From the local and temporary national deliverance the
prophet passes by the law of suggestion in an easy transition to the
end of all prophecy—the everlasting deliverance under Messiah's
reign, not merely His first coming, but chiefly His second coming. The
language and illustrations are still drawn from the temporary
national subject, with which he began, but the glories described
pertain to Messiah's reign. Hezekiah cannot, as some think, be the
subject; for he was already come, whereas the "stem of Jesse" was yet
future ("shall come") (compare Mic
4:11, &c.; 5:1, 2; Jer 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16; Ro 15:12).
1. rod—When the proud "boughs" of
"Lebanon" (Isa 10:33, 34, the Assyrians) are lopped, and the vast
"forests cut down" amidst all this rage, a seemingly humble
rod shall come out of Jesse (Messiah), who shall retrieve the
injuries done by the Assyrian "rod" to Israel (Isa 10:5, 6,
stem—literally, "the stump" of a tree
cut close by the roots: happily expressing the depressed state
of the royal house of David, owing to the hostile storm (Isa 10:18, 19), when Messiah should arise from
it, to raise it to more than its pristine glory. Lu 2:7 proves this (Isa 53:2; compare Job 14:7, 8; see on Isa
Branch—Scion. He is nevertheless also
the "root" (Isa 11:10; Re 5:5; 22:16. "Root and offspring" combines both,
2. Spirit of the Lord—Jehovah. The Spirit by which the prophets spake: for
Messiah was to be a Prophet (Isa 61:1; De 18:15, 18). Seven gifts of the Holy
Spirit are specified, to imply that the perfection of them was
to be in Him. Compare "the seven Spirits" (Re 1:4), that is, the Holy Ghost in His
perfect fulness: seven being the sacred number. The prophets had
only a portion out of the "fulness" in the Son of God (Joh
1:16; 3:34; Col 1:19).
rest—permanently; not merely
come upon Him (Nu 11:25, 26).
wisdom—(1Co 1:30; Eph 1:17; Col
understanding—coupled with "wisdom,"
being its fruit. Discernment and discrimination (Mt 22:18; Joh
counsel … might—the faculty of
forming counsels, and that of executing them (Isa 28:29). Counsellor (Isa 9:6).
knowledge—of the deep things of God
11:27). The knowledge of Him
gives us true knowledge (Eph 1:17).
fear of the Lord—reverential, obedient
fear. The first step towards true "knowledge" (Job 28:28;
3. make him of quick
understanding—literally, "quick-scented in the fear of
Jehovah"; endowed with a singular sagacity in discerning the genuine
principle of religious fear of God, when it lies dormant in the yet
unawakened sinner (Mt 12:20; Ac 10:1-48; 16:14) [Horsley]. But Maurer,
"He shall delight in the fear of God." The Hebrew means
"to delight in the odors" of anything (Ex 30:38; Am 5:21); "smell," that is, "delight in."
after … sight—according to mere
external appearances (Joh 7:24; 8:15; Jas 2:1; 1Sa
16:7). Herein Messiah is
represented a just Judge and Ruler (De 1:16, 17).
reprove—"decide," as the parallelism
after … ears—by mere plausible
hearsays, but by the true merits of each case (Joh 6:64; Re
4. judge—see that impartial justice is
done them. "Judge" may mean here "rule," as in Ps 67:4.
reprove—or, "argue"; "decide." But
Lowth, "work conviction in."
earth—Compare with Mt 5:5, and Re
earth—its ungodly inhabitants,
answering to "the wicked" in the parallel, and in antithesis to the
"poor" and "meek," namely, in spirit, the humble pious (Mt 5:3). It is at the same time implied that
"the earth" will be extraordinarily wicked when He shall come to judge
and reign. His reign shall therefore be ushered in with judgments on
the apostates (Ps 2:9-12; Lu 18:8; Re 2:27).
rod of … mouth—condemning
sentences which proceed from His mouth against the wicked (Re 1:16;
2:16; 19:15, 21).
breath of … lips—his judicial
decisions (Isa 30:28; Job 15:30; Re 19:20;
20:9-12). He as the Word of
19:13-15) comes to strike
that blow which shall decide His claim to the kingdom, previously
usurped by Satan, and "the beast" to whom Satan delegates his power. It
will be a day of judgment to the Gentile dispensation, as the first
coming was to the Jews. Compare a type of the "rod" (Nu 17:2-10).
