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Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Isaiah 11

Verse 1


This Chapter is in part a prophecy concerning Christ. It contains an account of his stock, and the features of his person; the wonders of his redemption, in the call of the Gentiles; and the restoration of the Jews.

Isaiah 11:1

The Holy Ghost had before sent a message to the church by the Prophet, to tell them that the wonderful Person, the Messiah they had been so long taught to expect, should be born of a virgin, with some leading marks of his character; but now the Prophet is commissioned to tell the church, that he should spring from the stock of David. And to manifest his humbleness, he is to come but as a small rod from a stem; and from Jesse he is rather said to arise than from David, Jesse's son. For Jesse lived and died in obscurity. The Prophet adds that he shall be a branch, a Netzer, so is the word, which though in the events of his coming, he would be beautiful and glorious, yet, in the view of many, but as the despised Nazarene. Oh! how truly lovely is every account of Jesus! Reader, consult those scriptures, Revelation 22:16 ; Matthew 2:23 ; Revelation 5:5 ; Isaiah 4:2 ; Acts 13:22-44.13.23 .

Verse 2

What a blessed confirmation of the truth of this prophecy, and of the person of Christ, was the descent of the Holy Ghost, at the river Jordan! John the Baptist was before instructed by this very thing how he should know Christ. See Matthew 3:16 ; John 1:29-43.1.34 . And, Reader, do remark farther, how delightful the Prophet's expression is, that the Spirit of Jehovah should rest upon him. For the Spirit was not given to our Christ by measure, as to his servants. Do not overlook this, but consult those sweet scriptures, which unfold and confirm it, Isaiah 61:1 . with Luke 4:18 ; John 3:34 . I stay not to enlarge upon the several qualifications of our Lord in his office-character, by the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit here enumerated; it will be sufficient to remark that the human nature of Christ was anointed with super-eminent grace, and a fulness to fit him for the great work of redemption, Jehovah called him to perform, and engaged to qualify him for. Psalms 45:6-19.45.7 ; Colossians 2:9; Colossians 2:9 .

Verses 3-4

In the Hebrew the quick understanding seems more particularly to apply to the sense of smelling; intimating that the perception of Christ should be peculiarly so, and totally different from all others. Let the Reader look into the gospel, and mark the numberless instances in the ministry of Jesus, in his discerning the thoughts of the heart: John 2:24-43.2.25 ; Revelation 2:23 . And what a lovely testimony the Prophet adds of this, when saying, that he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes: to show that he forms not his standard of decision by what men say, or by the outward appearance of things, as earthly judges do, and indeed can do no other. But his judgment shall be, because he readeth the heart. How sweet the thought, to his poor, and to his meek in the earth! Think of it, I beseech you, ye that are poor and exercised; and let this precious view of your Jesus always bring comfort with it!

Verse 5

I beg the Reader to say, if it be not so, whether these divine perfections of our Lord were not introduced here in order that his people might behold in them their perfect security? And as a man's girdle goeth round the whole loins, and may be laid hold of behind or before; so the figure is beautifully chosen, to teach a poor trembling believer, who fears to come before the face of the Lord by reason of any renewed transgression; or if, in return to his prayer, the Lord seemeth to turn the back and not the face; in either case, and in every case, he is commanded by faith to lay hold of the girdle of Christ's loins, encircled as it is with righteousness and faithfulness. Isaiah 51:8 ; Psalms 89:27-19.89.35 .

Verses 6-9

Spiritual blessings are promised, under figurative expressions. Such are the blessed effects introduced into the circumstances of mankind by the gospel of Christ, that, like the beasts of the forest tamed and brought under order, the passions of our fallen nature shall be regulated and restrained. A little child shall lead them; that is, the Lord's people shall be so much under the blessed influence of grace in the heart, that they will need nothing of human learning to guide them. And was not this prophecy fulfilled in the days of the gospel, when Mary became the first preacher of the resurrection? Angels brought the tidings to the women; and they, and not the apostles, first spread it abroad.

Verses 10-16

How blessed is the account here given of the Gentile church. To this same root of Jesse, meaning Christ, shall the Gentiles seek. And that we might not lose sight of our elder brethren, the Jews, the Lord here promiseth to lay his hand the second time, to recover them. The interests of both shall be interwoven, and ultimately bound up together. So very powerfully will the Lord work in the accomplishment, that all the seven streams of the Nile, yea, if Jordan or Euphrates were in the way; all should be dried up, and cease to flow, rather than the streams of that river, even the gospel, which maketh glad the city of God, should have the tide of its blessings stopped; by which salvation is made known, and rendered effectual to the Lord's people. Think, Reader, what overwhelming blessings flow in, with Jesus, upon the soul? If the Red Sea dried up to open a passage to Israel, how shall not the redeemed go over dryshod, to whom Jesus hath opened a new and living way by his blood? Exodus 14:29 .

Verse 16


PRECIOUS Jesus! was the prophet commissioned to bring the Church acquainted with thy nature, according to the flesh? Didst thou indeed come forth as rod out of the stem of Jesse, and as branch out of his roots? Then art thou of my own nature; bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. Oh! thou Plant of renown! its thy person, work, righteousness, in the whole of thy redemption, thou art the Lord our God; thou; even thou, hast wrought our salvation for us, and salvation in us: surely, blessed Jesus, thou art all thy people need, and all they can enjoy, in life, in death, in time, and to all eternity! Oh! for a portion of that Spirit which rested upon thee, and which thou impartest to thy people, according to the measure of the gift of Christ! For this will induce all those blessed effects of thy gracious gospel, when the corrupt passions of men shall be brought under the sweet influences of grace and nothing shall then hurt or destroy, in all thine holy mountain!, Blessed Lord! hasten thy glorious purposes concerning thy kingdom! Oh! when shall the hour dawn upon a sinful, dark, and degenerate world, when the Lord will set his hand the second time, to recover the remnant of his people? When wilt the time come, that men shall break their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks? Hasten, blessed Lord, the triumphs of thy kingdom! Cut short thy work, in righteousness, thou that art mighty to save: and let that precious promise be fulfilled; when Israel shall be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land. Oh! Lord of hosts, bless, as thou hast said, saying; Blessed be Egypt, my people, and Assyria, the work of mine hands, and Israel, mine inheritance?

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 11". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.