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11. Branch From Jesse

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2And 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; 3And 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: 4But 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. 5And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

10And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11And 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. 12And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. 14But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. 15And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. 16And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

9. They shall not hurt. He now declares plainly, that men themselves, having laid aside the depravity which naturally dwells in them, will be inclined, of their own accord, to do what is right. He speaks of believers who have been truly regenerated to a new life, (Romans 6:4;) for though in the Church many hypocrites full of wickedness were mixed with the elect of God, yet they are like the Ishmaelites, whom God will cast out at the proper time. We ought also to observe, as we are taught in Psalm 15:1, 24:3, that those only who follow righteousness have a settled residence in the temple of God, that they may dwell there for ever. It is, therefore, a distinguishing mark of the genuine members of the Church, that they are free from all desire of doing injury to others. Hence, also, we infer, that it is a remarkable gift of the Spirit of Christ, that men abstain from being evil-doers; for by nature, ambition, pride, cruelty, and avarice, always prompt them freely and voluntarily to commit acts of injustice.

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. With good reason does the Prophet add, that this invaluable blessing flows from the knowledge of God; for it abases all flesh, and teaches men to commit themselves to his trust and guardianship, and brings them into a state of brotherly harmony, when they learn that they have the same Father. (Malachi 2:10.) Although many, who have not yet been renewed by the Spirit of Christ, profess to have humanity, yet it is certain that self-love (φιλαυτίαν) reigns in them; for in all it is natural and so deeply-rooted, that they seek their own advantage and not that of others, think that they are born for themselves and not for others, and would wish to make the whole world subject to them, if they could, as Plato has judiciously observed. Hence arise fraud, perjury, theft, robbery, and innumerable crimes of this sort; and therefore there is no other remedy for subduing this lawless desire than the knowledge of God. We see how the Prophet again makes the government of Christ to rest on faith and the doctrine of the gospel, as indeed he does not gather us to himself (Ephesians 1:10) in another way than by enlightening our minds to reveal the heavenly life, which is nothing else, as he himself declares, than

to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. (John 17:3.)

As with waters that cover the sea. There is an implied comparison between the abundance of knowledge and that slender taste which God gave to the ancient people under the law. The Jews having been kept in the rudiments of childhood, (Galatians 3:23,4:3,) the perfect light of wisdom hath fully shone on us by the gospel, as was also foretold by Jeremiah:

They shall not every one teach his neighbor, and a man his brother, to know God; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (Jeremiah 31:34.)

If this fullness of knowledge take possession of our minds, it will free us from all malice.

This passage also instructs us what is the character of the Church under Popery, where the light of doctrine is choked and almost extinguished, and the highest religion is made to consist in the benumbing influence of brutish stupidity. If we do not immediately possess full knowledge, we must advance from day to day, and make continual progress, (2 Peter 3:18,) and in such a manner that fruit may spring from that root. Hence it is evident how little progress the greater part have made in the school of Christ, seeing that fraud and robbery and acts of violence abound everywhere.


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