while this is indeed a great mystery, Jesus’ dependence on the Holy Spirit to control and empower ministry during His time on earth should also be a great encouragement to all believers and a strong motivation for us to seek to learn to walk by the Spirit.

Oswalt: The promised shoot from the stump of Jesse will be characterized by the very breath of God about him. Everything about his leadership will testify to a supernatural endowment for his calling. It is this which is critical. Unless the Messiah is truly endued with the Spirit of God, the results of his rule will be no different from those of an Ahaz.

At the time of the exodus Bezalel, master craftsman on the tabernacle, was noted for his ability To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.

He had this ability because God filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship (Exod 31:3-5; cf. 35:30-35).

The enabling of the Spirit of God is evident in those whom God places over his people.

• The Spirit of God was on Moses, and on the seventy elders who ruled with him (Num 11:15).

• Joshua was enabled by the Spirit in his leadership (Num 27:18; Deut 34:9).

• The ability of the judges to deliver Israel is repeatedly explained by the phrase, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him” (Othniel, 3:10; Gideon, 6:34; Jephthah, 11:29; and notably Samson, 14:6, 19; 15:14; cf. 13:25).

• Saul’s anointing as king was followed by the coming of the Spirit of God upon him (1 Sam 10:10). His victory over the Ammonites was attributed to the endowment of that Spirit (11:6).

• When the Lord replaced Saul as king, the Spirit left him, and came upon David (1 Sam 16:13, 14):

13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed [David] in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. … 14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, …

The Spirit also comes upon prophets, throughout Israel’s history. But interestingly, in spite of the universal references to the Spirit during the Exodus, judges, and Saul and David, no later civil ruler is ever said to enjoy this endowment, until the promised Rod out of the ruined stump of Jesse. Recall 1 Sam 16:13, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” It was his permanent endowment, and even after he died, it was reserved for the One who would one day appear, not just as his successor, but bearing his name.

2. Divine Enlightenment

a. Inner Discernment – Focus on the Mind — Insight

“The spirit of wisdom and understanding,”

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Lk 2:52)

He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. (Jn 2:25)

Beall: wisdom, the ability to make wise decisions; and understanding, perception as to the true nature of things.

Van Parunak: They both relate to the mind’s ability to discern the meaning of the observed world.

b. Outward Encouragement – Focus on the Impact on Others — Encouragement

“The spirit of counsel and strength,”

Beall: The attributes go right back to the names of the Messiah given in 9:6: “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God.” Good counsel without the power to carry it out is worthless (compare Ahithophel’s wise counsel rejected by Absalom).

c. Upward Fellowship – Focus on the Relationship with the Father — Piety

“The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.”

Prov 2:5, “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”

C. (:3) Delighting in the Fear of the Lord

“And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,”

Van Parunak: “His delighted smell shall be of the fear of the Lord.” . . . He will be able to look into the heart of people, to see whether they truly fear the Lord or not. And when he senses that fear of God in them, he will rejoice in it, because it resonates with the most fundamental characteristic of his own personality.

Motyer: from the noun “scent”. The verb “to smell a (pleasing) odour” came to mean “to delight in”, “react pleasurably to” (Gn. 8:21).

Not a man pleaser

Not involved in taking bribes

Net Bible note: In Amos 5:21 the Hiphil of ruakh, “smell” carries the nuance of “smell with delight, get pleasure from.” There the Lord declares that He does not “smell with delight” (i.e., get pleasure from) Israel’s religious assemblies, which probably stand by metonymy for the incense offered during these festivals. In Isa 11:3 there is no sacrificial context to suggest such a use, but it is possible that “the fear of the Lord” is likened to incense. This coming King will get the same kind of delight from obeying (fearing) the Lord, as a deity does in the incense offered by worshipers.

D. (:4-5) Messianic Ministry of Adjudication

1. Objective and Thorough in Rendering Decisions

“And He will not judge by what His eyes see,”

“Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;”

2. Righteous and Fair in Supporting the Vulnerable

“But with righteousness He will judge the poor,”

“And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;”

3. Powerful and Swift in Judging the Wicked

“And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,”

“And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.”

