Isaiah 11 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Isaiah 11:1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.:

  • Then: Isaiah 53:2 Zec 6:12 Rev 5:5 22:16
  • of Jesse: Isa 11:10 Ru 4:17 1Sa 17:58 Mt 1:6-16 Lk 2:23-32 Ac 13:22,23 Ro 15:12
  • Branch: Isa 4:2 Jer 23:5 33:15 Zec 3:8 6:12)
Judgment & Character
of God
Comfort & Redemption
of God




Salvation &


True God






Judah &
Is 1:1-12:6
the Nations
& Promises
Prophetic Historic Messianic
Holiness, Righteousness & Justice of Jehovah Grace, Compassion & Glory of Jehovah
God's Government
"A throne" Is 6:6
God's Grace
"A Lamb" Is 53:7

See Introduction to Isaiah by Dr John MacArthur: Title, Author, Date, Background, Setting, Historical, Theological Themes, Interpretive Challenges, Outline by Chapter/Verse. Excellent overview. From Grace To You ministries - same intro as in MacArthur Study Bible (print) 

Beloved child of the Living God, let me encourage you to prayerfully read this chapter before you read any notes. And as you pray, be sure to confess your sins so that your fellowship with the Father might be full and unhindered and that He might give ear to your prayer that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened, so that you might know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. And then read through Isaiah 11 without interruption, trusting that the Spirit will indeed open the eyes of your heart to His incredible promises in this great prophecy, indeed one of the greatest in the entire Word of God. As you read, meditate on your glorious King and His soon coming Kingdom and let those truths marinate in your mind and stimulate in your heart a heightened desire for the Return of the King of kings. You might read through Isaiah 11 one more time, slowly as if it were a love letter from God written personally to you, for it is! And finally, if you are so inclined, you might take a moment and listen carefully to the words of Robin Mark's song One Day, for this song pictures that great coming day when the lion will lie down with the lamb and creation's groaning will cease. If this doesn't make you have a time of praise and worship, I don't know what will! Play Robin Mark's song…



Jehovah, the faithful, covenant keeping God, speaking to Judah in the midst of despair and hopelessness in view of her defeat and exile to Babylon declared…

For I know the plans that I have for you…
plans for welfare and not for calamity
to give you a future and a hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Isaiah 11 and 12 unveil an outline for God's plans for Israel in the future which continues similar themes from Isaiah 2:2-5 and Isaiah 4:2-6, all of which remind God's Chosen People that He has planned for a future and a hope. While Isaiah 2:2, 3 predicted a day when the nations will come to Jerusalem to receive God’s instruction, though the Messiah is not mentioned. Isaiah 11 fills in the details describing the Messiah, the Coming King, His glorious Kingdom and the constituents He gathers into His Kingdom.

A C Gaebelein's outline


Isaiah 11:1-5 - The King: Who He is.

Isaiah 11:6-10 - The Peace and Blessing He brings.

Isaiah 11:11-16 - The Gathering of Scattered Israel.

It is a great vision of the future which this chapter unfolds. The critics deny that the blessed Person mentioned in the opening verses is our Lord Jesus. They think Hezekiah or Josiah is meant. 2Th 2:8 shows that it is our Lord. Link Isaiah 11:1-5 with Isaiah 9:6, 7. Again His coming in humiliation and His coming in exaltation are here interwoven. We behold His reign in righteousness.

Isaiah 11:6-10 need not to be spiritualized, as it is so often done. Romans tells us (Ro 8:18-23) that a literal groaning creation, travailing together in pain until now, will be delivered of its groans and curses. The hour of deliverance strikes with the “manifestation of the Sons of God.” However, this manifestation does not take place till the Lord is manifested the Second Time. In the coming Kingdom to be established on earth and ruled over by the King from above, creation will be put back into its original condition.

Israel’s regathering will be from a worldwide dispersion. It will be “the second time.” It does not and cannot mean the return from Babylon, but the return from their present exile of almost 2,000 years.

Messianic Jewish writer Arnold Fruchtenbaum feels that…

CHAPTERS 7–12 of Isaiah constitute a single unit, sometimes referred to as “The Book of Immanuel” because the name “Immanuel” appears three times in the Hebrew text (Isaiah 7:14; 8:8,10) (Ed: Isa 8:10 = "God with us" transliterated "immanu'el"). (Messianic Christology: A study of Old Testament prophecy concerning the first coming of the Messiah. Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries)

David McKenna summarizes chapters 11 and 12 writing that…

God lets the children of Judah know that, despite their sin and punishment, they are still the chosen people for bringing the redemptive hope of new life to the deadness of a world rotted by sin and felled by divine wrath. Only the most calloused critic would try to deny that this oracle announces the coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. In an earlier passage, we were introduced to Him as the Prince of Five Names (Isa 9:6) with an emphasis upon His attributes of wisdom, power, love, and peace. Now, Isaiah extends those virtues into the promises for His character (Isa 11:2–3), His governance (Isa 11:3–5), and His kingdom (Isa 11:10–16). What more can we ask? To foresee the promises of God for the coming of the Christ is to break out into song. As his final oracle for Judah, Isaiah gives us the song to sing in that day when God’s promises are fulfilled (Isa 12:1–6). (The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 17 Isaiah 1-39)

One of the older commentaries by Jamieson, et al, which interprets the Scripture more literally and thus tends not to interpret OT descriptions of Israel as directed primarily to the Church has an excellent introduction to this great chapter

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.


KJV - And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

YLT - And a rod hath come out from the stock of Jesse, And a branch from his roots is fruitful.

ESV - There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

NLT - Out of the stump of David's family will grow a shoot--yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.

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

Then (expression of time) - When is "then"? (Always interrogate with the 5W/H'S) Then marks sequence of events. Notice that this verse follows another "tree metaphor" (Isaiah 10:33, 34) in which Isaiah had described the destruction of the proud Assyria army who had come as far as the outskirts of the Holy City, Jerusalem. (cp Isa 37:24,36, 37, 38; cf. 2Ki 19:35, 36, 37; 2Chr 32:21). Now Isaiah describes a small shoot who will spring forth in what is clearly one of the greatest Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, Whose humility is in stark contrast to the pride of the Assyrians.

Related Topic: See chart on the Messianic Line from Abraham to Jesus

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse - This is one of the greatest Messianic prophecies. The stem, stock or stump of Jesse is a metaphor for the remnant of Jesse's family (and the line of David) who were genuine believers in the Messiah (Note: Salvation in the OT was always by grace through faith just as in the NT - cp Ge 15:6 with Ro 4:3, Ro 4:16) and from whom would arise a Shoot or a Rod (KJV), Who in context is a metaphorical description of the Messiah, also described as the Branch. and later as the root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:10).

Isaiah continues the arbor (tree) imagery as he turns from the description of one felled tree (Assyrian) to another felled tree (Judah). The first tree fell with finality, whereas the second tree has signs of life in the root. Whereas the tree of Assyria was lopped off and would never grow again, God promised Judah that even though she would be punished (eventually with exile into Babylon in 586BC), "regrowth" of the nation would occur because God had assured there would be a believing remnant.

Isaiah had previously alluded to the believing remnant, although not yet clearly associating it with the Messiah until here in Isaiah 11:1. In the opening chapter Isaiah wrote that…

Unless the LORD of hosts had left us (Isaiah personalizes this passage, so "us" = Jews) a few survivors (the believing remnant which Paul quotes in Ro 9:29-note to explain that God still had a plan for the Jews, but ultimately it would only be those Jews who believed in Messiah, cp Ro 11:25, 26, 27-note), we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:9)

Comment: The point in using the historical analogy (simile) of Sodom and Gomorrah which were completely and utterly annihilated is to emphasize that there would not have been one believer in Israel had not God Himself intervened to preserve a holy seed (see Isa 6:13 below), a believing remnant. (See also Tony Garland's discussion A Remnant Will be Saved)

Isaiah next alluded to the believing remnant in Isaiah 6 writing…

Yet there will be a tenth portion in it (Again a manifestation of the mercy of the LORD to not give even the remnant what they deserved), and it will again be subject to burning, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump. (Isaiah 6:13).

Comment: The tenth portion is a picture of the believing remnant which is further described as the holy seed, which is pictured as a stump. In this verse God says that Judah will not be completely destroyed. In His great faithfulness to His covenant promises to Abraham and to David (For more on the Davidic Covenant, see 2Sa 7:8-17, 19; 23:5; 1Ki 11:36; 15:4; 2Ki 8:19; 1Chr 17:9-16, 27; 22:10; 2Chr 6:15-17; 7:18; 13:5; 21:7; Ps 2:6-8; 89:3, 4; Ps 89:19-51; 132:10, 11, 12; Isa 9:7; 11:1; 37:35; 55:3; Jer 22:30; 23:5, 6; 30:9; 33:14-17, 19-26; 36:30; Ezek 37:24-25; Hos. 3:4-5; Amos 9:11, 12; Luke 1:32, 33, 69, 70; Acts 2:29-32; 13:22-23, 32-37; 15:16-17; Ro 9:4) that there would be a seed from whom would come the Messiah, God promises that just as a tree may sprout again from a stump, so there will be a believing remnant of the nation who will survive and preserve the seed or lineage of the Messiah.

To reiterate, though most of God's people would reject God, the tenth, the stump, the holy seed would be a remnant in Israel who would hear and believe God's promise of a Messiah (first prophesied in Genesis 3:15) Who would be their Redeemer (cp Isa 54:8, 59:20 quoted in Ro 11:26-note). In other words just as a tree may sprout again from a stump, so there would be a faithful remnant of Judah who would survive. In Isaiah 6:13, the holy (set apart by God and for God) seed refers specifically to the believing remnant of the tribe of Judah of the family of Jesse from whom the seed of the Messiah would come just as Paul explained in Galatians.

Now the promises were spoken to Abraham (the believer Gal 3:9) and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. (Gal 3:16, cp Ge 13:16, 15:5, 22:17 where "descendents" = seed [Hebrew = masculine, singular in all the preceding passages]).

For He (Messiah) grew up before Him (God the Father) like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground. He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, (Isaiah 53:2).

Then it will come about in that day that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse (Messiah), Who will stand as a signal for the peoples and His resting place will be glorious. (Isaiah 11:10)

I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. (Rev 22:16-note)

Shoot (Rod - KJV) (02415) (choter/hoter) describes a young growth or sprout -- a sending out of new growth or a twig of new growth that sprouts from a stump and is used figuratively by Isaiah to describe the Messiah as from the lineage of Jesse, the "stump". The only other OT use of choter in Pr 14:3 describes a rod of discipline.

Stump (01503) (geza from a root meaning to cut) refers to the root stock or stub of a tree, that part which remains above ground and attached to the root after a tree is cut. Geza is used 3 times in the OT - Job 14:8; Isa 11:1; 40:24. In the present context geza is a metaphor (see terms of comparison) describing David's father Jesse. Using the stump metaphor, Isaiah is emphasizing that Judah has sunk so low that the Davidic line will be cut down and yet it will not be completely destroyed, but one day would spring forth in the Person of the Messiah. Unfortunately, Israel did not accept Messiah as their King at His First Coming but they will recognize Him as their King at His Second Coming (Zech 12:10, cp Rev 1:7) and He will take His seat on the throne of David as David's prophesied heir apparent.

