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Isaiah 11

The Branch Of Jesus (ch. 11:1 -16)


In verse 1 you note the name "Jesse".  From the Hebrew it means "man' or "manly".  Jesse was King David's father. 


Note also the word "Branch" being capitalized in verse 1. There is no doubt this verse, and this chapter, is a Messianic passage of the Bible.  The Branch is Jesus.  Jesus came from the lineage of David, and thus from the lineage of Jesse.  Jesse is portrayed here as a stump, and from that stump a "Branch" would shoot forth that would be very fruitful.  Jesus is named the Branch also in Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15, Zechariah 3:8, and 6:12.  One thing to note about the Jeremiah and Zechariah passage is that there is a different Hebrew word used that is translated as "Branch" than what is translated as "Branch" here in Isaiah 11:1.  In the Jeremiah and Zechariah passages the Hebrew word "tsemach" is used.  Here in Isaiah the Hebrew word "netser" is used.  Both of these words mean sprout. 


Some suggest that Isaiah is using a pun, a literary device, to help his prophetic imagery.  A pun is one word sounding like another word, both having different meanings, but connecting the meanings together in a sentence.  The point here is that the Hebrew word "netser" sounds like the Hebrew word "naziur".  "Naziur" is translated into English as "Nazarite" or, "Nazarene".   In Matthew 2:23 Jesus is called a "Nazarene" because He came from "Nazareth", as Matthew said the prophets said.  Well, we don't know what prophets said this.  The closes we can come is here in Isaiah 11:1, and, you can only see this if you understand the pun the Isaiah might well be making here.  


Verse 1 speaks of the Branch bearing fruit.  If the Branch is Jesus, then the fruit are Christians.      


Notice in verse 2 we see the seven Spirits of God, or, as some people suggest, as I do, the "seven fold Spirit of God".  We see the Spirit of the Lord, of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel, of power, of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord.  Most all Bible teachers say this is the Holy Spirit.  You can say it this way, "the seven fold Spirit of God" is the Holy Spirit as seen in these seven characteristics.


We see the same terminology of the seven spirits of God used in Revelation 1:3, 4:5, and 5:6.  This is another example of most all of what you see in the book of Revelation is found in the Old Testament.


Verse 3 says that "He will delight in the fear of the Lord".  The pronoun "He" refers to the Branch, meaning "He" refers to Jesus.  Jesus will "delight in fearing God".  I might add, we should delight in fearing God as well.  I don't know why we as Christians downgrade fear to mean only reverence.  Fear is fear.  To fear means to be afraid.  Yes, fear is reverence, but it is more than simple reverence.  In one real sense of the word, we are to be afraid of God.  He is a consuming fire, as stated in Hebrews 12:29.  A consuming fire is something to fear, something to run from. 


There are a number of dichotomies in the Bible and this is one.  We are to fear God, yet love Him at the same time.  This may be hard to understand.  I explain it this way.  We fear God.  We sense the need to run from Him we fear.  We run to run but realize there's no place to run and hide from God, so, we turn back towards Him and embrace Him for rescuing us from our sin.       


Note that Jesus "delights" in fearing God.  The word "delight" and "fear" aren't normally associated in the same sentence, but in this case they are.  Delight is a heart thing.  From the heart, Jesus was totally content, even delighted in being afraid of His Father.  That being said, it is the love between the two that in part glues them together. 


Also in verse 3 we see how Jesus judges. He does not judge simply by what He sees or hears.   That's why in John 7:24 Jesus commands us not to judge by mere appearances but judge righteously.  Way too often we make judgment calls based on appearances without digging into the matter and judging based on the truth of the matter.  Jesus doesn't tell us not to judge.  He tells us to judge righteously.   


Verse 4 states that Jesus will judge with righteousness.  Only Jesus can judge with righteousness.  Only He sees the heart of man to make the necessary righteous judgment.   


Also in verse 4 we note who this judgment is directed to.  It's directed to the needy.  He will judge and make decisions concerning the needy with righteousness.  The question is, "when does Jesus do this"?  Is He doing it now in Heaven?  I say no.  Again, in the book of Revelation we see the fulfillment of this prophecy.  In Revelation 19:15 we see Jesus striking the earth with the rod of His mouth and ruling the nations with a rod of iron.  The rod speaks of discipline and judgment.  At the end of the age, Jesus will defeat the nations of this world in the Battle of Armageddon and then rule them with a rod of Iron for one thousand years.  Margaret Thatcher has been called "the iron lady".  That might make Jesus "the iron man".    


The hallmark of Jesus reign on earth is seen in verse 5.  He is faithful and righteous.  Everything that Jesus does is based on these two character traits.  Being faithful, that is, true to His word, and righteous, that is, acting rightly, is who Jesus is, and always will be.


In verses 6 through 9 we see a time when all the animals of the earth will be at peace with one another.  The text states that even children will play with snakes and not be hurt.  In verse 6 the pronoun "them" refers to the animals.  Children will lead the wild animals around as if they are pets. The question is, "when will this take place"?  Some say this will take place on the new earth as seen at the end of the book of Revelation.  Others suggest it is during the thousand year rule of Jesus on earth.  We can say for sure that when we live on the new earth after the thousand years, the animals, along with all mankind, will be in perfect peace with one another, but this just might be the same peace during the thousand year rule of Christ as well.


All of the above being said, I suggest that the animal world will be at peace with one another during the thousand year rule of Christ for what is said in verse 10.  Verse 10 begins by saying, "in that day".  What day is this verse referring to?  It's the day when the animals will be at peace with one another. So, in the day when animals will be at peace with one another, certain things that are mentioned in the next few verses will be happening.


