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 power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the 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. 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 hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
Why the stump of Jesse? By the time that Jesus comes on the scene, we’re looking at around 600 years that the Davidic line has laid dormant. Jesse, being David’s father, was a man of humble descent – there is an allusion to the nature of the “pomp” and “circumstance” (or lack thereof) that would accompany the Messiah.
Think on your life for a moment. Think about the crucial times and decisions that accompany any life. Sometimes these events or actions are surrounded in parade, they are given the due attention warranted a life altering scenario. However, how many times in life are we only recognizant of the genesis of course alteration or correction that leads to radical change, discovery, knowledge, and/or understanding after the fact? It is in retrospect that we can come to an understanding of what events truly alter our lives most significantly – hindsight is 20/20.
Bonus: Typically in my life, something has to be taken away, something needs to die and be mourned, prior to something new being given life.
Double Bonus: Jesse is the son of Obed, son of Ruth and Boaz. Ruth, a Moabite, whose life was in shambles and seemingly near ruin, won the love of Boaz through her kindness – from humble beginnings to navigating loss and death to fulfilling prophecy and continuing the bloodline of Jesus. She is named along with Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba, and Mary as the only women in the genealogy Jesus.
Testing the Spirits
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]The Spirit of the Lord
ruach: breath, wind, spirit
Yhvh: the proper name of the God of Israel
Literally the “Spirit of Creation” will rest on him. It is apparent through his life, through his words, his teachings, and his actions that the Spirit of the LORD was constantly with Jesus. He offered hope. He offered peace. He offered insight and direction. He offered meaning. He offered forgiveness, unearned. He still freely offers The Spirit of the LORD today.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]The Spirit of Wisdom and of Understanding
wisdom in administration
Wisdom in administration – seems like if we took out the “in” and pushed those two words together, we’d most likely have an oxymoron on our hands. How foolish we truly are. We speak, we spew – we extrapolate our thoughts through our rhetoric of choice. Often times, if not most, we don’t know too much about what we are saying. And if we do happen to know a lot, that knowledge is typically attained from a frantic Google search. Jesus didn’t play politics. “Render unto Caesar” is the famous tagline. Bottom line – Jesus came for the downtrodden and the lost. He came for the unrepentant and unforgiven. He came to the shamed, the broken, the barely surviving. Sometimes he offered natural solutions – feeding the naked, healing the sick – others times he offered only Spiritual nourishment. His Wisdom in administration is for this life, but also for the life unseen. Understanding this changes everything. It changes your ability to make knee-jerk reactions and judgments about others. It should allow for individuals (you and me) to take a step back, be slow to speak, to contemplate situations and people – and to see Love as opposed to enemies to destroy or battle.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]The Spirit of Counsel and Power
etsah: counsel, advice
geburah: strength, might, valour of warriors
What would you pay for good advice? People pay a pretty penny for advice from doctors, lawyers, counselors, therapists and psychologists, etc. Who do you trust advice from? Your spouse, your family, your closest friends? Often times we seek our advice and counsel from some pretty silly places. That, or we seek out advice that will confirm our inner narrative, play to our narcissism, or embrace our lack of wanting to be challenged. Counsel should be good and lead to good things for you and for others. It should carry weight – I’m talking Spirit power weight. Isaiah refers to the Messiah in this prophecy as having the Spirit of the “might and valour of warriors.” That sounds epic. However, this is referring not only to the strength to overthrow nations and armies, it is the might to overthrow the forces of darkness that plague our very souls.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]The Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the LORD
daath: knowledge (of God)
yirah: a fear
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Bonus: This passage is behind the term the sevenfold Spirit of God used in Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5 and 5:6. It isn’t that there are seven different spirits of God, rather the Spirit of the LORD has these characteristics, and He has them all in fullness and perfection.
The seven-branched lampstand that held the oil lamps for the tabernacle is also an illustration of the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit. This candlestick had one stem in the center from which protruded three branches to the right and three to the left. Similarly, in this text, three pairs of the names of the Spirit are grouped around the central stem.
These seven characteristics describe the nature of the Spirit of the LORD. They also describe the nature of Jesus. There is no difference between the nature of Jesus and the nature of the Holy Spirit. When we see Jesus, we see the Father. When we see the Spirit of the LORD at work, it should look like the ministry and the nature of Jesus.
Double Bonus: It is in the verses themselves – the fact that we hope and long for something that is opposite of what is in reality presented to us. We want the Spirit of the Lord – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – but we don’t want the humble beginnings. We want to be involved, but we don’t want to be widows and prostitutes.
Blinded by the Injustice
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.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]But with Righteousness he will judge… With Justice he will give decisions…
tsedeq: rightness, righteousness
shaphat: to judge, govern
Imagine a world where everything was just. What would it look like or how would it differ from what we are currently facing? I propose this – we already live life in a just world. Jesus came in judgment – that’s a difficult concept for some to grasp. However, this is crucial to the Gospel. Jesus’ judgement or governance on humanity is done so through the righteousness of God, the LORD, of Yaweh. Jesus chooses God, and in so doing, God works and moves and breathes and lives through Him – and by proxy, judgement is the natural outcome of facing the righteousness of God. There is no room for he-said, she-said. It is past the appearance of things and cuts to the heart of the Truth beyond the temporal. In this righteousness, we find our justice.
I Never Leave Home Without My Sword
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]The Word of God
nakah: to smite
shebet: rod, staff, club, scepter, tribe
ruach: breath, wind, spirit
saphah: lip, speech, edge
muth: to die
rasha: wicked, criminal (to God and/or His people)
The power of God’s Word is immeasurable. It is not measured in the 66 books of the Bible you hold in your hand or your phone. It is not measured by the countless commentaries, theologians, philosophers, churches, denominations, or religions the world over. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Light shined forth out of the darkness. God spoke. Nah, God speaks.
Bonus: With the rod of his mouth; with his word, which is his sceptre, and the rod of his power, Psalm 110:2, which is sharper than a sword, Hebrews 4:12; by the preaching whereof he subdued the world to himself, and will destroy his enemies, 2 Thessalonians 2:8. This he adds, further to declare the nature of Christ’s kingdom, that it is not of this world, and that his sceptre and arms are not carnal, but spiritual, as it is said, 2 Corinthians 10:4.
And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.”
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
Content and Context
In chapter eleven, Isaiah's prophetic word reveals once again the Messiah, descended from lineage of King David. What is the content of what Isaiah reveals in this passage? The Messiah will be wise, understanding and righteous. He will be driven to do the will of the Father God who sent Him, and will have supernatural powers of perception. His will judgement will be just, not exploiting the poor as had been done by the leaders of Isaiah’s generation. The Messiah will destroy evil with His words of truth.
People who seek goodness and righteousness will surround the Messiah. The strong will dwell in peace with the weak, rather than oppressing them. They are symbolized by the wolf and the lamb living together; there are those who take this literally rather than allegorically. There are many such metaphors in this chapter: the cow and the bear, the lion eating straw, children not fearing snakes, etc. The land will be filled with the wisdom of Torah knowledge.
When the Messiah is established, the nations will look only to Him for direction. They will honor Him and live in peace with Israel. Then, God will stretch out His hand to gather the exiles from Assyria, Egypt, Ethiopia and beyond. God will call and gather the scattered Jews from “the four corners of the Earth.” The two Jewish nations, Israel and Judah, will be reconciled and reunited. Does any of this ring a bell?
God will dry up rivers and seas, beating them into streams with paths in between, to serve as highways for all the Jews returning from exile, like the Red Sea when the Jews left Egypt.