When did the Davidic line become a "stump?" In other words, when was the tree of Judah cut down? In 586BC Babylon led by Nebuchadnezzar defeated Judah, destroying Jerusalem and God's Holy Temple. The tree of Judah and the throne of David had fallen and Judah was taken into exile. Judah's defeat marked an end to the rule of kings in the line of David in Israel and yet it was a temporary hiatus for Isaiah 11 (and Isaiah 9:7) predicted a King would come from the line of David and would rule over the land of Israel. This King would eventually come from the "stump" or believing remnant of the tribe of Judah, the line of Jesse, the family of David, and would spring forth as new growth (a "Shoot") which was ultimately fulfilled in the Messiah. Isaiah 9:6 prophesied of His first coming (His incarnation) and Isaiah 11 prophesied primarily of His Second Coming (as did Isaiah 9:7).

Jesse - The father of David from the tribe of Judah.

And the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi!" So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. (Ruth 4:17)

Now David was the son of the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons. And Jesse was old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men.

And Saul said to him, "Whose son are you, young man?" And David answered, "I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite." (1Sa 17:58)

And to Jesse was born David the king. And to David was born Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah… The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Mt 1:6, 1)

"And after He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, 'I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.' "From the offspring of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus (Acts 13:22, 23)

Paul quotes Isaiah in Romans…


Comment: Paul is quoting from Isaiah 11:10 in this passage.

Jon Courson commenting on the last verses of Isaiah 10 (Isa 10:25-34) writes that…

The cities listed were on the path that the Assyrians took to carry the ten northern tribes into captivity. But because it’s in this section talking about “that day,” it is also a map of the route Antichrist will take to enter Israel for the battle of Armageddon. In that day, the nations will be cut down. The people in rebellion against the Lord will be destroyed. It’s a dreadfully dark and depressing picture. But the first word of the next chapter is “Then.” Therefore, there’s more to the story… (Jon Courson's application commentary: Volume two: Psalms-Malachi. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson)

Oswalt observes that…

The forestry imagery that has played such a prominent role in these early chapters continues here. The prophet sees the forest of Israel’s pride having been thoroughly cut down and burned, as prophesied in chapter 6. In its place grew up the mighty forest of Assyria. But now that forest too has been cut down (as Isaiah 10 predicted). In this field of burned-out stumps, as suggested in Isa 6:13, a green “shoot” is springing up from one of the stumps. It is a “branch” coming from the original “root.” (Oswalt, J. The NIV Application Commentary: Isaiah. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House)

W A Criswell has an interesting note related to the description a branch from its roots writing that…

The contrast (Isaiah 10:33, 34) is between a cedar and an oak. When a cedar is cut down, belonging as it does to the genus of the pine family, there are no shoots; there are no suckers; there are no outgrowths. When a cedar is cut down, like all the pine family, there’s nothing left but the stump and it rots and decays in the ground. The prophet Isaiah says the great, vast, merciless empire of Assyria will be like that. God Himself shall fell the giant cedar and, when it is cut down, it shall be forever destroyed. So completely did the Assyrian empire vanish from the earth that in centuries after, the army of Alexander the Great marched over its great capital city of Nineveh unaware, absolutely unknowing, that a great empire and a great civilization lay buried beneath his feet. God said, “Assyria shall be destroyed like a mighty cedar that is cut down and there will be no shoot.” There will be no rod that will come out of the stump that remains.

Then the prophet by inspiration contrastingly speaks of Israel as an oak tree (cp Isa 6:13). And when an oak is cut down, here from the roots and there from the stump will you see rods, shoots springing up. It still has life in its roots and in the stem, the stump.

And out of the destruction of Israel, and out of the final, ultimate captivity of Judah, there shall yet be God’s life remaining. And then the marvelous prophecy: “Out of that stump there will grow a branch.” Matthew refers to this, a netzer, a Nazarene; and He will be the Lord God of righteousness.

The New Testament often alludes to this verse. In Rev 22:16, the Lord speaks of Himself as the "root and the offspring of David", referring to this (Isaiah 11:1, cp Rev 5:5 Zec 6:12 Mt 22:42,45 Ro 1:3,4, 2Ti 2:8). Out of the root of David, the offspring of David, the Messiah shall rise. And then follows the description of the incomparably glorious kingdom. (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)

Harry Ironside has an interesting comment on Isaiah 11 viewing it as closely associated with the destruction of the Assyrian in chapter 10 (Click to read Ironside's comments on Isaiah 10)

There is a very close connection with that which now comes before us (Isaiah 11) and that which we have seen in the last chapter. After the Assyrian is destroyed and Israel will have been delivered from all her enemies, we have the peaceful reign of Him who is the Rod out of Jesse’s stem, the Branch of the Lord Who is to bring all things into subjection to God and rule with the iron rod of inflexible righteousness. (Isaiah 11 & 12 - When God's Anointed Takes Over)

Comment: Ironside presents an interesting futuristic interpretation which does have some parallel with the events John describes in the Revelation. In Revelation 19 we see the description of the triumphant return of Messiah as King of kings to defeat the Antichrist (the Beast) (Rev 19:11-note, Rev 19:20-note, cp Zech 14:2, 3). This monumental event is immediately followed by the description of a period of 1000 years (See Millennium-events leading up to the millennium) when Satan is bound (Rev 20:2-note) and Messiah rules (Rev 20:4-note, cp Zech 14:4, 5, 6, 7, 8 especially Zech 14:9, 11). And thus just as the events of Isaiah 10 parallel the events of Revelation 19, so too the events of Isaiah 11 parallel Revelation 20. I present these thoughts for your consideration as good Bereans (Acts 17:11-note).


Branch (05342) (netser/neser) is a masculine noun which refers to the shoot of a tree (or other plant). Netser describes a bough shooting from the stem, or from another branch or bough. Netser implies "a plant of the same kind of the next generation" (Louw-Nida). In Da 11:7 netser clearly refers to a family line or descendent even as a shoot comes from a root of a tree or plant. In the present context Isaiah uses netser as a figure of speech to describe the Messiah Who descends from Jesse.

Related Resource - Messianic Prophecies

A different Hebrew word (semah - 06780) is used for the prophecy of the Messiah as the Branch of the LORD in Isaiah 4:2.

Netser - 4x in the OT - Isa 11:1; 14:19; 60:21; Da 11:7. NAS = branch(3), descendants(1).

The Branch - The Branch is an OT name of Christ. Several OT prophets pictured the Messiah as the Branch

Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you—indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch. (Zec 3:8)

“Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. (Zec 6:12).


“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. (Jer 23:5).

Comment: Christ is the Righteous One (Is 24:16, 53:11, Acts 3:14, 7:52, 22:14) and the essence of righteousness (1Cor 1:30) and it naturally (supernaturally) follows that His Millennial Kingdom will be a kingdom of righteousness for the Scriptures teach us that…

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Pr 14:34)

Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah (and Jehovah = Jesus), the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. (Ps 33:12)

Let all of God's people pray fervently in a time while He may still be found for a God glorifying, Word centered, Spirit empowered, Christ exalting revival of RIGHTEOUSNESS in America. Amen

In those days (Jer 33:14 describes the fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. (Jer 33:15).

In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. (Isa 4:2).

From his roots - His roots refers to Jesse, the stump which has roots beneath the surface.

The KJV Bible Commentary comments that…

The time of the Messiah’s coming was undoubtedly a great puzzle in Old Testament times. Isaiah’s prophecies in chapters 7–9 indicate that Immanuel, the virgin-born, divine Child is soon to appear. However, in this chapter we are given a clear indication that His coming will be in the yet distant future. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson)

Tony Garland in his excellent online commentary on The Revelation writes that…

Jesus was born in the line of David (Mt 1:1, 6, 17, 20; Lk 1:27, 32; 3:31; Ro 1:3; 2Ti 2:8; Rev 22:16), He is the “son of David” (Mt 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30, 31; 21:9, 15; 22:42; etc.). Jesus is the “Rod from the stem of Jesse” (Isa 11:1), the “Root of Jesse” (Isa. 11:10), David’s father (Ru 4:22-note).

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. God made an unconditional covenant with David where He swore that his throne would be established like the sun and moon (Ps 89:33, 34, 35, 36, 37). At present, there is no “throne of David” upon the earth, but there will be when the Lion has completed His work (Rev 20:4, 5, 6-note) for the zeal of God will ensure it!

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa. 9:6, 7) [emphasis added]

As a root springs anew from the stump of a tree which has been cut down and appears to be dead, so the line leading to Messiah was preserved throughout history.

For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, Yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant (Job 14:7, 8, 9).

This root was repeatedly chopped back, but never completely terminated as Satan attempted throughout history to thwart the Messianic line of promise. See commentary on Revelation 12:4-note. (A Testimony of Jesus Christ = in my opinion, the best literal interpretation of this great book)

Will bear fruit - The Branch, Messiah, will not be a barren but a fruitful branch, which calls to mind Jesus' own words regarding fruitfulness…

Abide (aorist imperative - Not a suggestion but a command to do this now) in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing (Greek word = not relative negation but absolutely nothing… ever ~ "Nada!"). (Jn 15:4, 5)

Ryrie explains that…

Though the tree of David is felled (Isa 6:13), a shoot or branch would grow up from the stump (the family of David; Jesse was David's father, 1Sa 17:12), in the person of Messiah.

Max Forsythe (reformed perspective) skirts around the interpretation of Isaiah 11…

Will Christ's kingdom be a kingdom of the Spirit, or a glorious kingdom in the midst of the world for a time and eternally in heaven after the end? No matter, how the kingdom is organized I suppose, the whole focus ought to be upon our King and God.

Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.:

  • Spirit: Isa 42:1 59:21 61:1 Nu 11:25,26 Mt 3:16 Jn 1:32,33 3:34 Ac 10:38
  • wisdom: Dt 34:9 Jn 14:17 15:26 16:13 1Co 1:30 Eph 1:17,18 Col 1:8,9 Col 2:2,3 2Ti 1:7 Jas 3:17,18


In these succeeding passages the Branch is now personalized as a Ruler ("Judge") which speaks of the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom at His Second Coming.

The Spirit of the LORD - A clear OT reference to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Most observers see a "six fold" ("seven fold" if one includes "Spirit of the LORD") aspect to the Spirit resting on the Messiah - (1) Wisdom, (2) Understanding, (3) Counsel, (4) Strength, (5) Knowledge, and (6) Fear. Compare to the seven-fold aspect of the Holy Spirit in Revelation 1:4-note. Compare also Rev 4:5-note and Rev 5:6-note. Whether six fold or seven fold, these attributes would seem to indicate the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Related Resource: See the "Example of Jesus" - His dependence on the Spirit leaving us an example to follow (1 Cor 11:1-note).

Guzik comments that "The seven characteristics describe the nature of the Spirit of the Lord. They also describe the nature of Jesus. There is no difference between the nature of Jesus and the nature of the Holy Spirit. When we see Jesus, we see the Father (John 14:9). When we see the Spirit of the Lord at work, it should look like the ministry and the nature of Jesus.

It is notable that the Isaiah referred to the Holy Spirit more than any other Old Testament prophet (Isaiah 11:2; 30:1; 32:15; 34:16; 40:13; 42:1; 44:3; 48:16; 59:21; 61:1; 63:10, 11, 14).

Will rest (05117) (nuach/nuah) means to rest or pause and as noted from the many ways it is translated (see list of words below), nuach has many uses in the OT. Nuach essentially conveys a basic sense of absence of movement and of being settled in a particular place with overtones of finality. The first use in Ge 2:15 describes how God "put" Adam in the Garden. The next use describes a physical setting down of something (Ge 8:4, cp 2Sa 21:10, Ex 10:14, Josh 3:13).

