Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 11

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-16

Shall we turn to Isaiah, chapter 11, for the beginning of our study this evening.

In the tenth chapter, the closing part of chapter 10 of Isaiah, and again, let me remind you that the chapter distinctions were made by men, not by the authors. But years later, in order that we might be able to ready reference scriptures, in order that you might be able to find them easily, they divided the Bible into chapters and verses. And that is only for our benefit so that we can reference. And so in the dividing of the Bible into the chapters and verses, this is not the way the Bible was written, but is only divided that way for our benefit so that we can find a passage more easily. Rather than saying, "Well, it's in Isaiah," we can say, "Well, it's in Isaiah the eleventh chapter in the first verse." And that way we can find it and it makes it much easier for us. But in the dividing, they did their best to make the proper divisions of chapters, but unfortunately, many times they cut off a thought, more or less, in the middle. And because we are in a habit of reading a book a chapter at a time, sometimes we start the new chapter without reference to the previous chapter in reading the Bible. Or we start just in one area and we just quit at the end of the chapter, and many times the thought is carried over right on into the next chapter.

Now this is one of those areas where the thought in the end of chapter 10 is that God in His judgment is going to cut down the nations like the trees of Lebanon. Just going to hew them down and there's just going to be stumps. God's going to wipe out the nations and all, leaving just sort of stumps. And so with all of these stumps,

There shall come forth [a stem or] a rod [a branch] out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots ( Isaiah 11:1 ):

So you have the picture now of the nations being leveled. Looking like just a forest that has been cut down; down to the stumps. But out of one, and that is out of Jesse, there is going to be a new life, a new branch coming forth, a stem. And, of course, this is a beautiful prophecy concerning Jesus Christ and the Kingdom Age. As the nations have been leveled as the result of the battle of Armageddon and out of the debris the new life will arise and Jesus the Branch out of the stem of Jesse.

And so this again is a prophecy concerning the Messiah, declaring that He shall come actually from the house of Jesse, which, of course, was the father of king David. And so it is a reaffirmation of God's promise to David that God would build David a house. That out of David's lineage the Messiah would come.

And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and ( Isaiah 11:2 )

Heroic actions would be a better translation of the Hebrew word that is translated might. Not only does He make the right decisions, but He has the power to work these decisions out, to put them into action. A lot of times we may know the right thing to do, but we haven't the capacity to do it. His is not only the counsel, the knowledge of what to do, but the ability to carry it out. "The spirit of counsel and heroic actions."

the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD; And he shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked ( Isaiah 11:2-4 ).

Now this is a reference to the second coming of Jesus Christ. This branch that is growing out of the roots of the tribe of Judah, the house of Jesse, the lineage of David. When He arises, the anointing of God's Spirit upon Him, and, more or less, is referred to as the sevenfold anointing of the Spirit.

In Revelation you read in the reference to the Holy Spirit there around the throne of God, and the seven spirits which are before the throne of God. A difficult verse to interpret. We know that there is one Holy Spirit. What is the reference to the seven spirits that are there before the throne of God? There have been many suggestions that have been offered as to the possible interpretation of the seven spirits. Some have declared that there are seven archangels such as Michael and Gabriel. And in one of the books of the Apocrypha, the book of Esdras, you have Sanskrit, and Uriel and Raphael, and you have the names of seven what they call archangels or chief angels. And some believe that the seven spirits refer to the seven chief angels or archangels that are before the throne of God. That is one possibility.

Another possibility is that the seven spirits before the throne of God are a reference to the sevenfold working of the Spirit in Jesus Christ. As we find here in the use, this eleventh chapter verses Isaiah 11:2 , and Isaiah 11:3 , as a reference for the interpretation of the sevenfold working of the Spirit in Jesus Christ: the spirit of wisdom, understanding, the spirit of counsel, and the spirit of might, or the heroic actions that we mentioned, the spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord, and of quick understanding--the sevenfold working of the Spirit. So which is the correct interpretation? Well, I just suggest you look into it and pray about it and find out what you're comfortable with. No way you can be dogmatic in that. They are both possible that they are correct, and it's possible that they're both wrong and that there is something else that we'll discover when we get to heaven. We'll say, "Oh, that's what they're talking about seven spirits before the throne. All right, you know."