Beall: This verse is alluded to in Rev 19:15, 21: “From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron” (the last phrase taken from Ps 2:9).

Grogan: In the divine economy, the word is active and powerful (cf. Gen 1:3; Isa 55:10-11), and the Messiah’s word of judgment will be utterly effective (cf. John 12:48). He judges as “the Word of God” (Rev 19:13-15). This testifies to his great power (cf. v. 2), because, unlike many a monarch, he is well able to execute the judgments he pronounces. In him word and consequent action are virtually one.

Garland (quoted by PreceptAustin): If Jesus literally and physically slays His enemies at His Second Coming (Rev 19:21), how is it that the sword is figurative—coming out of His mouth? It represents the sword of the Spirit, the word of God: that which God has set forth as His spoken will (Eph 6:17). Those who are slain meet their doom because they are judged by God’s righteous word (Heb 4:12). They have consistently violated its precepts and standards and their destruction has been prophesied. In many ways, the action of their slaying is the unavoidable result of what God has said. This is why Jesus slays His enemies with His lips: “He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked” (Isa. 11:4). His mouth is like a sharp sword (Isa. 49:2). Hence, when Antichrist is destroyed, he is consumed “with the breath of [the Lord’s] mouth” (2Th 2:8)

4. Righteous and Faithful in All His Judicial Activities

“Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,”

“And faithfulness the belt about His waist.”

Motyer: The garments express the inherent realities and capacities of a person and the purposes to which he commits himself (59:16-17; 61:10; Ps. 132:9, 16, 18). The belt symbolizes readiness for action.


A. (:6-8) Predators Become Peaceful Companions

Rom. 8:18-23 remember the impact of the Fall on the created world and how all of creation yearns for the coming kingdom

1. Wolf and Leopard Tamed

“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,”

“And the leopard will lie down with the kid,”

2. Young Lion Meek and Controllable

“And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;”

“And a little boy will lead them.”

3. Bear

“Also the cow and the bear will graze;”

“Their young will lie down together;”

4. Lion

“And the lion will eat straw like the ox.”

Van Parunak: The original order was (Gen 1:29-30), 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Originally, every beast was to eat the green herb for meat. That changed with Adam’s sin. Isaiah anticipates a day when this change will be reversed. . .

The point is that our Savior’s mission goes far beyond just taking away our personal guilt and giving us everlasting life. It is a restoration of a fallen world to its original state of order.

5. Viper

“And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,”

“And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.”

Beall: Finally, v. 8 indicates that the curse of Genesis 3 itself will be reversed. No longer will men and serpents be enemies; rather, a child may play near a poisonous snake without any worry at all.

B. (:9a) Violence and Hostility Abolished

“They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,”

C. (:9b) Knowledge of the Lord Dominates

“For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD

As the waters cover the sea.”

Had a week to look out at the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Maine; a glorious sight


When will all of this take place?? “Then it will come about in that day”

A. Magnetic Attraction for the Gentile Nations

“That the nations will resort to the root of Jesse,”

Look at how the nations down through history have set themselves against the nation of Israel and especially against the kingdom of God; they don’t recognize God’s dominion over them – making the same fatal mistake that God had to correct in King Nebuchadnezzar

Ahaz and Sennacherib imagined themselves to be the source of power and might; they had rejected the reign of the Lord

B. Military Unification for All Nations

“Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;”

PreceptAustin: means a banner, an ensign, a standard. Nec/nes referred to a rallying point or standard which drew people together for some common action for or for the communication of important information. Usually the signal was placed on a high place in the camp. Here the signal pole stands for the Messiah Who was raised (pun intended) to give hope to the Gentiles.

John 3 – Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness

John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” – not just the Jews

C. Majestic Presence

“And His resting place will be glorious.”



Don’t these precious promises about the coming King and His Kingdom stir your heart in anticipation of those days?

“Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.”

We look forward to enjoying the Messiah’s reign of Justice, Peace and Unity