Baker summarizes the meanings of nuach Its main uses are summarized here:

(1) to rest, to settle, to settle down, e.g., of the ark (Gen. 8:4); of locusts on the crops (Ex. 10:14); of a spirit on a person (2 Ki. 2:15); of the Lord's Spirit (Num. 11:25, 26); of birds (2 Sam. 21:10); of the hand of the Lord on something (Isa. 25:10); of wisdom which rests in one's heart (Prov. 14:33).

(2) It means to repose, to pause for rest after laboring (Ex. 20:11; 23:12; Deut. 5:14); freedom, respite from one's enemies (Esth. 9:16).

(3) It means to leave something as it is, at rest: the nations (Num. 32:15; Judg. 2:23; 3:1; Jer. 27:11); to leave something behind (Gen. 42:33; 2 Sam. 16:21).

(4) It can have the sense of departing from a position (Eccl. 10:4); or of God's abandoning a person (Ps. 119:121; Jer. 14:9).

(5) It can mean to leave alone, to let be, to not bother (Ex. 32:10; Hos. 4:17).

(6) It has the sense of permit, to let a person do something (Judg. 16:26). (7) It may mean, in its causative senses: (a) to cause to rest, to give rest to: to rest one's hands (Ex. 17:11); to give satisfaction to one's spirit, especially God's Spirit (Zech. 6:8); to calm someone (Prov. 29:17); it is used figuratively of letting a blessing rest, come down on a person, house, or family (Ezek. 44:30). (b) To lay something down, to deposit it somewhere, such as stones (Josh. 4:3, 8); the ark (1 Sam. 6:18); man, Adam (Gen. 2:15). In one passive usage, it is negated (lōʾ) and refers to those who are given no respite (Lam 5:5). (Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament)


Vine notes that "To rest sometimes indicates a complete envelopment and thus permeation, as in the spirit of Elijah “resting” on Elisha (2Ki 2:15), the hand of God “resting” on the mountain (Isa 25:10), and when Wisdom “rests in the heart of him that hath understanding” (Pr. 14:33)."

Gilbrant on nuach

The literal and figurative scope of what it means to "rest" is broad. In its most general and literal sense, the verb means "to settle down" in a place or to be at rest. In this aspect, it refers to the rest of humans (Deut. 5:14; Est. 9:22) and animals (2 Sam. 21:10). The Bible says that insects rest (Exo. 10:14), as do cattle, slaves and even the Lord after a time of labor (Exo. 23:12; Deut. 5:14; and Exo. 20:11 respectively).

In some passages, nûach means "to settle down and remain" upon something. Metaphorically, Aram is said to have "settled down upon Ephraim" (Isa. 7:2) and the ark Noah built came to rest on Ararat (Gen. 8:4). Similarly, the Spirit of Yahweh that settled upon the Tent also came to rest on the seventy elders of Israel (Num. 11:25f). When Elijah was taken up to heaven, the prophets of Jericho remarked that the spirit of Elijah now rested upon Elisha (2 Ki. 2:15). In addition, when the hand of the Lord rested on Mount Zion, Israel had victory (Isa. 25:10). In like fashion, Proverbs says that wisdom finds repose in the heart of a discerning person (14:33), but one who strays from the path of understanding will find rest in the company of the dead (21:16).

A majority of the OT occurrences of nûach occur in the Hiphil, indicating active, causative action. For example, Exo. 17:11 says that when Moses allowed his upraised hands to lower ("rest"), the men of Israel led by Joshua would begin to lose their battle against the Amalekites. In other passages, God gives rest to those He loves (Deut. 25:19; Isa 14:3), but He also causes his fury to rest on the disobedient (Ezek. 24:13). (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

The Lxx translates rest in this passage with the verb anapauo in the sense of "to settle on an object" as exemplified by the Spirit resting on believers who are reviled (1Pe 4:14-note).

Nuah - 140v - abandon(2), allays(1), allow(1), appease(1), appeased(1), been at rest(1), calm(1), came to rest(1), camped(1), cast down(1), cast...down(1), deposit(3), deposited(1), down(1), enter into rest(1),, forsake(1), free(1), free space(2), give comfort(1), give rest(17), given rest(3), gives rest(1), had rest(1), idle*(1), laid(2), lay(8), lay down(1), laying(1), leave(8), left(7), let alone(4), let go*(1), permitted(2), place(2), placed(4), put(6), put it aside(1), put down(1), put aside(1), remain(3), resides(1), rest(14), rested(6), resting(1), rests(2), rid themselves(2), satisfy(1), set(4), set down(3), settle(2), settled(1), space*(1), spent(1), stationed(2), wait quietly(1), waited(1).

Gen. 2:15; Gen. 8:4; Gen. 19:16; Gen. 39:16; Gen. 42:33; Exod. 10:14; Exod. 16:23; Exod. 16:24; Exod. 16:33; Exod. 16:34; Exod. 17:11; Exod. 20:11; Exod. 23:12; Exod. 32:10; Exod. 33:14; Lev. 7:15; Lev. 16:23; Lev. 24:12; Num. 10:36; Num. 11:25; Num. 11:26; Num. 15:34; Num. 17:4; Num. 17:7; Num. 19:9; Num. 32:15; Deut. 3:20; Deut. 5:14; Deut. 12:10; Deut. 14:28; Deut. 25:19; Deut. 26:4; Deut. 26:10; Jos. 1:13; Jos. 1:15; Jos. 3:13; Jos. 4:3; Jos. 4:8; Jos. 6:23; Jos. 21:44; Jos. 22:4; Jos. 23:1; Jdg. 2:23; Jdg. 3:1; Jdg. 6:18; Jdg. 6:20; 1 Sam. 6:18; 1 Sam. 10:25; 1 Sam. 25:9; 2 Sam. 7:1; 2 Sam. 7:11; 2 Sam. 16:11; 2 Sam. 16:21; 2 Sam. 20:3; 2 Sam. 21:10; 1 Ki. 5:4; 1 Ki. 7:47; 1 Ki. 8:9; 1 Ki. 13:29; 1 Ki. 13:30; 1 Ki. 13:31; 1 Ki. 19:3; 2 Ki. 2:15; 2 Ki. 17:29; 2 Ki. 23:18; 1 Chr. 16:21; 1 Chr. 22:9; 1 Chr. 22:18; 1 Chr. 23:25; 2 Chr. 1:14; 2 Chr. 4:8; 2 Chr. 6:41; 2 Chr. 9:25; 2 Chr. 14:6; 2 Chr. 14:7; 2 Chr. 15:15; 2 Chr. 20:30; Neh. 9:28; Est. 3:8; Est. 9:16; Est. 9:17; Est. 9:18; Est. 9:22; Job 3:13; Job 3:17; Job 3:26; Ps. 17:14; Ps. 105:14; Ps. 119:121; Ps. 125:3; Prov. 14:33; Prov. 21:16; Prov. 29:17; Eccl. 2:18; Eccl. 5:12; Eccl. 7:9; Eccl. 7:18; Eccl. 10:4; Eccl. 11:6; Isa. 7:2; Isa. 7:19; Isa. 11:2; Isa. 14:1; Isa. 14:3; Isa. 14:7; Isa. 23:12; Isa. 25:10; Isa. 28:2; Isa. 28:12; Isa. 30:32; Isa. 46:7; Isa. 57:2; Isa. 63:14; Isa. 65:15; Jer. 14:9; Jer. 27:11; Jer. 43:6; Lam. 5:5; Ezek. 5:13; Ezek. 16:39; Ezek. 16:42; Ezek. 21:17; Ezek. 22:20; Ezek. 24:13; Ezek. 37:1; Ezek. 37:14; Ezek. 40:2; Ezek. 40:42; Ezek. 41:9; Ezek. 41:11; Ezek. 42:13; Ezek. 42:14; Ezek. 44:19; Ezek. 44:30; Dan. 12:13; Hos. 4:17; Amos 5:7; Hab. 3:16; Zech. 5:11; Zech. 6:8

Will rest on Him - Like David (1Sa 16:13), this king will be energized by the Lord’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit will rest on the Messiah (permanently; not temporarily come upon, e.g., Nu 11:25, 26), a prophecy that was fulfilled at His first coming but will also be fulfilled at His Second Coming. This is a fascinating and somewhat mysterious statement in view of the unity of the Trinity. And yet the Gospels speak of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus. Beloved, while this is indeed a great mystery, Jesus' dependence on the Holy Spirit to control and empower ministry during His time on earth should also be a great encouragement to all believers and a strong motivation for us to seek to learn to walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16-note, cp Ep 5:18-note)…

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, (Mt 3:16, cp Lk 3:22)

And John bore witness saying, "I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained (meno = abide, stay, persist, continue to live) upon Him. (Jn 1:32)

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Mt 4:1, cp Mk 1:12)

Jesus, full of (which equates wit controlled by) the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness (Lk 4:1).

And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power (dunamis = power to accomplish supernatural work) of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. (Lk 4:14)

For He (Jesus) Whom God (The Father) has sent speaks the words of God, for He gives the Spirit without measure (Which assures the truth of Jesus' words. The Spirit came upon OT prophets but only for limited times and purposes. Believers today are permanently indwelt by the same Spirit that gave Jesus the words of God to speak! We don't have any excuses for unwholesome words!). (Jn 3:34)

You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)

Other passages in Isaiah also emphasize the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Messiah…

Behold, My (God the Father) Servant (Messiah), whom I uphold; My chosen One in Whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. (Is 42:1).

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me (Messiah speaking), because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news (The Septuagint - Lxx translates the Hebrew with euaggelizo/euangelizo = preach the Gospel) to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; (Is 61:1, quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:18)

Spirit of Wisdom - (1Co 1:30; Col 2:3).

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Lk 2:52)

Guzik - Jesus is perfectly wise in all things. He showed it among us during his earthly ministry, and He shows it now in His ministry towards us in heaven. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says that Jesus became for us wisdom from God. It isn’t just that Jesus has wisdom; He is wisdom!

Understanding - Jesus clearly manifested this attribute in His first coming…

But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? (Mt 22:18)

He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. (Jn 2:25)

Guzik - Jesus understands all things, and He understands us perfectly. He is perfectly suited to be our sympathetic High Priest in heaven (Hebrews 4:15-16). Understanding in Hebrew has the idea of a sharp sense of smell. Trapp says it describes Jesus’ “Sharpness of judgment in smelling out a hypocrite… His sharp nose easily discerns and is offended with the stinking breath of the hypocrite’s rotten lungs, though his words be never so scented and perfumed with shows of holiness."

The spirit of counsel and strength - The Net Bible Note explains that this

construction is a hendiadys; the point is that he will have the strength/ability to execute the plans/strategies he devises. This ability will enable him to suppress oppressors and implement just policies (Isa 11:4).


The Spirit of counsel is upon Jesus. He has perfect counsel to give us at all times. He has both the wisdom and the understanding to be a perfect counselor!

The Spirit of… strength is upon Jesus. He has the power to do what He desires to do. Many would help us if they could, but are powerless. Others may have the power to help us, but don’t care about us. Jesus has both the love and the might to help us.

