A Righteous Branch From David’s Royal Family

A Righteous Branch From David’s Royal Family

Isaiah 11:1-16

This chapter is a prophetic picture of the glory of the future kingdom, which will be set up when David’s Son returns in glory

“The stump of Jesse” (11:1).

‘Jesse’ was King David’s father; the ‘shoot… out of the stump of Jesse’ is a king from David’s dynasty. The imagery of the previous section continues here, linking the second and third sections of the poem. Whereas the high trees representing Assyria’s imperial haughtiness will be cut down to size (10.33-34), real strength will emerge from the lowest part–the ‘stock’ (lit. “roots”)–of the humble tree representing David’s dynasty. Isaiah’s insistence on humility and displeasure with human conceit determine the contrast between the images of trees in 11.1 and 10.33-34; If the translation ‘stump’ is correct, then this passage may presume that the Davidic dynasty will (or has) come to an end; this reading would deviate significantly from Isaiah’s notion that Davidic kings will reign eternally (2 Samuel 7.8-16; Psalm 89.20-37). But the Hebrew “geza'” refers not only to a ‘stump’ of a tree that has been cut down but also to the trunk of a living tree. The latter translation does not presuppose the dynasty’s downfall.

Indeed,  trunk is a better choice here as the Messiah will be the king from David’s line who will rule eternally.

The Sprit of the Lord and the Messianic King (11:2)

“The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him: The Branch that comes from the apparently dead stump isn’t just barely alive. It is full of life, and full of the Spirit of the LORD. The Messiah has seven – the number of fullness and completion – aspects of the Spirit of the LORD.


  1. He has the Spirit of the LORD. It is not a false spirit or a deceiving spirit or even the spirit of a man. The Spirit of the LORD God of Israel rests upon the Messiah. Once Jesus rebuked the disciples saying, You do not know what manner of spirit you are of (Luke 9:55). Jesus was of the Spirit of the LORD, and He knew it.


  1. The Spirit of wisdom is upon the Messiah. 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!


  1. The Spirit of… understanding is upon Him. 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 discerneth 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.”


  1. 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!


  1. The Spirit of… might 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Spirit of… the fear of the LORDis upon Jesus. He willingly kept Himself in a place of submission, respect, and honor to God the Father.” ~ Guzik

This passage is behind the term the sevenfold Spirit of God used in Revelation 1:4, 3:, 4:5 and 5:6. It isn’t that there are seven different spirits of God, rather the Spirit of the LORD has these characteristics, and He has them all in fullness and perfection.


The Spirit of the LORD: These 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.


Many people in the Bible were filled with the Spirit to do great things.

  • Joseph: Genesis 41:38-39
  • Bezaleel (craftsman): Exodus 35:31
  • Eldad and Medad (prophesy): Numbers 11:26-30
  • Balaam: Numbers 24:2
  • Othniel: Judges 3:10
  • Gideon: Judges 6:34
  • Jephthah: Judges 11:29
  • Samson: Judges 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14
  • Saul: 1 Samuel 10:5-6,10; 11:6
  • David: 1 Samuel 16:13
  • Saul’s messengers: 1 Samuel 19:20
  • Elisha: 2 Kings 3:15
  • Amasai (chief captain): 1 Chronicles 12:18
  • Azariah (prophet): 2 Chronicles 15:1
  • Jahaziel: 2 Chronicles 20:14
  • Zechariah: 2 Chronicles 24:20
  • Christ: Isaiah 11:2
  • Ezekiel: Ezekiel 2:2
  • Mary: Luke 1:35
  • Elisabeth: Luke 1:41
  • Zacharias: Luke 1:67
  • New Christians: Acts 2:4; 10:44
  • Stephen: Acts 7:55
  • Philip: Acts 8:39
  • Peter: Acts 10:19
  • Ephesian Christians: Acts 19:6


How Messiah judges (11:3-5).

The traditional ideal of royal justice involved extraordinary judicial insight (1 Kings 3.4–28) and harsh justice on oppressors (Psalms 72; 101)

The theme of motive introduced in 10:7-11 is amplified here to include the totality of actions and intent. As God, the Messiah knows reality perfectly, so He is able to judge “with righteousness.” His decisions, so unlike the decisions of human government that weigh a person’s wealth or social standing, will be “for the poor of the earth.”

The fact that His judgment will be enforced absolutely is expressed in the image of striking the earth “with the rod of His mouth.”

Acting as God’s representative, the Messiah will execute judgment on the wicked and the oppressors and will offer God’s protection and blessing upon the righteous, who are lowly and humble

The Kingdom to Come (11:6-9).  A description of the Messianic kingdom. Some interpreters take these conditions to be literal, describing those that will actually exist in the new heaven and the new earth (65:17-25); this would be the position that we hold as Dispensationalist. This would involve a radical change in the natures of the animals involved. This picture of cruel beasts regenerated with a new nature that makes them protect their natural prey portrays a reign of peace and security. This can only be realized in the return of the Messiah to establish the kingdom of God (65:17 – 25; Rev 21:1 – 8).

The point is that of v. 9: where the Messiah rules, where “the knowledge of the Lord” prevails, there will be no place for violence or destruction. Precisely how that is to be realized must be left to the imagination; it will be utterly different from anything citizens of the present fallen creation know. It may now be realized person by person, but one day it will be universal.

“A banner for the peoples” (11:10-12).

For the Gentiles will seek Him: Literally this says Ha’Goyim (the Nations) will seek Him.  The glory of the reign of the Messiah will be not only for the Jew, but for the Gentile also. He shall stand as a banner to the people, lifted high to draw all peoples to Him. We have begun to see this is the church age and it will culminate in the Millennial Kingdom when all the saved from all tongues and tribes come to attend the Messiah and worship before His Throne.


Side note: The banner was used before to call the nations to judgment against Israel (Isaiah 5:26). Now the banner calls the nations to the blessings of the Messiah.

The second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left: 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. In this final Exodus and return to the Promised Land, all of Israel (that is, the righteous remnant) will be restored, forever to be God’s people and the delight of His heart.

Perfect Peace in the Kingdom (13-16)

Nations that have constantly harassed God’s people have finally met their judgment. Jesus will righteously judge and recompense the nations. They will turn their weapons into farming equipment. “Neither shall they learn war anymore (2:4)

At last the end of war, which has plagued man since the fall is ended. War along with its master, Death, has no place in the everlasting kingdom. In Adam’s fall we were denied Eden, in Messiah’s perfect reign, a paradise better than Eden is given us. Messiah the King will be our God and we will be His people and we shall enjoy Him forever.


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