Isaiah Chapter Eleven, The King & His Kingdom

In our study of Isaiah chapter eleven, we look at this great messianic prophecy. We will see how the coming earthly kingdom of God is set up and how it will operate.

Isaiah 11:1

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

A "shoot" speaks of a live sprout and that is Jesus who was from the royal line of David. The prophet does not mention David but instead goes back to his father Jesse. At the time of Jesus' birth, the royal line of David had basically went back to being peasants and this is a reminder of that as Jesse was a shepherd and Jesus was the son of a carpenter.

Isaiah 11:2

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord -

This verse describes the sevenfold Spirit of God and, as we remember, the number seven refers to completeness throughout the Bible. This reminds us that Jesus was fully God yet fully man. We see the first part is the Spirit resting on Him and that is what the apostle John described as happening when Jesus was baptized (see John 1:32). The next two parts are wisdom and understanding and speaks of a God-given heart knowledge of the things of God and the ability to distinguish the things of God from the things of this world. The next two speak to the authority of Jesus as He gave counsel to many but did not seek advice or permission from anyone to do the work that God had set before Him. The final two speak to a head knowledge and awe at the wonder of what God has done and who He is. For us, this knowledge and appreciation comes from a familiarity with the Word of God and that happens when we constantly study His word. This is "growing in Him" and the second purpose of this website.

Isaiah 11:3

and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;

The "fear of the Lord" that it speaks of here is awe and it is an appreciation for the nature of God and His work. We see, here, that Jesus will not judge our salvation based on works or words that we say. Our salvation is based on the grace of God alone. Most people, (even Christians & pastors too), try to add some amount of work to the concept of grace but, once you add any work to grace, you no longer have true grace. This adding a little law to grace is why there are so many denominations and independent groups instead of a united body of Christ as God desires.

Isaiah 11:4

but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

At first glance, we may read this verse and think that it is talking about those that are in physical need but in reality it is speaking about the poor in spirit. This is the same thing that Jesus said in what has come to be known as the beatitudes when He said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven". This verse contains a promise for all that will acknowledge their spiritual neediness. That promise is fulfilled when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. It also contains a promise for Satan which is that the devil will be slain by the very Word of God which is Jesus Christ. That promise will be fulfilled as we see in Revelation 20.

Isaiah 11:5

Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

Our waist is the balance point for the normal body and balance is critical for our ability to walk on our own. The picture here is of Jesus and His relationship (as the Son) who is doing the will of the Father. Although this was veiled to the people of Isaiah's time it is made clear to us today. For us to walk with the Lord, we, too, must wear this belt and sash.

Isaiah 11:6

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

In this kingdom, there will be true peace even among the animals. This peace will come from a child (speaking of the fact that Jesus would come to earth and be born of a woman). It seems that there are many who believe that there is another way that peace is going to come to the earth. Although there have been relatively calm periods in the history of man, there has never been a time of this kind of absolute peace and it is only possible through the Prince of Peace who is Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 11:7

The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The peace of this coming kingdom (which is described in Revelation 20) will be so complete that there will no longer be any killing and death (even animals). You see, death was not intended to be a part of God's creation but it entered through sin. As we see, in Genesis 2, God created plants to sustain us and the animals that He had created. In this new kingdom, we will be going back to the way it was intended to be and even the lion will eat straw instead of meat.

Isaiah 11:8

The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.

Not only will this peace be between two people or two different kinds of animals, there will be total peace between man and all animals. This peace is so complete that the animal does not even guard their den anymore. Some may say: "That's not possible" but the One who created all things can do all things and I have personally seen God stop a mean dog in its tracks and cause it to smile.

Isaiah 11:9

They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Everyone will be able to see the effect of Jesus as there will be no more violence in this kingdom.

Isaiah 11:10

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.

During this millennial reign, Jesus and His people will stand out as a bright beacon to the nations. The people will have one last chance to accept Him as their Lord and Savior and this chance is under ideal conditions as Satan has been removed from the earth.

Isaiah 11:11

In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea.

All of God's people will be drawn to be in His presence. They will all be together again in the holy city.

Isaiah 11:12 & 13

He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Ephraim's jealousy will vanish, and Judah's enemies will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.

There are those who say that these events have already happened as they point to the establishment of the state of Israel. It is possible that this is in the process of happening but it cannot be completely fulfilled yet as there is not total unity within Israel even today. The good news is that Jesus will bring true peace and gather all of God's people together to reign for the thousand years.

Isaiah 11:14

They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east, They will lay hands on Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them.

When Jesus raises the banner for His people, they will be victorious over all the enemies. This millennial reign will be total over all the earth.

Isaiah 11:15 & 16

The Lord will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that men can cross over in sandals. There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.

This passage has been fulfilled but similar events are yet to come. In Revelation 16, the sixth bowl is poured out on the Euphrates and it is dried up. In Isaiah's time, it was to bring back God's exiled people but in the future it will allow the enemies of God to come to Jerusalem for the final battle.

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