5. righteousness … girdle—(Re 1:13;
19:11). The antitypical High
28:4). The girdle
secures firmly the rest of the garments (1Pe 1:13). So "truth" gives firm consistency to
the whole character (Eph 5:14). In
59:17, "righteousness" is His
6. wolf … lamb—Each animal is
coupled with that one which is its natural prey. A fit state of things
under the "Prince of Peace" (Isa 65:25; Eze 34:25;
Ho 2:18). These may be
figures for men of corresponding animal-like characters (Eze 22:27; 38:13; Jer 5:6; 13:23; Mt 7:15; Lu
10:3). Still a literal
change in the relations of animals to man and each other, restoring the
state in Eden, is a more likely interpretation. Compare Ge 2:19, 20,
with Ps 8:6-8, which
describes the restoration to man, in the person of "the Son of man," of
the lost dominion over the animal kingdom of which he had been designed
to be the merciful vicegerent under God, for the good of his animal
subjects (Ro 8:19-22).
7. feed—namely, "together"; taken from
the second clause.
straw—no longer flesh and
8. play—literally, "delight" himself in
cockatrice—a fabulous serpent supposed
to be hatched from the egg of a cock. The Hebrew means a kind of
adder, more venomous than the asp; Bochart supposes the basilisk to be meant, which was
thought to poison even with its breath.
9. my holy mountain—Zion, that is,
Jerusalem. The seat of government and of Messiah's throne is put for
the whole earth (Jer 3:17).
sea—As the waters find their way into
every cavern of its depths, so Christianity shall pervade every
recess of the earth (Hab 2:14). As
11:1-5 describe the
personal qualities of Messiah, and Isa 11:6-9 the regenerating effects of His
coming on creation, so Isa 11:10-16 the results of it in the restoration of
His people, the Jews, and the conversion through them of the
10. root—rather, "shoot from the root"
(compare Note, see on Isa 11:1; Isa
53:2; Re 5:5; 22:16).
stand—permanently and prominently, as
a banner lifted up to be the rallying point of an army or people (Isa
5:26; Joh 12:32).
the people—peoples, answering
to "the Gentiles" in the parallel member.
to it … seek—diligently (Job 8:5). They shall give in their
allegiance to the Divine King (Isa 2:2; 60:5; Zec 2:11). Horsley translates, "Of Him shall the
Gentiles inquire"; namely, in a religious sense, resort as to
an oracle for consultation in difficulties" (Zec 14:16). Compare Ro 15:12, which quotes this passage, "In
Him shall the Gentiles trust."
rest—resting-place (Isa 60:13; Ps 132:8, 14; Eze 43:7). The sanctuary in the temple of
Jerusalem was "the resting-place of the ark and of Jehovah." So the
glorious Church which is to be is described under the image of an
oracle to which all nations shall resort, and which shall be filled
with the visible glory of God.
11. set … hand—take in hand the
work. Therefore the coming restoration of the Jews is to be distinct
from that after the Babylonish captivity, and yet to resemble it. The
first restoration was literal, therefore so shall the second be;
the latter, however, it is implied here, shall be much more universal
than the former (Isa 43:5-7;
49:12, 17, 18; Eze 37:21; Ho 3:5; Am 9:14, 15; Mic 4:6,
7; Zep 3:19, 20; Zec 10:10; Jer 23:8). As to the "remnant" destined by God to
survive the judgments on the nation, compare Jer 46:28.
Pathros—one of the three divisions of
Egypt, Upper Egypt.
Cush—either Ethiopia, south of Egypt,
now Abyssinia, or the southern parts of Arabia, along the Red Sea.
Elam—Persia, especially the southern
part of it now called Susiana.