So I've got a lot of things that are filed up here in a catalog that says, "Wait for further information." And so I hesitate being dogmatic on some of these issues. Where the Bible doesn't speak clearly on a subject it's only sheer presumption for me to speak dogmatically. And I don't like to do that unless there is a clear indication in the scriptures. But those who say that it is the sevenfold or the complete working, seven being the number of completeness, complete working of the Spirit in the life of Christ that's manifest in the life of Christ, use this passage as a reference to that idea.

Now, He is coming to judge the earth and His coming in the brightness of His coming is said that the antichrist, the beast, will be destroyed with the sharp sword that goes forth out of His mouth. Now the Word of the Lord is like a sharp, two-edged sword. And there is such power in the Word of God and God said, "Let there be light: and there was light" ( Genesis 1:3 ). It's known as divine fiat, the ability of God to speak something into existence. The tremendous power in God's Word. God no sooner says it than it exists. It's a reality. The moment God declares it, it comes into existence or into being.

So here is this antichrist, the man of sin, son of perdition, who has demonstrated such marvelous power that all the world is wondering after him. Doing all of these wonders and signs and miracles so that the whole world is enthralled by this man of sin. Creating such a powerful military force that they say, "Who is able to make war with the beast?" ( Revelation 13:4 ) Seemingly to overcome everything that gets in his path. He starts moving down to conquer Africa. He passes through Egypt, gets to the borders of Libya and Ethiopia when the news comes that China is invading from the east. And so he takes his troops and returns from the invasion to Africa to meet this invasion from China. And they meet together there in the valley of Megiddo. And as these tremendous forces of man are in this horrible war there in these plains of Jezreel, the valley of Megiddo, Jesus comes again.

And this man who has deceived the world, this man who has caused the world to stand in awe and wonder at his power and all, this man who the world looks up to as the greatest leader the world has ever seen, the most powerful man who has ever lived, for Satan invests this man with all of his power and with all of his authority. Satan does for him what he volunteered to do for Jesus Christ if Jesus would bow down and worship him. When he took Jesus up into a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said, "All of these will I give unto thee if You will bow down and worship me. And the glory of them for they are mine. I can give them to whomever I will." Jesus refused it, but this man accepts, and Satan gives to him his throne, his authority. And this man is ruling over the world with the powers of Satan behind him and the whole world stands in awe.

The two witnesses that God has sent that are anointed with power. Elijah and Moses or Enoch, whoever else is Elijah's companion, this man has power to put them to death. And thus, he asserts his power over God. Greater than God. And the whole world is wondering after him and saying, "Who can make war with him?" And Jesus comes and says, "You've had it." And the guy goes. And just the word that goes forth out of the mouth of Jesus Christ is all that's necessary. He doesn't get in a big conflict with him. Doesn't get into battle with him. He just speaks the word and the guy is totally wiped out. Oh, the power of the word of Jesus Christ.

Now He is coming then, He begins to judge, He gathers the nations together for judgment when He returns, Matthew 25:1-46 . Now when He judges, He doesn't call for witnesses. He doesn't need to. He doesn't need for someone to come in and testify against anyone else. In fact, when Jesus was here, John tells us that, "He didn't need that anybody should tell Him about any man, for He knew men, and He knew what was in man" ( John 2:24-25 ). That can be a rather frightening thing if you're on the wrong side of the fence.

