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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 11

Verses 1-16

1. Rod out of the stem] RV ’shoot out of the stock,’ implying that the tree has been cut down. The Assyrians have been compared in the vv. preceding to cedars, which when felled throw out no fresh suckers; now the house of David is likened to an oak whose life remains in it after it has been cut down (Isaiah 6:13). From the royal family of Judah, though it may seem ruined, is to spring the ideal Ruler in the future. It has been already implied (Isaiah 9:7), and is here expressly stated, that the Messiah is to be of the house of David (Micah 5:2).

2. Leaving the figure Isaiah here indicates the character of the future Ruler. The gifts of the divine Spirit bestowed upon Him are arranged in three pairs, the first pair indicating perfection of intellectual endowment, the second pair full possession of a ruler’s practical qualities, and the third referring to the religious spirit which is to crown and direct all other gifts.

3. Make him of quick understanding] RV ’his delight shall be in the fear of Jehovah,’ i.e. when He sees it in others. Not judge, etc.] i.e. by appearances or hearsay.

4. The ideal Ruler combines mercy and judgment (Psalms 101:1). With the rod of his mouth] The power ascribed to the word of Messiah is a striking feature (Isaiah 49:2; Zechariah 9:10), and suggests a superhuman personality (Hosea 6:5).

5. The girdle] stands for readiness for action—He shall be always ready for righteousness and faithfulness.

6. From the person and character of the Ruler Isaiah now passes on to the effects of His rule. Evil having been eradicated from human society, there will be a corresponding regeneration of the rest of creation (Isaiah 65:25; Romans 8:19.).

8. Cockatrice] RV ’basilisk,’ or ’adder’ (RM): probably the great yellow viper common in Palestine.

9. My holy mountain] i.e. Zion wonderfully transformed according to the prophecy in Isaiah 2:2 (Zechariah 14:10-11).

10. RV ’And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign of the people, unto him shall the nations seek.’ Root of Jesse] the same as the shoot growing from the root (Isaiah 11:1). The great scion of the house of David is not only to be king of Israel, but the nations of the world shall rally to him. Seek] i.e. resort, a word specially used of resorting for prayer (Isaiah 55:6) or of consulting oracles (Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 19:3). Rest] i.e. resting-place: referring to Jerusalem, the seat of the royal house.

11. Next the prophet speaks of the restoration of the dispersed Israelites from their exile in the various kingdoms by which Judah was surrounded. The second time] The first time was at the Mosaic exodus. Recover] RM ’purchase’: cp. Exodus 15:16. Pathros] upper, or southern, Egypt. Cush] Ethiopia, still further S. (Isaiah 18:1; Isaiah 37:9). Elam] the country at the head of the Persian Gulf. Shinar] i.e. Babylonia.

Hamath] see on Isaiah 10:9. Islands of the sea] a phrase found here only in Isaiah 1-39, but several times in Isaiah 40-66. It denotes the islands of, and lands bordering upon, the Mediterranean Sea, and sometimes stands for distant countries generally.

13. A further feature of Messiah’s sign. The bitter feeling between the N. kingdom and Judah (Isaiah 9:21) shall cease. The adversaries of] RV ’they that vex.’

14. The reunited people will be victorious over their old enemies, the tribes immediately surrounding Palestine. Shoulders] ’shoulder,’ i.e. side or border, as in Joshua 15:8, Joshua 15:10, Joshua 15:11. Them of the east] lit. ’the children of the east,’ i.e. the Bedouin Arabs: Judges 6:8; 2 Chronicles 21:16.

15. 16. Isaiah pictures a miraculous deliverance of the exiles parallel to the former deliverance from Egypt. The tongue, etc.] i.e. the Gulf of Akaba. Tongue is used for an arm of the sea as in Joshua 15:2; Joshua 18:19. The river] i.e. Euphrates. In the seven] RV ’into seven.’

An highway] i.e. a raised road such as Eastern monarchs made for the passage of their armies (Isaiah 19:23; Isaiah 49:11). It was] RV ’there was.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 11". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.