Shinar—Babylonian Mesopotamia, the
plain between the Euphrates and the Tigris: in it Babel was begun
10:10). In the Assyrian
inscriptions Rawlinson distinguishes
three periods: (1) The Chaldean; from 2300 B.C. to 1500, in which falls Chedorlaomer (Ge 14:1-17), called in the cuneiform
characters Kudur of Hur, or Ur of the Chaldees, and described as the
conqueror of Syria. The seat of the first Chaldean empire was in the
south, towards the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates. (2) The
Assyrian, down to 625 B.C. (3) The
Babylonian, from 625 to 538 B.C., when
Babylon was taken by the Persian Cyrus.
islands of … sea—the far western
regions beyond the sea [Jerome].
12. In the first restoration Judah alone was
restored, with perhaps some few of Israel (the ten tribes): in the
future restoration both are expressly specified (Eze
37:16-19; Jer 3:18). To
Israel are ascribed the "outcasts" (masculine); to Judah the
"dispersed" (feminine), as the former have been longer and more utterly
castaways (though not finally) than the latter (Joh 7:52). The masculine and feminine conjoined
express the universality of the restoration.
from the four corners of the
earth—Hebrew, "wings of the earth."
13. envy … of Ephraim …
Judah—which began as early as the time (Jud 8:1; 12:1, &c.). Joshua had sprung from,
and resided among the Ephraimites (Nu 13:9; Jos 19:50); the sanctuary was with them for a time
18:1). The jealousy
increased subsequently (2Sa 2:8, &c.; 19:41; 20:2;
3:10); and even before
David's time (1Sa 11:8; 15:4), they had appropriated to themselves
the national name Israel. It ended in disruption (1Ki 11:26,
&c.; 1Ki 12:1-33; compare
2Ki 14:9; Ps 78:56-71).
adversaries of Judah—rather, "the
adversaries from Judah"; those of Judah hostile to the
Ephraimites [Maurer]. The
parallelism "the envy of Ephraim," namely, against Judah, requires
this, as also what follows; namely, "Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and
Judah shall not vex Ephraim" (Eze 37:15, 17, 19).
14. With united forces they shall subdue their
fly—as a bird of prey (Hab 1:8).
upon the shoulders—This expresses an
attack made unexpectedly on one from behind. The image is the
more apt, as the Hebrew for "shoulders" in Nu 34:11 is used also of a maritime coast ("side
of the sea": Hebrew, "shoulder of the sea," Margin). They
shall make a sudden victorious descent upon their borders
southwest of Judea.
them of the east—Hebrew,
"children of the East," the Arabs, who, always hostile, are not to be
reduced under regular government, but are only to be despoiled (Jer 49:28,
lay … hand upon—take possession
Edom—south of Judah, from the Dead Sea
to the Red Sea; "Moab"—east of Jordan and the Dead Sea.
Ammon—east of Judea, north of Moab,
between the Arnon and Jabbok.
15. There shall be a second exodus, destined
to eclipse even the former one from Egypt in its wonders. So the
prophecies elsewhere (Ps 68:22; Ex 14:22; Zec 10:11). The same deliverance furnishes
the imagery by which the return from Babylon is described (Isa 48:20, 21).
destroy—literally, "devote," or
"doom," that is, dry up; for what God dooms, perishes (Ps 106:9 Na 1:4).
tongue—the Bubastic branch of the Nile
[Vitringa]; but as the Nile was
not the obstruction to the exodus, it is rather the west tongue or
Heroöpolite fork of the Red Sea.
with … mighty wind—such as the
"strong east wind" (Ex 14:21),
by which God made a way for Israel through the Red Sea. The
Hebrew for "mighty" means terrible. Maurer translates, "With the terror of His anger";
that is, His terrible anger.
in the seven streams—rather, "shall
smite it (divide it by smiting) into seven (many)
streams, so as to be easily crossed" [Lowth]. So Cyrus divided the river Gyndes, which
retarded his march against Babylon, into three hundred sixty streams,
so that even a woman could cross it [Herodotus, 1.189]. "The river" is the Euphrates, the
obstruction to Israel's return "from Assyria" (Isa 11:16), a type of all future impediments to
the restoration of the Jews.
dry shod—Hebrew, "in shoes."
Even in sandals they should be able to pass over the once mighty river
without being wet (Re 16:12).
16. highway—a highway clear of
obstructions (Isa 19:23; 35:8).
like as … Israel …
Egypt—(Isa 51:10, 11; 63:12, 13).