To know that here is a man and that's what the woman at the well of Samaria when she went and told her friends. "Come and meet a man who told me everything I've ever done." Oh man, that's sort of heavy. Of course, that's the thing that attracted Nathanael when he met Jesus. He said, "Wow, behold an Israelite in whom there is no guile." He said, "How did you know me?" He said, "Well, when you were over there sitting under the fig tree I saw you." "Oh, truly You are the Messiah, the Son of God." He said, Jesus said, "You believe just 'cause I tell you I saw you on a fig tree? Stick around, you're going to see a lot more than that." But he realized that Christ had this perception, the ability to see right into a man.

And Jesus exercised this perceptive ability, that of being able to see right into it. And so He does not judge by hearing testimony or witness, He knows. I mean, He judges by that thorough, total knowledge that He has of each of us. The Bible says that "everything is naked and revealed before Him with whom we have to do" ( Hebrews 4:13 ). I mean, you can't hide or cover a thing when you stand before the Lord. He looks right through you and He sees everything. His x-ray vision perceives all. I'm thankful that I have the shield of, it's not a lead shield, but it's a blood shield. The blood of Jesus Christ that just wipes out all of the past. And I'm so glad for that forgiveness and that cleansing of the past through the blood of Jesus Christ so that when He looks at me, He sees me pure, righteous and holy. And that's the only way I want it. I want to stay in Christ. I want to abide in Him. I don't want to have to stand before Him and have Him look through me and read me off and all. I like it living in Christ where "there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" ( Romans 8:1 ).

So He does not reprove after the hearing of the ears. He doesn't have to have anybody give testimony. "But in righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and will smite the earth with the rod of His mouth." The Bible tells us that in the Kingdom Age, He'll rule with a rod of iron. "And with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked."

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins ( Isaiah 11:5 ).

Now the conditions that will exist when He reigns upon the earth:

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 ( Isaiah 11:6 ).

We see not the world that God created. We see a world that is suffering the curse because of man's sin. And the curse has spread out into the animal kingdom. It's spread out into the areas, the whole area of the earth. The earth is cursed. "Thorns and thistles shall the ground produce" ( Genesis 3:18 ). The animals at war with each other. That's why nature does not give us a true picture of God. It can declare to us His glory, His power, His majesty, His might, but it doesn't declare His love, because the earth is in rebellion against God. But when Jesus establishes His kingdom, even the animal kingdom will be at peace. And I can see a little child taking a lion by the mane and dragging it around, you know. What a tremendous pet that's going to make. My little daughter... my little daughter, that's been a while. My grown daughter, Cheryl, now a mother, as she was growing up always had a great fascination for lions. Loved to draw lions. She wanted a lion for a pet. Never got it, but the day will come when a little child will lead them about.

The cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like an ox ( Isaiah 11:7 ).

No longer carnivorous.

And a nursing child shall play on the hole of the asp [very poisonous snake], and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea ( Isaiah 11:8-9 ).

Now that's what you're praying for when you pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" ( Matthew 6:10 ). As I say, you do not see the earth today as God created it, as God intended it. You see the earth as it is suffering as the result of man's rebellion against God. And that is why it is manifestly wrong to blame God for all of the pain and the hurt and the bloodshed and the evil and the hatred that is in the earth today and demonstrated in all of these horrible things. It won't be that way when Jesus comes to reign.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for a sign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious ( Isaiah 11:10 ).

Now this is what the disciples were expecting Jesus to do when He came. And that is why they were so upset and disappointed when He was talking to them about the cross, about His death. "But Lord, when are You going to set up Your kingdom? When are You going to make this glorious ensign that all of the Gentiles will come flowing to Jerusalem and all to receive of the benefits and the glory?" But this remains with the second coming of Jesus Christ.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left ( Isaiah 11:11 ),

Now, God is gathering now, and has gathered now, the Jews back to Israel. In the process of gathering them back as the nation has been re-established, but not all are going back, not all are even interested in going back. There are many of them that are now leaving Israel because of the prohibitive taxes and inflation. And it's just difficult to live over there right now, and some 22,000 people left Israel last year and moved to other parts of the world because of the difficulty of living there under these trying conditions. So God will gather them the second time. When? When Jesus Christ comes again. Then He's going to gather together His elect from the four corners of the earth.

