ISAIAH CHAPTER 11.
The Kingdom and Government of the Messiah
THE MESSIAH, THE BRANCH OUT OF THE STEM OF JESSE. — V. 1. And there shall come forth a Rod, a fresh shoot or twig, out of the stem of Jesse, out of the dead stock, the stump, of the former proud tree of the house of David, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots, Zech. 3, 8; 4, 12; Jer. 23, 5; 33, 15, the root-stock being all that was left of the former grandeur of David’s house, the renewal of his family by this singular Scion would indeed be a miracle; v. 2. and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the sevenfold Spirit, Himself God from eternity, lighting or settling upon Him, Ps. 45, 7, with the fullness of His divine power, the Spirit of wisdom, which searches all things, even the secrets of God, and understanding, able to make the proper distinction concerning all things, the Spirit of counsel, by whom the Messiah is endowed to be the Counselor, and might, for Christ is the mighty God, Is. 7, 6, the Spirit of knowledge, by means of which He is familiar with all the mysteries of God, and of the fear of the Lord, which culminates in both adoration and communion, Christ, according to His human nature, praying to His heavenly Father and seeking His fellowship, but according to His divine nature united with Him in an everlasting union, which now exists according to both natures; v. 3. and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord, literally, His pleasant savor is in the fear of Jehovah, He is highly pleased when men bring to Him the sacrifice of their fear of God; and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears, rendering judgment not according to external appearances, rather according to His understanding of the heart and soul; v.4. but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, His Savior’s-interest turning especially to the lowly, to those who bear the enmity of the world on account of their faith with the proper meekness, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth, taking the part of those who are persecuted for their confession’s sake; and He, in His care for the poor small crew of His Church, shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, rebuking in a most emphatic manner the hostility of the ungodly world, and with the breath of His lips, His Word, which bears almighty power, shall He slay the wicked, overthrowing the power of Satan even here in time, revealing his true character by the preaching of the Gospel, His last condemnation being reserved for the final Judgment. V. 5. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness, upon which His believers may rely with full confidence, the girdle of His reins, holding up His clothes at His hips. Even as the girdle confined the wide garments of the ancients and enabled them to work, run, and fight without hindrance, so the Messiah furthers His cause and makes use of His full strength by righteousness and truth. The conditions of His reign are now described. V. 6. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them, a figurative representation of ideal spiritual conditions. V. 7. And the cow and the bear shall feed, all the bloodthirstiness of the latter forgotten; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, his nature so completely changed that he is no longer a carnivorous, but a herbivorous animal. V. 8. And the sucking child, the unweaned infant, shall play on the hole of the asp, on the entrance of the adder’s cave, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den, or, stretch out his arm to touch the sparkling eye of the basilisk, the poisonous serpents having lost all their vicious habits. All this poetic description is now explained: v. 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, all the members of the Messiah’s kingdom, whose former state was characterized by the comparison with the various animals named above, would lose and lay aside their hostile habits toward one another; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Knowledge of Jehovah, love and fear of God, is the motive in all acts of the believers; because they fear the Lord in truth, because they know Him the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent as the Savior of the world, therefore they, the inhabitants of His holy mountain, the members of His holy Church, give expression of their faith in their entire conduct; therefore they, in the midst of the general hatred and hostility of the world, live together in peace and love.
THE SPREAD OF THE MESSIAH’S KINGDOM. — V. 10. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, that same wonderful Scion, the Son of David spoken of in v. 1, which shall stand for an ensign of the people, a standard raised up to attract the attention of the nations everywhere, directing them to the redemption obtained by the Messiah; to it shall the Gentiles seek, believers from all nations being gathered about Him; and His rest shall be glorious, that is, after the battle and turmoil of this present world the Church Militant will be changed into the Church Triumphant, and the rest of eternity will be the glory of the Savior, His people both giving Him eternal glory and partaking of His glory. V. 11. And it shall come to pass in that day, in the Messianic period of the New Testament, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time, stretching it out as once before when He led His chosen people out of Egypt, to recover the remnant of His people which shall be left, not, only the believers of Israel and Judah, but those from all the nations of the world, from Assyria, the mighty nation in the, valley of the Euphrates, and from Egypt, the empire toward the southwest, and from Pathros, Upper Egypt, and from Cush, or Ethiopia, and from Elam, Southern Media, and from Shinar, Southern Mesopotamia, and from Hamath, the country or province on the Orontes, north of Palestine, and from the islands of the sea, an expression which refers to the entire coast of the Mediterranean and the adjacent countries. V. 12. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, around which all the believers might rally, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, those of His spiritual people, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners, wings or edges, of the earth, so that they will march under His banner, united in spirit, though outwardly separated by race and language and customs. V. 13. The envy also of Epraim shall depart, this hostility having been the chief factor in keeping up the division of the nation during the time of the kings in the Old Testament, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Epraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim, that is, the Israel of the New Testament, the spiritual Israel, the Church of Christ, is a perfect and harmonious union, its various parts living together in perfect love. V. 14. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Phillstines toward the west, this nation being the embodiment of the fiercest hostility in the early history of Israel; they shall spoil them of the east together, the Bedouin hordes of Arabia; they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab, conquering the country of these ancient enemies; and the children of Ammon shall obey them, literally, “their obedience.” These pictures, taken from the wars of Israel, show the manner in which the Lord, through His Church, will judge and destroy His enemies. The Last Day especially will spell their doom, and the believers, the soldiers of the Lord, will be present to celebrate the victory. V. 15. And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, the fork of the Arabian Gulf known as the Red Sea, as at the time when the children of Israel left the house of their bondage; and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, over the Euphrates, and shall smite it in the seven streams, separating it into seven shallow brooks, and make men go over dry-shod, walking through its bed on sandals. In Old Testament references and figures the Lord here promises to the spiritual people of God a wonderful salvation, like that out of Egypt or out of the captivity of Assyria. V. 16. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, cast up or purposely built for the believers in the Lord’s Church, which shall be left, from Assyria, permitting the captives to return to their inheritance; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. This redemption of His people out of the hand of all enemies and oppressors is the last great deed of the exalted Messiah, and its completion will usher in the peace and glory of eternity. In this way the despised Branch out of the house of David established His kingdom, which, although jeered at on all sides, will still conquer in the end.