The Spirit of knowledge is upon Jesus. He knows everything. He knows our hearts, He knows all the facts. Many times we have made decisions that seemed strange or wrong to others because they didn’t have the knowledge that we have. Jesus has knowledge that we don’t have, so it shouldn’t surprise us that sometimes His decisions seem strange or wrong to others.

The Spirit of knowledge - Knowledge (da'ath) expresses knowledge gained in various ways by the senses. It is “experiential active knowing”.


The Spirit of knowledge is upon Jesus. He knows everything. He knows our hearts, He knows all the facts. Many times we have made decisions that seemed strange or wrong to others because they didn’t have the knowledge that we have. Jesus has knowledge that we don’t have, so it shouldn’t surprise us that sometimes His decisions seem strange or wrong to others.

Fear of the LORD - reverential, obedient fear which is the first step to true knowledge (Job 28:28; Ps 111:10). The fear of Jehovah causes one respond to Him in awe, trust, obedience, and worship. Jesus willingly submitted Himself with a sense of respect and honor to His Father.

Martin notes that "Because of His wisdom, understanding, counsel, and knowledge He is the Wonderful Counselor (Isa. 9:6)."

Harry Ironside - Here we have the One who is presented in the Apocalypse (The Book of the Revelation) as having the seven spirits of God: that is, the Holy Spirit in the sevenfold plenitude of His power. Coming by virgin birth through David’s line He is the Branch out of the root of Jesse, the father of David. Upon Him rests “the Spirit of Jehovah,” one; the Spirit of wisdom, two; and of understanding, three; the Spirit of counsel, four; and of might, five; the Spirit of knowledge, six; and of the fear of Jehovah, seven. The fear of Jehovah is the spirit of reverence. We are told in John that the Father giveth not the Spirit by measure to His beloved Son (Jn 3:34). From the moment of His birth the Lord Jesus was under the controlling power of the Holy Spirit, for as Man on earth, He chose not to act in His own omnipotence but as the Servant of the Godhead. After His baptism in the Jordan, the Spirit was seen descending upon Him as a dove. This was the anointing of which the Apostle Peter spoke, in preparation for His gracious public ministry. Never for one moment was He out of harmony with the Spirit. It was this that made it possible for Him to grow in wisdom as He grew in stature, and in favor with God and man. Confessedly, this mystery is great: that the Eternal Wisdom should have so limited Himself as Man in all perfection that He grew in wisdom and knowledge from childhood to physical maturity as under the tutelage of the Father, who by the Spirit revealed His will to Jesus from day to day, so that He could say, “I speak not Mine own words but the words of Him that sent Me.” And as to the works He wrought, He attributed them all to the Spirit of God Who dwelt in Him in all His fullness. (Isaiah 11 & 12 - When God's Anointed Takes Over)

Isaiah 11:3 And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear;:

  • Delight: Isa 33:6 Pr 2:5,9 Lk 2:52) (Job 12:11 34:3 Php 1:9,10 Heb 5:14
  • shall not: 1Sa 16:7 2Sa 14:17 1Ki 3:9,28 Jn 7:24 8:15,16 1Co 2:13-15 1Co 4:3-5

He will delight in the fear of the LORD - Messiah finds His joy in living before God with a sense of reverence and awe. This difficult to comprehend phrase reads more literally , “and his smelling is in the fear of the Lord.” The NET Bible Note explains that…

In Amos 5:21 the Hiphil of ruakh, “smell” carries the nuance of “smell with delight, get pleasure from.” There the Lord declares that He does not “smell with delight” (i.e., get pleasure from) Israel’s religious assemblies, which probably stand by metonymy for the incense offered during these festivals. In Isa 11:3 there is no sacrificial context to suggest such a use, but it is possible that “the fear of the Lord” is likened to incense. This coming King will get the same kind of delight from obeying (fearing) the Lord, as a deity does in the incense offered by worshipers. Some regard such an explanation as strained in this context, and prefer to omit this line from the text as a virtual dittograph of the preceding statement.

Guzik - Nothing pleased Jesus more than doing the will of His Father. My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. (John 4:34)

He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear - The point is that Jesus did not judge as human kings who had to rely on external appearances or words, both of which might be subject to distortion of reality. Instead Messiah will have supernatural perception and be aware of hearts and thus will be able to discern hypocrisy, lying and deception.

Dr John Walvoord points out that an…

important aspect of the government of Christ in the millennium will be that of righteousness and justice. Most of the millennial passages emphasize this as the outstanding feature of of the millennium. Isaiah 11:3-5 assures the poor and the meek that their cause will be dealt with righteously in that day. The wicked are warned to serve the Lord lest they feel His wrath (Ps 2:10, 11, 12). It seems evident from many passages that no open sin will go unpunished. (The Righteous Government of the Millennium)

Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.:

  • But with: Isa 32:1 2Sa 8:15 23:2-4 1Ki 10:8,9 Ps 45:6,7 72:1-4,12-14 82:2-4 Jer 23:5,6 33:15 Mt 11:5 Rev 19:11)
  • Decide: Isa 1:17 Pr 31:8,9 Jer 5:28
  • Afflicted: Isa 29:19 61:1 Zep 2:3 Mt 5:5 2Co 10:1 Ga 5:23 Titus 3:2 Jas 3:13
  • He will strike: Job 4:9 Ps 2:9 110:2 Mal 4:6 2Th 2:8 Rev 1:16 2:16 19:15
  • breath: Isa 30:33 Ps 18:8 Ac 9:1)


But - Always observe for contrasts and take note of what is being contrasted. Instead of seeing and hearing the externals, the Messiah will see the truth and thus will judge with perfect righteousness. In short, Messiah will not be misled by deceitful appearances or lying words, but will read men’s hearts (cp 1Sa 16:7).

He will judge the poor and decide with fairness for the afflicted - Isaiah had pointed out that Judah (especially her leaders) had perverted justice resulting in suffering for the poor and weak suffered (Isaiah 1:17, 23, 10:2). As Gray says "it is natural that the securing of the rights of these classes becomes a permanent feature of the ideal ruler." (A critical and exegetical commentary on the book of Isaiah)

This Righteous Ruler stands in marked contrast to the unjust leaders of Judah in Isaiah's day…

The LORD enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people, “It is you who have devoured the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses. 15 “What do you mean by crushing My people And grinding the face of the poor?” Declares the LORD God of hosts. (Is 3:14-15).

Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice and rob the poor of My people of their rights, so that widows may be their spoil and that they may plunder the orphans. (Isa 10:1-2).

He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth - Messiah rule will be manifested in exertion of supernatural power. In Revelation when Messiah returns to defeat His enemies and establish His earthly one thousand year kingdom John records…

And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations (Gentiles); and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. (Rev 19:15)

Garland comments: If Jesus literally and physically slays His enemies at His Second Coming (Rev 19:21), how is it that the sword is figurative—coming out of His mouth? It represents the sword of the Spirit, the word of God: that which God has set forth as His spoken will (Eph 6:17). Those who are slain meet their doom because they are judged by God’s righteous word (Heb 4:12). They have consistently violated its precepts and standards and their destruction has been prophesied. In many ways, the action of their slaying is the unavoidable result of what God has said. This is why Jesus slays His enemies with His lips: “He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked” (Isa. 11:4). His mouth is like a sharp sword (Isa. 49:2). Hence, when Antichrist is destroyed, he is consumed “with the breath of [the Lord’s] mouth” (2Th 2:8). The ultimate reason they are slain is found in God’s testimony—the law written in stone found in the ark of the covenant (Rev 11:19; Rev 15:5). The written law is His word, thus the weapon is said to come forth from His mouth. (A Testimony of Jesus Christ - Revelation 19:15)

Isaiah again describes the Messiah in similar terms…

He (God the Father) has made My (Messiah's) mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; and He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. (Is 49:2)

In Psalm 2 we read that…

Thou (Messiah) shalt break them (Ps 2:2 The kings of the earth take their stand, And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed) with a rod of iron, Thou (Messiah) shalt shatter them like earthenware.'" (Ps 2:9)

Comment: This is not the gradual conversion of the world to Christ – it is the forceful and aggressive intervention of God to bring the nations into obedience to the Son… The association of the rod with His mouth points to the Word of God as embodied in the law – which is the basis by which the world is to be judged. (See Dr Garland's notes on Psalm 2 - Why Do the Nations Rage?)

With the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked - Another figurative description that emphasizes Messiah's supernatural power to inflict physical harm!

Paul records a parallel description of Messiah's striking of the Antichrist…

And then that lawless one (Antichrist) will be revealed (the first 3.5 years he is not fully revealed, but at the midpoint of the last 7 years his sinister Satan empowered character will be fully revealed) whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming (2Thes 2:8)


Dr John Walvoord describes the…

From a governmental standpoint, the reign of Christ in the millennium will have three important characteristics.

First, it will be a rule over the entire earth. It was God’s intent from the beginning of the creation of man that the earth should be ruled over by man. Adam sacrificed his right to rule when sin entered the human race, God’s purpose, however, is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In Psalm 2:6-9 God declares His purpose to set His king in Zion who will have as His possession “the uttermost parts of the earth.” In Daniel 2:35 a stone which fills the whole earth is an anticipation of the universal rule of Christ. Daniel 7:14 is explicit: “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” This idea is repeated in Daniel 7:27 and becomes a frequent theme of prophecy (cf. Ps 72:8; Mic 4:1-2; Zech 9:10). The title of Christ given in Revelation 19:16, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS,” makes it plain that He is supreme ruler over the entire earth.

The second important characteristic of the millennial rule of Christ is that His government will be absolute in its authority and power. This is demonstrated in His destruction of all who oppose Him (cf. Ps 2:9; 72:9-11 ; Isa 11:4). Such an absolute rule, of course, is in keeping with the person and majesty of the King in whom is all the power and sovereignty of God.

The third important aspect of the government of Christ in the millennium will be that of righteousness and justice. Most of the millennial passages emphasize this as the outstanding feature of of the millennium. Isaiah 11:3-5 assures the poor and the meek that their cause will be dealt with righteously in that day. The wicked are warned to serve the Lord lest they feel His wrath (Ps 2:10-12). It seems evident from many passages that no open sin will go unpunished…

Another important characteristic of the millennial rule of Christ is that His government will be absolute in its authority and power. This is demonstrated in His destruction of all who oppose Him (cf. Ps 2:9; 72:9-11 ; Isa 11:4). Such an absolute rule, of course, is in keeping with the Person and majesty of the King in Whom is all the power and sovereignty of God. (The Righteous Government of the Millennium)

Isaiah 11:5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.:

  • righteousness: Isa 59:17 Ps 93:1 2Co 6:7 Eph 6:14 1Pe 4:1 Rev 1:13
  • faithfulness: Isa 25:1 Ho 2:20 Heb 2:17 1Jn 1:9 Rev 3:14)

Righteousness… the belt… faithfulness the belt - These attributes (like a belt firmly attached to one's body) were intimately associated with the Messiah and affected everything He did.

MacArthur comments that…

The belt, which gathered the loose garments together, is figurative for the Messiah’s readiness for conflict. Righteousness and faithfulness are His preparation. Cf. Eph. 6:14. (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word)

Isaiah 11:6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.:

  • Isa 65:25 Eze 34:25 Ho 2:18 Ac 9:13-20 Ro 14:17 1Co 6:9-11 2Co 5:14-21 Ga 3:26,27 Eph 4:22-32 Col 3:3-8 Titus 3:3-5 Philemon 1:9-16 Rev 5:9,10


Related resources written by Dr John Walvoord -

This wonderful verse describes the reversal of the curse (Ge 3:17, 18, 19) and the Prince of peace's (Isaiah 9:6) reign of peace between animals and men in the future kingdom. For the first time in the history of the world, universal peace will prevail (Isaiah 2:4; 32:17, 18 60:18; Hos 2:18; Mic 4:2, 3, 4; 5:4; Zech 9:10).