In verse Isaiah 11:12 :

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the eaRuth ( Isaiah 11:12 ).

Now in Matthew's gospel chapter 24, those people who take a post-Tribulation rapture position usually use Matthew 24:1-51 as one of their key texts for proving their point. Where Jesus in talking to His disciples about the signs of His coming and the end of the age declares, "Immediately after the tribulation [verse Matthew 24:29 ] of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four [corners of the earth or from the four] winds, from one end of heaven to another" ( Matthew 24:29-31 ). And they say that that is when the rapture takes place as the Lord at that point gathers together His elect and His elect, they say, is the church.

Now they take that position because they are not thoroughly familiar with the Old Testament and God's dealing with the nation Israel. For Isaiah tells us, and he is referring to this very same event that Jesus referred to, as the elect are gathered together that the elect are actually from the house of Judah and they are the outcasts of Israel. They are not the church. And, of course, also Isaiah further confirms that in the twenty-seventh chapter and in verses Isaiah 11:12 , and Isaiah 11:13 , which, of course, we'll be getting to in a few weeks. "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt" ( Isaiah 27:12-13 ). So it's speaking of the trumpet and the gathering of the people together.

And in verse Matthew 24:31 of Matthew, "And they shall send His angels with a great sound of the trumpet" ( Matthew 24:31 ). Again, a reference to the gathering together of the Jews after His return. As He sets up the ensign and gathers together the Jews from the four corners of the earth where they have been driven in the dispersion. So that gives you a scriptural, clear understanding of Matthew 24:1-51 and shows that the elect cannot be the church.

I do not know why some men persist in their teaching that the church is going to have to go through the Great Tribulation. It is something that it seems that Walter Martin gets on almost every broadcast. He's like on a one-stringed guitar or something. It's about the only thing he can get wound up in. And it's really too bad because he has a very vast knowledge of the cults. Excellent knowledge of the cults. And he is a good teacher, but he seems to constantly be harping on this issue. But it's a harp with only one string and it doesn't make much music. I love Walter Martin. He's a good friend of mine. But we just happen to disagree at this point. And the unfortunate thing is he always puts his programs right around mine and where we only bring up the subject occasionally as we are teaching the whole gospel and declaring to you the whole truth of God, and I'm not out on a bandwagon to defend the position. It's just whenever we go through the Bible in declaring the whole counsel of God, we show you what the Bible teaches. But it seems that he has to harp every single broadcast on this particular issue. But I wish he'd get a few more strings in his harp. I'll hear from him on this and we'll have a good time. We really have a great love for each other. It's just that we have a good time when we get together. It's always exciting. I'm not through with it. We're going to pick it up again when we get to chapter 13. But we've got other things between now and then to talk about. We've got a lot of things to talk about.

So God is gathering together His elect from Israel, from Judah, from the four corners of the earth, Matthew 24:1-51 .

The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah ( Isaiah 11:13 ),

Now, of course, there was great jealousies and envies. There were civil wars between the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. Ephraim representing the Northern Kingdom, and Judah, of course, the Southern Kingdom. And there won't be any more conflict between them. They'll be one as in the prophecy of Ezekiel, God said, "When He gathers them back together into the land, they will no longer be two nations but one nation" ( Ezekiel 37:22 ). This division between the northern and southern will be over and they will be one nation on the face of the earth. But rather than being on each other's throat, they will be on those around them.

And they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them ( Isaiah 11:14 )

That's the area of Gaza, the Gaza strip. And, of course, Israel did pounce upon them and destroyed them and took that territory.

They shall spoil them of the east together ( Isaiah 11:14 ):

That would be those of Jordan and the West Bank that they have taken.

they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab ( Isaiah 11:14 );

Jordan is modern Moab.

and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be a highway for the remnant that will come from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came out of the land of Egypt ( Isaiah 11:14-16 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 11". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-11.html. 2014.
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