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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Isaiah 11

Verses 1-5

Prophecy of the Coming of the Messiah Comments - Isaiah 11:1-5 gives a prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. This Messianic prophecy is typical of Isaiah in that the events of His first and second coming and of the Millennial Reign of Christ are blended together and viewed as one event.

Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Isaiah 11:1 Comments - Isaiah 11:1 refers to the cutting off of the people of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. and the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Isaiah 11:1 also describes the way the Messiah would appear to His people Israel. After the royal lineage of King David had ceased for almost four hundred years, it was renewed by the anointing of Jesus Christ at His water baptism and forever established at His resurrection.

The previous passage in Isaiah 10:32-34 refers to the crashing down of the thickets of the forests of trees that destroyed the people of Israel, which were the Assyrians. In God’s divine providence He used such judgment and tragedy to bring about His divine plan of redemption for mankind. We often see tragedies within a narrow time frame as a bad thing. However, from God’s divine perspective, His judgment against nations is used to bring redemption. Thus, judgment is a good thing.

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Isaiah 11:2 Comments - The Spirit of the Lord rested upon Jesus Christ, the Messiah, at His water baptism and will continue with Him forever. It was by the Holy Spirit’s impartation of wisdom and understanding that Jesus was able to know and do the Father’s will.

Isaiah 11:3 And 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:

Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Isaiah 11:4 Comments - Isaiah 11:4 makes a reference to some events that took place at Jesus’ First Coming as He ministered to the poor, but it more clearly fits the events that will take place at His Second Coming as He judges the world by the sword of His mouth (Revelation 19:15; Revelation 19:21).

Revelation 19:15, “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

Revelation 19:21, “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

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

Verses 1-16

Prophecy of the Messianic Kingdom Isaiah 11:1-6 gives a prophecy of the future Messianic kingdom. The Messiah will come from the seed of David; He will be anointed as David; and He will rule in righteousness as did David (Isaiah 11:1-5). All creation will be restored to its original order under this kingdom (Isaiah 11:6-9). He will restore the nation of Israel and rule over all nations (Isaiah 11:10-16). Israel will then praise the Lord for His wonderful salvation (Isaiah 12:1-6).

Verses 1-16

Prophecy of the Messianic Kingdom Isaiah 11:1-6 gives a prophecy of the future Messianic kingdom. The Messiah will come from the seed of David; He will be anointed as David; and He will rule in righteousness as did David (Isaiah 11:1-5). All creation will be restored to its original order under this kingdom (Isaiah 11:6-9). He will restore the nation of Israel and rule over all nations (Isaiah 11:10-16). Israel will then praise the Lord for His wonderful salvation (Isaiah 12:1-6).

Verses 6-9

Comments The Redemption of Creation - We find a beautiful description in Isaiah 11:6-9 and a similar one in Isaiah 65:25 of God’s creatures living in harmony on earth during the Millennial reign of Christ on earth.

Isaiah 65:25, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”

The original order of the animal kingdom was for all creatures to eat plants. It was not God’s plan for animals to be carnivorous; rather, in the Story of Creation God gave the green herbs for meat to all the beasts of the field.

Genesis 1:30, “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”

We see in the book of Isaiah how the lion will one day in the new heavens and new earth return to this order and eat straw like the ox.

Today, scientists tell us of the “food chain” in nature where small animals are eaten by larger animals, until certain predators emerge at the top of these food chains in each ecosystem around the world. In the land of Palestine, it was probably the wolf, the lion and the leopard mentioned in these two verses that were at the top of this food chain. We find a comment on the original harmony of God’s creation in one of the inter-biblical writings of the Jews called The Book of Jubilees. It tells us how the order of animals was originally not to devour one another, but to live together peacefully. It says that this corruption of order in nature took place in Genesis 6:0 when men became so corrupt that God had to destroy the earth with the flood.

“And it came to pass when the children of men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the angels of God saw them on a certain year of this jubilee, that they were beautiful to look upon; and they took themselves wives of all whom they chose, and they bare unto them sons and they were giants. And lawlessness increased on the earth and all flesh corrupted its way, alike men and cattle and beasts and birds and everything that walks on the earth - all of them corrupted their ways and their orders, and they began to devour each other , and lawlessness increased on the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of all men (was) thus evil continually. And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt, and all flesh had corrupted its orders , and all that were upon the earth had wrought all manner of evil before His eyes. And He said that He would destroy man and all flesh upon the face of the earth which He had created. But Noah found grace before the eyes of the Lord. And against the angels whom He had sent upon the earth, He was exceedingly wroth, and He gave commandment to root them out of all their dominion, and He bade us to bind them in the depths of the earth, and behold they are bound in the midst of them, and are (kept) separate.” ( The Book of Jubilees 5.1-7) [30]

[30] The Book of Jubilees, trans. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2, ed. R. H. Charles, 1-82 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 20.

Isaiah 11:11 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, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

Isaiah 11:11 Word Study on “Pathros” Gesenius says the Hebrew name “Pathros” “path-roce'” ( פַּתְרֹוס ) (H6624) refers to Upper Egypt. The ISBE tells us that the word “Pathros” is of Egyptian origin and literally means, “the south land.” Pathros is a part of Egypt and the home country of the Pathrusim people; probably located in upper Egypt. [31] The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 5 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as “Pathros.” Note the other five uses:

[31] “Pathros,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., c1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v. 1.5.11 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Jeremiah 44:1, “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews which dwell in the land of Egypt, which dwell at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying,”

Jeremiah 44:15, “Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros , answered Jeremiah, saying,”

Ezekiel 29:14, “And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros , into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom.”

Ezekiel 30:14, “And I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in No.”

Isaiah 11:11 Comments - Cush and Mizraim were the sons of Ham (Genesis 10:6) and lived to the south of Israel, in northern Africa. The inhabitants of Pathros would be descendents of the sons of Ham. Assyria and Elam were the children of Shem (Genesis 10:22) and lived to the west and northwest of Israel, whose descendents inhabited the land of Shinar. Hamath was a city to the north of Israel. The islands of the sea would represent the people to the west of Israel across the sea. Thus, we see a description of God bringing back the Jews out of the nations who surround Israel on its four sides. Isaiah 11:11 appears to list these surrounding nations in the order of their power and eminent threat against Israel during the time of Isaiah. For example, Assyria is listed first and was the leading power of this period in Israel’s history. Egypt, which is listed second, was the second most powerful nation at this time. The least threat to Israel would be the islands of the sea.

Genesis 10:6, “And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.”

Genesis 10:22, “The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.”

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Isaiah 11". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.