The Aramaic Targum (written explanations of Hebrew Scriptures in Western Aramaic for those Jews who had ceased to understand Hebrew) states that Isaiah 11:6 occurs "In the days of the Messiah of Israel."

The wolf… with the lamb… the leopard… with the young goat… the calf… the young lion… the fatling together - Three carnivorous predators will supernaturally coexist with their natural prey in perfect harmony! This is the "new age", the utopia, the brave new world, the sinful world has longed for and tried to bring about, all to no avail. How sad that those who have longed for such a "pacific" planet, will not be allowed to see and experience it because of their rejection of the gracious offer of eternal life by the Prince of peace!

Paul described the effects of Adam's sin on the creation, effects that will be reversed and the earth "redeemed" and "regenerated" when the Second Adam, Christ Jesus returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom on earth

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God (When Messiah returns to defeat evil and establish peace on earth and good will among men!). For the creation was subjected to futility (When Adam sinned), not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope (absolute assurance that God will do good in the future) that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption (the earth is in a continual state of slow disintegration and decay as a result of sin and God's subjecting creation to futility - all man's efforts as commendable as they are cannot prevent this gradual natural "devolution" - Isaiah's prophecy gives us the sure hope that the curse of Ge 3:17, 18, 19 will be reversed by the regeneration at the return of the Righteous Redeemer! Maranatha!) into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Those who have received Jesus as Redeemer - Jn 1:11, 12, 13). For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (Ro 8:18-22)

Jamieson (one of the better older commentaries for literal interpretation) has an excellent comment…

Each animal is coupled with that one which is its natural prey. A fit state of things under the “Prince of Peace” (Is 65:25; Ezek 34:25; Ho 2:18). These may be figures for men of corresponding animal-like characters (Ezek 22:27; 38:13; Jer 5:6; 13:23; Mt 7:15; Lk 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).

The New Bible Commentary

In this idyllic scene the title Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) is perfectly unfolded. The reign of Christ already produces this kind of transformation in the sphere of human character, and will ultimately change the whole creation (cf. Ro 8:19-25). Whether this will be realized literally as depicted here is another matter; it seems better to view this as an earthly expression of the new heavens and…new earth (Isaiah 65:17, 25) in which variety will not be enmity, and the weak will be the complement, no longer the prey, of the strong. (New Bible Commentary)

Comment: "Whether this will be realized literally as depicted here is another matter". This is a most interesting statement which even acknowledges that that the passage can be interpreted literally and yet the author instead chooses to favor a non-literal interpretation. This interpretation is not surprising in light of the New Bible Commentary comment on one thousand years in Revelation 20 which states that "For John the ‘thousand years’ probably indicated the character of the kingdom of Christ rather than its length." (Bolding mine) To favor an actual number as indicating "character" rather than "length" seems to be stretching the text somewhat but this is what one is forced to do if one has difficulty accepting a literal Millennial Kingdom.

Harry Ironside comments…

In that day the curse (Ge 3:17, 18, 19) will be lifted from the lower creation and the very nature of the beasts of the earth will be changed. Those who attempt to spiritualize all these expressions must needs take the beasts here to represent violent and savage men whose hearts will be changed by regeneration. But the prophet gives no hint of such an application of his words. He very definitely speaks of that which God will do for the animal kingdom in the day when the curse will be lifted. There is no hint that the prophet was speaking allegorically or that his language is to be interpreted other than in strict literality. It seems evident that when the Second Man, the Last Adam, is set over this lower universe, that ideal conditions will prevail on earth, such as characterized the world before sin came in to mar God’s fair creation with its sad entail of violence and rapine on the part of the beasts of the earth and the evil effects upon the bodies of men and women, resulting in sickness and death. All this will be undone in the day when Christ shall come as the Restorer of all things spoken by the prophets, and “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” While the millennium is not to be confounded with the new heavens and the new earth, it will nevertheless be a period of wonderful blessing for all who shall dwell in the world when in the administration of the fullness of the seasons, God shall head up all things in Christ (Isaiah 11 & 12 - When God's Anointed Takes Over)

Matthew Henry completely (and unfortunately) allegorizes the text explaining that…

Any one with physiological knowledge of the difference between the structure of herbivorous and carnivorous animals, or with any knowledge of dentistry, will at once see that the lion could no more eat straw like an ox than he could fly to the moon; even if his teeth were changed so that he could masticate the straw, it would prove fatal to him, since he could by no means digest or assimilate it. This is simply a figure of the peace that would come to humanity as a result of Christ's coming as a Saviour into the world. It is true now (Ed: It is not true now!).

Isaiah 11:7 Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox.:

ISAIAH 11:6-8

Edward Hicks (1834)
Click picture to enlarge

Click here for numerous Old Testament descriptions of Messiah's future the Millennial Kingdom.

Below is an example of misinterpretation by a reasonably good devotional commentator Matthew Henry because of his failure to interpret the Biblical text literally.

Any one with physiological knowledge of the difference between the structure of herbivorous and carnivorous animals, or with any knowledge of dentistry, will at once see that the lion could no more eat straw like an ox than he could fly to the moon; even if his teeth were changed so that he could masticate the straw, it would prove fatal to him, since he could by no means digest or assimilate it. This is simply a figure of the peace that would come to humanity as a result of Christ's coming as a Saviour into the world.

Comment: One cannot emphasize too strongly the need to be diligent to rightly divide the Word of truth (2Ti 2:15) by always seeking to read it literally unless the text and especially the context suggest the writer is clearly using figurative language. The context or setting of Isaiah 11 is clearly a supernatural scene and therefore is is not at all difficult to interpret verses 6-8 as literally true as a result of divine alteration of the lion's diet and digestive tract (not to mention God's ability to do likewise for the wolf, the leopard and the young lion of verse 6)

Isaiah 11:8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.:

  • Viper's: Isa 59:5 Ps 140:3

Nursing child - Literally one sucking and thus so young that it is still being nursed by its mother. Such a child would be absolutely defenseless against the normally aggressive deadly cobra. However, so radical will be the regeneration of the earth when the Messiah returns that poisonous snakes pose no threat to humans. It is interesting to consider the first "serpent" in the Garden of Eden whose "bite" resulted in the death of all mankind (Ro 5:12). But God immediately provided an "antidote" (Genesis 3:15) which foreshadowed the healing blood of the Lamb of God which reversed sin's curse for all who received His gift by faith. In His future kingdom, the Reigning Lamb will reverse even the physical aspects of the curse on the Garden of Eden. Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a future and a hope every believer possesses because of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God!

Many commentaries interpret these great passages non-literally because they assume that such radical changes in the animal kingdom are not possible. Beloved, I would answer them with God's own words to Abraham in response to Sarah's skeptic laugh

Is anything too difficult for the LORD?
Genesis 18:14

Answer? No. Jehovah reiterates His omnipotence to His prophet Jeremiah declaring…

Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? (Jer 32:27-see commentary)

Isaiah 11:9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.:

  • hurt: Isa 11:13 2:4 35:9 60:18 Job 5:23 Mic 4:2-4 Mt 5:44,45 Ac 2:41-47 Ac 4:29-35 Ro 12:17-21 Ga 5:22-24 Php 2:14,15 1Th 5:15 Rev 21:27
  • for the: Isa 30:26 49:6 59:19 60:1-22 Ps 22:27-31 72:19 98:2,3 Hab 2:14 Zec 14:9 Ro 11:25,26 Rev 20:2-6)

They will not hurt or destroy - A reference to the normally dangerous wild animals and reptiles of Isaiah 11:7,8.

My holy mountain - Zion or Jerusalem (See notes on Isa 2:2) from which the Holy One of Israel rules the earth. My is a possessive pronoun. Jerusalem is God's possession, not man's. It will be in the future but is even so today! The Holy City has always belonged to the Holy One of Israel. Irving Jensen considers the city central to the entire book writing that…

Isaiah is a book about “The Glorious Throne of Jehovah, the Holy One.”

Jeremiah writes that…

At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the Lord,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. (Jer 3:17)

The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD - This glorious future day when all shall know about Jehovah. There will be no civil lawsuits by the ACLU to prohibit teaching of creationism in schools, of praying publicly or of displaying of God's holy name on buildings or coins, as we are experiencing in 21st century post-pagan America! This full knowledge of Jehovah is alluded to in a number of OT prophecies…

(It is in a very real sense an answer to the psalmist's prayer) And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. (Ps 72:19)

(In the context of God's promise to Israel and Judah of a New Covenant) “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jer 31:34-see commentary). (This promise was directed to Israel and Judah - Jer 31:31 - but is applicable to Gentiles, for all Gentiles who enter the Millennial Kingdom will have been born again into the New Covenant and all shall know Jehovah intimately).

(Jehovah declares) but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD. (Nu 14:21)

The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Hab 2:14-note)

And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is (This prophecy is so certain that it is spoken of in the present tense) full of His glory.” (Is 6:3-note)

As the waters cover the sea - This vivid term of comparison ("as" or "like" identify it as a simile) should cause us to ask "how do the waters cover the sea?" Water pervades every crevice and cavern of the sea and so too shall the knowledge of Jehovah permeate the earth.

Isaiah 11:10 Then in that day the nations will resort to the Root of Jesse, Who will stand as a Signal for the peoples and His resting place will be glorious.:

  • in that day: Isa 11:1 2:11 Ro 15:12 Rev 22:16
  • Will: : Isa 59:19 Ge 49:10 Jn 3:14,15 12:32
  • Signal for the peoples: Isa 60:3,5 66:12,19 Mt 2:1,2 8:11 12:21 Lk 2:32 Jn 12:20,21 Ac 11:18 26:17,18 28:28 Ro 15:9-12
  • glorious: Heb. glory, Ps 149:5

Then - Always be alert to this expression of time so that enabled by prayerful dependence on your Teacher the Holy Spirit (1Cor 2:10-13), you can profitably observe and query this "time phrase," especially in prophetic writings, as it marks a sequence (Webster - Then - "following next after in order of position, narration, or enumeration : being next in a series.")

Brenton's English of the Greek Septuagint (Lxx) renders Isaiah 11:10 as follows…

And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, and He that shall arise to rule over the Gentiles; in Him shall the Gentiles trust (hope), and His rest shall be glorious.

Paul quotes from the Greek rather than the Hebrew in Romans 15:12…


In that day - What day? The day of universal peace when the Messiah returns to rule and reign over the regenerated earth during the Millennium.

See Related Topic - Day of the Lord.

Compare Isaiah's other uses of the time phrase in that day - Isaiah 2:11, 17, 20; 3:18; 4:1, 2; 5:30; 7:18, 20f, 23; 10:20, 27; 11:10; 12:4; 17:4, 7, 9; 19:16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24; 20:6; 22:8, 12, 20, 25; 23:15; 24:21; 25:9; 26:1; 27:1, 2, 12, 13; 28:5; 31:7; 52:6; Jer 4:9; 48:41; 49:22, 26; 50:30

The nations (01471)(goy) - The Gentiles, synonymous with the peoples. Isaiah has numerous prophecies that deal with the nations and peoples (Gentiles) - Isaiah 2:2, 3, 4, 12:4, 42:1, 6, 49:6; 52:10; 60:3; 66:18.

