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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 11

Verses 1-9

Isaiah 11:1-9 . The Messiah’ s Divine Equipment.— If the reference to the hewn stump of David’ s house implies the overthrow of the monarchy, the passage presumably is not Isaiah’ s. This inference, perhaps, is not necessary; and if Isaiah 9:2-7 is his, the same judgment should probably be passed on Isaiah 11:1-9. The Messiah is to spring from the family of Jesse, i.e. he will be a second David. This family is described as the hewn stump of a tree. It is in a fallen condition, shorn of all its royal glory. Yet it has the sap of life in it, and from it this new shoot springs. To equip him for his work the spirit of Yahweh rests upon him— not seven spirits, but one spirit with six modes of manifestation, intellectual, practical, and religious. Equipped with the Divine spirit of discernment, the Messiah will not need to depend on the sight of his eyes ( i.e. mere appearances) or the hearing of his ears ( i.e. the testimony of witnesses). He will be infallibly guided in his decisions. He will judge with righteousness, smite the violent (so read for “ smite the earth” ), and slay the wicked. Righteousness and faithfulness will be his equipment for action or conflict. Natural enemies will be at peace, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh.

Isaiah 11:3 a. Read, “ and he will cause the fear of Yahweh to rest upon him.” The clause is probably a variant of the first clause of Isaiah 11:2.

Isaiah 11:5 . The girdle binds the clothes together and prepares for marching or fighting.

Isaiah 11:6 f. Parallelism suggests that two enemies, not three, should be mentioned in the third clause, and that there should be a verb. Read, perhaps, “ and the calf and the young lion shall feed.” Instead of “ shall feed” in Isaiah 11:7 read “ shall become friends.” There is a redundant clause in Isaiah 11:6 f.; either the parallel line has fallen out, or the redundant line is not original. Perhaps the last clause of Isaiah 11:7 has been inserted from Isaiah 65:25, or it might have stood originally after the first clause of Isaiah 11:6. In the latter case, the last clause of Isaiah 11:6 seems to be an insertion.

Isaiah 11:9 . Probably the reference is no longer to the wild beasts, for Isaiah 11:9 b attributes it to the diffusion of the knowledge of Yahweh. Peace among men in Yahweh’ s holy mountain, i.e. Canaan, is intended.

Verses 10-16

Isaiah 11:10-16 . The Return of Israel and Judah from the Dispersion, and Victorious Alliance against their Ancient Foes.— This is probably post-exilic. The ideas are characteristic of that period— Israel’ s spiritual primacy, the latter-day glory of Jerusalem, the flocking of the heathen to it as disciples. Isaiah 11:11 f., Isaiah 11:15 f. are more natural in a later writer, for the Israelites would hardly be so widely dispersed in Isaiah’ s time. Isaiah 11:10 appears to be an editorial addition combining elements from Isaiah 2:2-4 and from Isaiah 4:2-6. The root seems to be a shoot springing from the root. The Messiah dwells in a splendid abode, and the nations resort to him as an organ of Divine revelation. The remnant will a second time be gathered from its wide dispersion. A signal is lifted up to the nations that they may bring the Israelites back; the old enmity of Ephraim and Judah will disappear, and together they will pounce on the shoulder-shaped land of the Philistines as an eagle on its prey. They will spoil the Arabs, smite Edom and Moab, and subdue the Ammonites. Yahweh will dry up ( mg.) the tongue of the Red Sea ( i.e. the Gulf of Suez), scorch the Euphrates and split it into seven streams, so that men pass over it dry-shod. Thus the remnant will return from Assyria, as Israel crossed the Red Sea at the Exodus.

Isaiah 11:11 . the second time: a first return from exile had already taken place. This was, in fact, so incomplete that several post-exilic prophecies predict a full return from the Dispersion. The two great powers, Assyria and Egypt, are mentioned first, then their dependencies. By Assyria one of the empires which succeeded Assyria is meant, Persia or Syria.— Pathros: Upper Egypt.— Cush: Ethiopia.— Elam: Jeremiah 49:34-39 *.— Shinar: Babylonia.— Hamath: Isaiah 10:9 *.— islands of the sea: the coast lands of the Mediterranean.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Isaiah 11". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.