In the day when animals will be at peace with one another will be the day when "the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples and the nations will rally to Him, and the place of His rest will be glorious".   I think that says it clearly.  In the thousand years of Jesus' rule, His banner, or you might say His flag, will fly over the nations of the world.  His place of rest, that is Jerusalem, will be one glorious place to live and visit.  This has to be the thousand year rule of Christ.  There are many other passages that say the same thing or something similar, and they refer to this thousand years.  


Verse 11 is important.  It says that in that day the Lord will reach out His hand for a second time and reclaim the surviving remnant of Israel.  I believe this is speaking of the end of this age, when Jesus will finally have the remnant of Jews for Himself.  The Old Testament is clear on this.  First the Jews return to their nation.  They've been doing that throughout the twentieth century.  Of course, in 1948 they got their nation to return to, but, that's not the end of the matter.  The end of the matter is the Jews returning to their God, and as Paul states in Romans 11, there will be a remnant of Jews who will be saved and claim Yahweh as their God for good.  This is what I believe this verse is speaking of.     


Notice that this is the second time that God will reach out His hand and reclaim the remnant of the Jews.  The first time this took place was when Jesus came to earth to minister to the Jewish people.  A remnant of Jews did come to Him as He reached out His hand to them.  A remnant of Jews was reclaimed for the Lord at that time, but, again, a second reclamation will take place at the return of Jesus to Jerusalem .           


Amos 9:15 is a key passage when thinking about these things.  It states that once God "plants" Israelis back in her land, He will never drive them out again.  Israel has now been planted back in her land.  That means she will be there for good.  That also must mean that the end must be getting close.  When Jesus said that this generation will not pass away until all is fulfilled, (Matthew 24:34) the word "generation" can be translated as "race".  This race of Jews that are presently in the land of Israel will be in existence when Jesus returns to earth and all is fulfilled.    


Verse 12 says that "He will raise the banner for the nations".  This speaks of the rule of Jesus over the nations in those thousand years. 


Verse 12 also speaks of the Jews finally being gathered from the four quarters of the earth, not just from the lands around Palestine as the last verse stated.  This too is a major theme throughout the Old Testament prophets.  God has been causing the Jews to return to their homeland, which will eventually end up in their return to their God and their salvation, which will usher in the new age of Jesus' rule on earth. 


In 70 A.D., after Rome drove the Jews from Jerusalem, the Jews began to be scattered across the whole earth.  It wasn't until the late 1800's that God has been bringing them back.  This verse can only be speaking of the days in which we live.  This verse can not be speaking of Israel 's return from Babylon since the Jews were not scattered throughout the whole earth at that time.  They were only exiled in Babylon.  This speaks of the day in which we presently live.


Notice in verse 13.  You see Ephraim and Judah mentioned.  Ephraim is the ten northern tribes of Israel and Judah is the two southern tribes.  No longer will there be jealousy and hatred among the tribes of Israel.  Israel will be one as it was meant to be.  This is literal national Israel.  This is not speaking of the church as Replacement Theologians believe. 


Note in verse 13 that Judah had two enemies.  One was her brother, that is, the northern kingdom of Israel as seen in Ephraim here.  The other is the nations of the world.  Both will no longer be a problem in the thousand year rule of Christ.  The nations of the world will be in compliant with Jesus or else.  Ephraim, the northern kingdom, will be united with Judah at this point and will not be problematic.    


Verse 14 lists the enemies of Israel over the years.  They are in all four directions of Israel.  Israel will conquer them.  This tells me that during the thousand year rule of Christ, Israel will have more land than what they presently have.  For example, they will have land right over to the Euphrates River, as God promised Abraham.  This also tells me that the war that will take place in capturing these nations could well be the war seen in Psalm 83.   Note the similarities in the nations involved in these two passages.


When Jesus returns to earth, there will be some drastic changes to the landscape in the Middle East.  Zechariah speaks of the earthquake that will split the Mount of Olives in two, cause a great valley that will enable a river to flow from beneath the temple all the way to the Dead Sea to the east and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.  Along with that, we note hear that the Euphrates River will be divided in seven streams so that men will be able to walk across these streams in their sandals.  The Egyptian Sea will also dry up. The Egyptian Sea if probably the Red Sea, while the gulf is probably the Gulf of Acaba and or the Gulf of Eilet.  


There appears to be some discrepancy concerning the Euphrates River mentioned here.  The  Euphrates River is to the Far East, in modern day Iraq.  Many think the river spoken of here is possibly the Nile River.   


In verse 14 you see Edom. Edom is the land to the south east and south west of the Dead Sea .  You also see Moab.  Moab is on the east side of the Dead Sea .  Note also the Ammonites.  They lived to the north and east of the Dead Sea in modern day Jordon.  


Verse 16 speaks of a "highway for the remnant left from Assyria".  Some suggest that Assyria here is represented by modern day Syria, but it might well speak of the whole land that Assyria was in Isaiah's day. We know that Damascus will be devastated in a war at the end of this age as seen in Isaiah 17:1.  Eighty percent of the Syrian population lives in Damascus.  I'm not exactly sure what this highway is really speaking of, but it seems that because of the devastation of Damascus, that will pave a highway that makes for easy travel for the remnant of Israel. 


This along with other prophetic passages gives us a hint of how this age will end, what it will look kike, and what the thousand year rule of Christ will look like as well.   



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