Jamieson on signal says that Messiah will

permanently and prominently, as a banner lifted up to be the rallying point of an army or people (Is 5:26; Jn 12:32).

Will resort (KJV = seek) (01875) (darash) means to seek with care, to inquire, to care about, to study, to investigate, to examine, to ask.

Paul translates this Hebrew verb darash in Isa 11:10 with the Greek verb elpizo (word study), which conveys the primary meaning of to hope, which conveys the idea of that in which one hopes as being so certain as to surely come to pass! (Does this not call for an "Amen"?) The idea is to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial. Elpizo means to express desire for some good with the expectation of obtaining it (cp Titus 2:13-note). Thus the KJV renders Ro 15:12KJV with the word "trust."

The Root of Jesse - This is another name for the Messiah, the Shoot and the Branch of Isaiah 11:1. Messiah pictured as Root indicates that Jesse sprang from Him. John gives us a similar picture of Messiah in the Revelation…

One of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion (Messiah) that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” (Rev 5:5-note)

I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. (Rev 22:16-note)

Mal Couch writes that…

As the ‘root’ of David, He existed before David, that is, He is eternal. And as the ‘offspring’ or descendant of David, He is the rightful Heir to the throne of David, and the One who will fulfill the covenanted blessings promised to David.” (Mal Couch, ed., A Bible Handbook to Revelation Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001)


Dr John Walvoord explains that Jesus Christ will be the King of kings in His millennial kingdom…

In Psalm 2:6, in spite of the opposition of the kings of the earth, God declares His purpose: “Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” This purpose will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom in the reign of Jesus Christ as the Son of David. As Lewis Sperry Chafer has succinctly stated: “Every Old Testament prophecy on the kingdom anticipates His kingly office:

(a) Christ will yet sit on the throne as David’s heir (2Sa 7:16; Ps 89:20-37; Isa 11:1-16; Jer 33:19, 20, 21).

(b) He came as a King (Luke 1:32, 33).

(c) He was rejected as a King (Mark 15:12-13; Luke 19:14; cf. Ge 37:8; Ex 2:14).

(d) He died as a King (Mt 27:37).

(e) When He comes again, it is as a King (Rev 19:16; cf. Luke 1:32, 33)” (Chafer, Systematic Theology, VII, 233).

Walvoord explains that Jesus Christ will be the King of kings in His millennial kingdom…

In Psalm 2:6, in spite of the opposition of the kings of the earth, God declares His purpose: “Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” This purpose will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom in the reign of Jesus Christ as the Son of David. As Lewis Sperry Chafer has succinctly stated: “Every Old Testament prophecy on the kingdom anticipates His kingly office:

(a) Christ will yet sit on the throne as David’s heir (2Sa 7:16; Ps 89:20-37; Isa 11:1-16; Jer 33:19, 20, 21).

(b) He came as a King (Luke 1:32, 33).

(c) He was rejected as a King (Mark 15:12-13; Luke 19:14; cf. Ge 37:8; Ex 2:14).

(d) He died as a King (Mt 27:37).

(e) When He comes again, it is as a King (Rev 19:16; cf. Luke 1:32, 33)” (Chafer, Systematic Theology, VII, 233).

The fact that Christ will reign over the earth is of course imbedded in practically every prophecy concerning the millennial kingdom.

The absolute character of His reign
is indicated in Isaiah 11:3-5.

This central prophecy is confirmed by the angel to Mary in announcing the coming birth of Christ in these words:

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Lk 1:32, 33).

It should be clear from the details surrounding these predictions that these prophecies are not being fulfilled in the present age, nor are they a description of the sovereignty of God in the heavenly sphere.

Many other Scriptures can be cited to substantiate the reign of Christ as King in the millennium of which the following are representative: Isaiah 2:1-4-note; Isa 9:6, 7-note; 11:1-10 ; 16:5 ; 24:23 ; 32:2 ; 40:1-11 ; 42:3, 4 ; 52:7-15 ; 55:4 ; Da 2:44-note; Da 7:27-note; Mic 4:1-8; 5:2-5 ; Zech 9:9; 14:16, 17 . These passages if interpreted in the ordinary literal meaning lead to the conclusion that Christ is the King who will reign over the earth in the millennial period. (The Righteous Government of the Millennium)

Jamieson adds that Messiah is

“Not merely ‘a sucker come up from David’s ancient root’ (as Alford limits it), but also including the idea of His being Himself the root and origin of David: compare these two truths brought together, Mt 22:42, 43, 44, 45. Hence He is called not merely Son of David, but also David. He is at once ‘the branch’ of David, and ‘the root’ of David." (Comments on the Revelation)

Who will stand as a signal for the peoples (Gentiles) - While the Messiah's coming kingdom will fulfill His promises to Abraham (Ge 15:18, 19, 20, 21 17:7, 8; 22:17, 18), to David (2Sa 7:16) and to Israel as a nation (Jer 31:31, 32, 33, 34), His kingdom will also be a kingdom for Gentile believers and the Messiah Himself will serve as the banner or rallying point for all the nations.

Zechariah alluded to this same truth in chapter 14…

And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one… Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem (Referring to those Gentiles who had placed their faith in the Messiah) will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. (Zec 14:9, 16)

Isaiah 11:10, 12 are in essence a fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham…

And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Ge 12:3).

Comment: Clearly all the families refers to both Jew and Gentile families.

Luke records a parallel description of Jesus serving as a signal for the peoples

(Jesus speaking) And they (an allusion to Gentile believers) will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. (Lk 13:29-note).

Signal (05251) (nec/nes) means a banner, an ensign, a standard, a signal pole (wood pole which was visible when raised - Nu 21:8), a signal (non-verbal communication - Nu 26:10, Jer 4:6), a sail (for a boat - Isa 33:23). Nec/nes served as a rallying point or standard which drew people together for some common action for or for the communication of important information. The banner could be an ornamental piece of cloth on the end of a staff or pole as a leader’s signal. Usually the signal was placed on a high place in the camp. Here the signal pole stands for (is a metaphor if you will) the Messiah Who was raised (pun intended) to give hope to the Gentiles. Hallelujah! AMen

Nec/nes - 21v in the OT - Ex 17:15; Nu 21:8, 9; 26:10; Ps 60:4; Isa 5:26; 11:10, 12; 13:2; 18:3; 30:17; 31:9; 33:23; 49:22; 62:10; Jer 4:6, 21; 50:2; 51:12, 27; Ezek 27:7.

NAS = banner(2), distinguishing mark(1), sail(1), signal(4), standard(12), warning(1).

In the wilderness, Moses lifted up bronze serpent on pole (nec) (Nu 21:8,9) which was a "signal" to the Israelites who had been bitten by the serpents that they might obtain healing and life, this signal serving as a shadow or type (See Study of Biblical types) of the lifting up (crucifixion) of the Messiah and the healing He provided from the deadly "bite" of sin (cp Jn 3:14, 15).

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live." And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

There are several related uses of nec/nes in Isaiah…

Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up My standard to the peoples; And they will bring your sons in their bosom, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. (Isa 49:22)

Comment: God would raise His hand and His banner, the Messiah, to summon the Gentiles to usher Israelites back into their homeland (cp Isa 5:26; 11:10, 12; 13:2; 30:17; 62:10).

Go through, go through the gates. Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway (cp Isaiah 7:3; 11:16; 19:23; 33:8; 35:8; 36:2; 49:11; 59:7); Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples (Gentiles). (Isa 62:10)

Comment: God was calling His people Israel to prepare for the return of the Redeemer to the land of Israel. They were to raise the banner to announce to the Gentile nations that the Lord was coming to Jerusalem.


In Exodus after Israel defeated the Amalekites at Rephidim (resting place) Moses recorded the first use of nec/nes in Scripture…

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." 15 And Moses built an altar, and named it The LORD is My Banner; 16 and he said, "The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation." (Ex 17:14, 15, 16-note)

Moses named the altar Jehovah Nissi -The LORD Our Banner to commemorate Israel's defeat of the Amalekites. Moses also reminded Israel that the LORD would be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation, which many commentators parallel with the concept of spiritual warfare which is lifelong lot for every believer (For more discussion see notes on Exodus 17:8-16).

When the Israelites fought the Amalekites at Rephidim, Moses held up his hand, thus becoming in a sense a living banner symbolizing God’s presence to help His people win the victory (Ex 17:8-16). After the battle, Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah Nissi -The LORD Our Banner (Ex17:15, KJV; The Lord Is My Banner). Beloved, the Lord is also our Banner Who goes out in front of us as we march forth before in battle (cp spiritual warfare). While we have a responsibility to march forward and fight the good fight of faith for the glory of Jehovah, we must do so remembering that the battle is the Lord's! (1Sa 17:47, 2Chr 20:15, 16, 17, Ps 46:11)

Resting place (04496)(menuchah) means resting place or a place to repose when tired (Ge 49:15; Nu 10:33; Dt 12:9; 1Ch 28:2ESV; Ps 132:8, 14; Isa 11:10; 28:12; 32:18; Mic 2:10). Menuhah also conveys the idea of rest in the sense of freedom from activity or labor, being at peace in mind and spirit, or exhibiting relative inactivity (Ru 1:9; 2Sa 14:17; 1Ki 8:56; 1Ch 22:9; Ps 95:11; Jer 45:3)

Menuchah - 23v in the OT - Ge 49:15; Num 10:33; Dt 12:9; 28:65; Jdg 20:43; Ru 1:9; 2Sa 14:17; 1Ki 8:56; 1Chr 22:9; 28:2; 2Chr 6:41; Ps 23:2; 95:11; 132:8, 14; Isa 11:10; 28:12; 32:18; 66:1; Jer 45:3; 51:59; Mic 2:10; Zech 9:1.

NAS Usage = comforting(1), permanent(1), place(1), place of rest(1), quartermaster*(1), quiet(1), rest(8), resting(1), resting place(7), resting places(1).

Glorious (03519)(kabod) is derived from a root which means to be heavy or weighty but is only rarely used literally. The fig use ("heavy with sin") is the more common use and gives rise to the idea of a "weighty" person in society, one who is honorable, impressive, worthy of respect, which is the meaning in >50% of the OT uses. The most significant use of kabod is to describe the glory or splendor of God. Glory is a “technical term for God’s manifest presence (Ex 16:7) and is often connected with the cloud (Ex 16:10 - see Shekinah glory cloud) and with the Ark of the Covenant. God's glory is essentially the profound, glowing, visible, confluent expression of His attributes which bear witness to an even more transcendent and incomprehensible reality of His essence.

His resting place will be glorious (Isa 32:17,18 66:10-12 Ps 91:1,4 116:7 Jer 6:16 Hag 2:9 2Th 1:7-12 Heb 4:1,9-16 1Pe 1:7-9 5:10) - It will be glorious because the Glorious One, the Messiah is there, the One Who is our Rest forever (cp Mt 11:28, 29).

Isaiah 11:11 Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.:

  • Will again: Isa 60:1-66:24 Lev 26:40-42 Dt 4:27-31 30:3-6 Ps 68:22 Jer 23:7,8 Jer 30:8-11 31:36-40 33:24-26 Eze 11:16-20 34:23-28 36:24-28 Eze 37:1-48:35 Ho 1:11 3:4,5 Joe 3:1-21 Am 9:14,15 Mic 7:14,15 Zec 10:8-12 12:1-14:21 Ro 11:15,26 2Co 3:16
  • Assyria: Isa 11:16 27:12,13 Mic 7:12) (Egypt: Isa 19:23 Jer 44:1
  • Pathros: Eze 30:14
  • Cush: Isa 45:14 Ge 10:6,7
  • Elam: Ge 10:22 Jer 25:25 Da 8:2
  • Shinar: Ge 10:10 11:2 Zec 5:11
  • Hamath: Isa 10:9 Jer 49:23 Zec 9:2
  • islands: Isa 24:15 42:4 66:19 Ge 10:5 Jer 31:10 Eze 27:6 Da 11:18 Zeph 2:11

On that day (expression of time) - What day? The day Messiah returns to rule and reign over the regenerated earth during the Millennium.

Adonai - The Sovereign Master (See study of Adonai - My Lord, My Master).

Recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people (NET Bible = "reclaim the remnant") - The remnant refers to the Jews who have placed their faith in the Messiah. His people in this context refers to the Jews (as is made blatantly clear from Isa 11:12 "Israel… Judah") and is not a reference to the church.

F. C. Jennings - The "first time" is identified in v. 16: "Like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt". "This first deliverance is made a kind of pattern for the second future one when His hand shall again be active, only this second time it shall not only be from Egypt but from every country of the earth"

Recover (07069)(qanah) means to buy, to purchase, to acquire. A second meaning is to create or to beget. Qanah in the present context could have either the sense of God "buying back" (cp redeeming) or of Him "creating" a people for His own possession (see comment below).

Terror and dread fall upon them; By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O Lord, Until the people pass over whom You have purchased. (Ex 15:16, see similar use of qanah in Ps 74:2).

Comment: By bringing his people out of Egypt, their ownership had passed to him from the Egyptians, just as if he had bought them. (See Ex 6:6, 7; 19:5). In essence the use of qanah in the context of Exodus 15 is a picture of redemption (pay the price to set a captive free) as in Ex 15:13 ("the people whom You have redeemed"). One other thought should be considered for the verb qanah can also mean create or even beget. If this is the intended meaning, then Israel would appear here as God’s newly created people. To translate qanah the Lxx uses the verb ktaomai which means to acquire or obtain as one's possession. Thus God "purchased" Israel and they were now "His possession."

Qanah is translated with the Greek verb prostithemi which means literally to put or place to and then to add, to join to or to gather with as uniting a people into a society already existing.

Second time - Note first that this "time reference" cannot refer to the re-creation of the Jewish state in May, 1948 and the present Aliyah (literally "ascent" and refers to the return) of many Jews to the State of Israel because, that can only be fulfilled when Messiah rules on the earth.

The natural question (always remember to interrogate the text with the 5W/H'S) is "When (or what) was the first time?" Most authorities favor that first time was God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt (NET Bible Note, John MacArthur, ESV Study Bible). In support of this interpretation is that Ex 15:16 (see comments above) uses the same verb qanah to describe God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt and making them His own possession. Others (Thomas Constable, Jamieson) feel that the first time they were "recovered" was after the Babylonian exile that began in 586BC and lasted for 70 years.

Guzik writes that…

In the reign of the Messiah, there will be another Exodus of the Jewish people, delivering them not only from Egypt, but from all nations where they have been dispersed.

After the Exodus under Moses, the Jewish people sang a song, the Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-18) and so it is fitting that after this second and final "Exodus" so to speak, they will also sing a hymn, a song of praise (Isaiah 12:1-6 -see notes).

Arnold Fruchtenbaum comments that…

The regathering of Israel, following the regeneration, is another high point of prophetic revelation to be found in many of the prophets. In Isaiah 11:11–12:6, the final regathering is described as the second of the world-wide regatherings of Israel. The first regathering is the one in unbelief prior to the Great Tribulation in preparation for judgment. The regathering described in this passage is the second one (v. 11a), in faith and in preparation for the millennial blessings. This regathering is not merely local from the nations of the Middle East (Isa 11:11b), but from all over the world (v. 12). Isaiah then goes on to develop certain characteristics of Israel’s final regathering. (Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology. Tustin, Calif.: Ariel Ministries)

Be aware of some interpretations (and remember that while a verse has only one valid interpretation, there can by many applications) of this verse which are questionable (especially interpretations that see these passages as a directed to the "church"). Such interpretations are making the text say something it does not say literally and as noted below they are completely dismissing the context which is crucial and king in accurate interpretation! For example the Africa Bible Commentary (which I think is a well done work overall) says…

If (Ed: Note that "if" introduces an assumption, an approach to hermeneutics [science of interpretation] which should be assiduously avoided if one truly desires to know God's one intended meaning) the prophecy is understood as being interpretable on more than one level, it can be argued that this prophecy is fulfilled in the church (Ed: If one totally ignores the context, then one can argue in this way. But if one is true to the context, this interpretation is incorrect. Beloved, Isaiah was not addressing the church but Judah and Jerusalem - see Isaiah 1:1!), in which there should be no distinction between races, nations and tribes (Gal 3:28). (Ed: This prophecy is not fulfilled in the church but is fulfilled when Messiah the Deliver returns to save His people Israel, who will then enter into the Millennial Kingdom!)

With His hand - God's hand signifies God's power. He will accomplish the recovery for He is faithful to keep His promises.

The remnant of His people, who will remain - Remnant is the Hebrew word shear and remain is the verb shaar which means to be left over or those who have been spared. There is a similar prophecy of the returning remnant in Isaiah 59:9, 10, 11.

MacArthur summarizes the important doctrine of the remnant of Israel noting that they are…

A small nucleus of God’s (chosen) people (Ed: most of whom rejected His choosing them as His treasured possession and thus were not believers in Messiah), preserved by His sovereign grace, form this righteous remnant in the midst of national apostasy (Israel). There were always the obedient few (Jews) who preserved, obeyed, and passed on God’s law (Ed: They were not saved by that Law but like Abraham they were saved by grace through faith - Ge 15:6). There will always be a remnant (of believing Jews) because God will never forsake the Abrahamic Covenant (cf. Mic 2:12,13; Ro 9:27; 11:5) (Ed: See also Abrahamic versus Mosaic and Abrahamic vs Old vs New) (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word)

Isaiah 11:12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.:

  • Lift up: Isa 11:10 18:3 59:19 62:10 Rev 5:9
  • assemble: Isa 27:13 43:6 49:11,12 56:8 Dt 32:26 Ps 68:22 147:2 Zep 3:10 Jn 7:35 Jas 1:1


He will lift up… assemble… will gather - The Messiah (some say this is better viewed as a reference to God and the "standard" is the Messiah) will accomplish these tasks with His sovereign, supreme, supernatural strength.

Wiersbe…In a limited sense, this promise was fulfilled after the Assyrian conquest and when the Jews left Babylonian Captivity; but the ultimate fulfillment will be at the end of the age when Messiah re-gathers His people (Isaiah 27:12, 13; 49:22, 23; 56:7, 8; Mt 24:31; Ro 11:25-29). The centuries-long division between Israel and Judah will come to an end, and even the Gentiles will walk on “the highway” that leads to Jerusalem. (Be Comforted)

And He will lift up a standard for the nations - This passage teaches that although Israel plays a major role in the Millennium, God is by no means finished with the Gentiles.

Walvoord explains that…The lesser role of Gentiles in the millennium is the subject of many Old Testament Scriptures such as the following: Isaiah 2:4; 11:12 ; 16:1-5 ; 18:1-7 ; 19:16-25 ; 23:18 ; 42:1 ; 45:14 ; 49:6, 22 ; 59:6-8 ; 60:1-14 ; 61:8-9 ; 62:2 ; 66:18-19 ; Jeremiah 3:17; 16:19-21 ; 49:6 ; 49:39 ; Ezekiel 38:23; Amos 9:12; Micah 7:16-17; Zeph 2:11; 3:9 ; Zechariah 8:20-22; 9:10 ; 10:11-12 ; 14:16-19 (cf., Pentecost, ibid., p. 652).

Outstanding in these Scriptures is the fact that, first, the Gentiles will share many of the spiritual and economic blessings of the millennial reign of Christ.

Second, they will, however, occupy a subordinate role to Israel (Isa 14:1, 2; 49:22-23; 61:5-9 ).

Third… only Gentiles who are declared righteous by the King will be allowed entrance into the millennial kingdom at its beginning (Ed: This will occur at the Judgment of the Sheep and the Goats - Mt 25:31-40). (The Righteous Government of the Millennium)

Standard (05251) (nec/nes) means a banner, an ensign, a standard. Nec/nes referred to a rallying point or standard which drew people together for some common action for or for the communication of important information.

The nations - The Gentiles. As a general rule when one encounters the name "nations" in the Old Testament it is a reference to the Gentiles. The same generalization applies to the term "peoples". And so as I mark my Bible (see marking key words), I put a brown box around all three of these terms ("nations, peoples, Gentiles" -- being sure to check the context) as descriptive of the Gentiles as opposed to the Jews. Note that the Bible presents only two main "ethnic" groups - Jews and Gentiles. As an aside, theologically there are also only two families - Saved (Family of God as Father - Jn 1:11, 12, 13, 1Jn 3:1,2-note, 2Cor 6:18, Gal 3:26) and Unsaved (Family of Satan as father, cp Jn 8:44, 1Jn 3:8, 9, 10, Acts 13:10, Mt 13:38).

Assemble (0622) ('acaph) means to gather for any purpose by bringing objects to a common point.

The banished ones of Israel - In other words "the exiles."

Banished (01760) (dachah) is from a root meaning to pursue and cast down with intent to harm. The verb means to push back, drive away.

Gather (06908) (qabats/qabas) means to bring together, to collect.

Dispersed (05310) (naphats/napas) means to shatter or break and in this context conveys the meaning of to scatter. The Lxx translates naphats with the Greek verb diaspeiro  (cf diaspora) which means to scatter abroad or spread about. Ge 9:19+; 1 Sam 13:11; Isa 11:12; 33:3. 

Israel… and… Judah - Here we see Messiah's supernatural reversal of Jehovah's past judicial division of the nation into Israel and Judah in 931BC (See (1Ki 12:16-20).). Because of her sins against God, the nation deserved to be divided but not to be re-united which reflects God's amazing grace and lovingkindness. The so-called "Ten Lost Tribes " (the Northern Kingdom of Israel taken into exile by Assyria in 722BC) are not lost to the omniscient God!

The four corners of the earth (same phrase in Rev 20:8-note) - Another way of describing the assembling and gathering as worldwide. The faithful Jewish remnant will return to their LORD and their Land from their dispersion throughout the world.

Garland adds that four corners

is figurative language indicating the four main compass directions (Ezek 7:2; Rev 7:1-note).

This verse clearly teaches that God is not "finished" with Israel as is often taught by those who do not accept a literal interpretation. Instead these observers "replace" the nation of Israel with the Church as the recipient of these OT prophecies that clearly were originally promised to the literal nation of Israel.

Dr John Walvoord addresses the place of the literal nation of Israel in the future government of Christ noting that…

In contrast to the present church age in which Jew and Gentile are on an equal plane of privilege, the millennium is clearly a period of time in which Israel is in prominence and blessing. Though many passages speak of Gentile blessing as well, Christ will reign as the Son of David, and Israel as a nation will be exalted.

Passages of the Old Testament which have been studied previously anticipating a future day of glory for Israel find their fulfillment in the millennial reign of Christ. The regathering of Israel, a prominent theme of most of the prophets, has its purpose realized in the re-establishment of Israel in their ancient land. Israel as a nation is delivered from her persecutors in the time of tribulation and brought into the place of blessing and restoration.

J. Dwight Pentecost gives an excellent summary of the important place of Israel in the millennium in the following statement: “Israel will become the subjects of the King’s reign (Isa 9:6-7; 33:17, 22 ; 44:6 ; Jer 23:5; Mic 2:13; 4:7 ; Dan 4:3; 7:14, 22, 27 ). In order to be subjects, Israel, first, will have been converted and restored to the land, as has already been shown. Second, Israel will be reunited as a nation (Jer 3:18; 33:14 ; Ezek 20:40; 37:15-22 ; 39:25 ; Hos 1:11). Third, the nation will again be related to Jehovah by marriage (Isa 54:1-17; 62:2-5 ; Hos 2:14-23). Fourth, she will be exalted above the Gentiles (Isa 14:1-2; 49:22-23 ; 60:14-17 ; 61:6-7 ). Fifth, Israel will be made righteous (Isa 1:25; 2:4 ; 44:22-24 ; 45:17-25 ; 48:17 ; 55:7 ; 57:18-19 ; 63:16 ; Jer 31:11; 33:8 ; 50:20, 34 ; Ezek 36:25-26; Hos 14:4; Joel 3:21; Mic 7:18-19; Zech 13:9; Mal 3:2-3). Sixth, the nation will become God’s witnesses during the millennium (Isa 44:8, 21; 61:6 ; 66:21 ; Jer 16:19-21; Mic 5:7; Zeph 3:20; Zech 4:1-7; 4:11-14 ; Zech 8:23). Seventh, Israel will be beautified to bring glory to Jehovah (Isa 62:3; Jer 32:41; Hos 14:5-6; Zeph 3:16-17; Zech 9:16-17)” (“Biblical Eschatology,” unpublished Doctor’s dissertation, pp. 651-52). (The Righteous Government of the Millennium)

Isaiah 11:13 Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, and those who harass Judah will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim.:

  • Be jealous: Isa 7:1-6 Jer 3:18 Eze 37:16-24 Ho 1:11

Then - is an expression of time - Always interrogate with the 5W/H'S When is then? In the Millennial kingdom.

Ephraim - This was the largest tribe and in context stands for the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom.

Jamieson discusses the jealousy of Ephraim (as a tribe) noting that it…

began as early as the time (Jdg 8:1; 12:1, etc). Joshua had sprung from, and resided among the Ephraimites (Nu 13:9; Josh 19:50); the sanctuary was with them for a time (Jos 18:1). The jealousy increased subsequently (2Sa 2:8, etc. 2Sa 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, etc. 1Ki 12:1-33; compare 2Ki 14:9; Ps 78:56-71).

Those who harass Judah will be cut off - This could refer to the removal of the enemies of Judah. This phrase however in the original Hebrew does suggest another interpretation - "the hostile ones of Judah" which speaks of Judah's hostility to Ephraim. The latter is probably the most accurate interpretation as it would be more compatible with the jealously of Ephraim.

Jealousy… will depart… will not be jealous… will not harass - Israel's future hope involved reconciliation between the two nations of Ephraim (Northern Kingdom) and Judah (Southern Kingdom). Jealousy and harassment would have no place in their relationship. They were to become friends. The reconciliation foreseen here was ultimately fulfilled through individual tribe member's belief in the Messiah, Who became their "Peace" and made the two into one nation. Reconciliation with God, will lead to reconciliation between the Jewish members of the divided nation.

Isaiah 11:14 They will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west; Together they will plunder the sons of the east; They will possess Edom and Moab, and the sons of Ammon will be subject to them.:

  • Philistines: Ob 1:19 Zep 2:5 Zec 9:5-7
  • On the west: Isa 59:19 66:19,20 Mt 8:11
  • Plunder: Isa 33:1 Jer 49:28 Eze 38:1-39:2
  • east: Isa 25:10 34:5,6 60:14 Nu 24:17 Da 11:41 Joe 3:19 Am 9:12 Ob 1:18)

They - Reunited Ephraim (Israel, Northern Kingdom) and Judah (Southern Kingdom).

They will swoop down - A metaphor of a bird flying in on its prey.

The slopes of the Philistines on the west - The small foothills between Philistia and the hill country west of Judah.

West… east - The reunited nation will be free of foreign oppression and able to finally live securely in the "land of milk and honey."

They will possess Edom and Moab - KJV says "They shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab." The Hebrew more literally reads "“Edom and Moab [will be the place of] the outstretching of their hand." One's "hand outstretched" was a picture of exertion of power. Thus Edom and Moab will be under the jurisdiction of Reunited Israel.

Swoop… plunder… possess… subject - The reunited nation under the Kingship of the Messiah will be the most powerful nation in the world, the dominant political force.

Isaiah 11:15 And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; and He will wave His hand over the river with His scorching wind; and He will strike it into seven streams and make men walk over dry-shod.: (

  • utterly: Isa 50:2 51:9,10 Zec 10:11) (Wind: Ex 14:21)
  • Wave: Isa 19:16
  • Strike: Isa 19:5-10 Ex 7:19-21 Ps 74:13-15 Eze 29:10 30:12 Rev 16:12


POSB - The Savior will remove all obstacles that hinder the return of His people to the promised land (Isaiah 11:15-16). A second exodus will actually take place. Interestingly, Isaiah predicted that the Gulf of Suez will be dried up and the great Euphrates River will become so dry that it will be divided into seven shallow streams (see Ex.14:21-22). In that day no obstacle will be able to prevent the return of the Jewish remnant back to the promised land (v.11). The Savior will actually make a great highway for His people to leave the land of Assyria, their brutal enslavers (v.16). Keep in mind that the land of Assyria was eventually conquered by Babylon and Persia and that the Jews were freed by Persia. This great highway symbolizes the absolute certainty of the Jews’ return to the promised land. Absolutely nothing will be able to stop their return. When Jesus Christ returns to earth, there will be a movement of God’s Spirit among the Jews. There will be a remnant of believers who will be saved. From every nation of the world there will be a stream of Jewish believers turning to the Lord as the true Messiah, the Savior who was promised to their father Abraham ( Ro.11:1-36) (Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible - Commentary -  Isaiah)

The tongue of the Sea of Egypt - The Sea of Egypt is the Red Sea, thus refers to the region of the modern day Suez Canal which will be dried up to prepare a way for dispersed Jews to return to Israel.

The river - The NIV interprets this river as the Euphrates (Isa 11:15NIV).

Seven streams - Instead of difficult to cross intact river, there will be seven shallow streams which can be easily traversed.

Stream (05158) (nachal) means a dry river bed or ravine which in the rainy season can quickly turn into a raging torrent. A wadi.

The NET Bible Note says streams "refers to a Wadi, (Wadi - Wikipedia) or seasonal stream, which runs during the rainy season, but is otherwise dry. The context here favors the translation, "dried up streams." The number seven suggests totality and completeness. Here it indicates that God's provision for escape will be thorough and more than capable of accommodating the returning exiles.

Walk over dry-shod - This reminds us of God's drying up of the Red Sea when He brought His people out of Egypt (a picture of the "world") in order to bring them in to the promised land of milk and honey, a promise they were not able to retain because of their unfaithfulness. Here in Isaiah 11, the land into which the Lord brings the believing remnant of Israel will be the consummation if you will of the promised land of milk and honey!

In Exodus we read "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (Ex 14:21-22).

Jennings - The Israel that shall read this (ED: IN THE FUTURE, IN THE LAST OF THE LAST DAYS), will understand the figure of both sea (TONGUE OF THE SEA) and river again drying up as in the past. It would convey absolute truth to their minds, altogether apart from a literal repetition of those miracles. There shall be obstacles to the return, corresponding to the Red "sea" (as between Egypt and Arabia, called the"sea-tongue"). His ban shall be on the one, the "sea"—that is, on what shall represent the sea of Egypt in that final deliverance, possibly the nations that otherwise would have retained His people. They shall interpose no obstacle, but, so thoroughly shall their opposition be destroyed, that they shall rather further that return. Over that other obstacle, the river—Euphrates, which is always meant when nothing is added—He swings His hand as if to smite it, at the same time a puff of His glowing breath, so graphically speaking of His wrath, divides it into seven easily fordable brooklets—in a word, there shall be nothing to impede their return. It is impossible that the mind should not turn to Revelation 16:12-note, where again we have the Euphrates "dried up, that the way of the kings of the rising of the sun might be prepared"; and this drying up is by the pouring out of the last of those vials, in which is filled up the wrath of God. In the Old Testament, the hot breath of His wrath dries up the river; in the New, the vial of His wrath. Surely there is a strong similarity, even though the two scriptures may not refer to the same moment; for in Revelation the Lord's manifestation in glory follows—in Isaiah precedes this drying up. In neither would there appear to be any necessity for a literal accomplishment of these prophecies to be looked for, certainly not in that book of symbols, Revelation.....This surely testifies in harmony with the many portents that are passing before us, that the Lord's coming is near, although no one can say how near. Can we greatly err if we accept it as a solemn call to us, individually, to be practically ready by putting away everything inconsistent with seeing His face? (Isaiah 11 Commentary)

Isaiah 11:16 And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant of His people who will be left, just as there was for Israel In the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt.:

  • Will be: Isa 11:11 19:23 27:13 35:8-10 40:3,4 49:12 57:14
  • as it was: Isa 42:15,16 48:20,21 51:10 63:12,13 Ex 14:26-29


Isaiah frequently speaks of the remnant returning to Jerusalem

Isaiah 35:8; 9-note A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it. 9 No lion will be there, Nor will any vicious beast go up on it; These will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, 

Isaiah 42:16 “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.” 

Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. 

Isaiah 48:21 They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. He made the water flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock and the water gushed forth. 

Isaiah 49:11 “I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways will be raised up. 

Isaiah 57:14 And it will be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people.” 

Isaiah 62:10 Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. 

Wiersbe on the highway - The “highway” is one of Isaiah’s favorite images. Those who obey the Lord have a level and smooth road to walk (Isa 26:7, 8). When God calls His people back to their land, He will prepare the way for them (Isa 40:3, 4) and lead them safely (Isa 42:16). He will remove obstacles so the people can travel easily (Isa 49:11; 57:14; 62:10). God’s highway will be called “the Way of Holiness” (Isa 35:8). (Be comforted. An Old Testament study. (Is 9:1). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)

The Evangelical Commentary sums up God recovering His people the second time (Isa 11:11) - He gathers the scattered remnant of Israel and Judah from the nations in a “second” exodus. They will freely come from Egypt (Upper= Pathros and Lower), Cush (Nubia/Ethiopia, the Upper Nile region), Elam (east of Babylonia), Shinar (Babylonia), Hamath (region north of Damascus), and the Mediterranean coastlands. He will join together the twelve tribes and rule over a restored Israel. Nothing can stand in the way of God’s purpose. He will even dry up the Red Sea (“Egyptian” sea), make the Euphrates passable, and make a highway from Assyria and Egypt to Israel. The restoration from exile will be more glorious and more extensive than the first exodus. The fulfillment of this prophecy began in the restoration from exile (Elwell, W. A. Vol. 3: Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House)