Isaiah 11 Commentary

The Messiah’s kingdom (11:1-12:6)

A leading theme of this part of the book is that God preserves a remnant out of the destruction of Israel and Judah. Earlier this remnant was likened to the stump of a tree from which springs new life (see 6:13). The remnant is now identified with the royal line of David (son of Jesse) from which comes the Messiah (11:1). The Messiah reverences God and, having the Spirit of God in unlimited measure, knows how to apply God’s wisdom in ruling God’s people. He is the Prince of Peace who governs with perfect love and perfect justice. He is not deceived by outward appearances, and has a particular concern for those who are the victims of injustice and oppression (2-5).

In the Messiah’s kingdom there is no hate, fear, cruelty or danger, but perfect peace and harmony.

People truly know God, and therefore they no longer do evil to each other (6-9).

The blessings of the Messiah’s kingdom were foreshadowed in the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon. The prophet pictures God’s people coming from many nations to dwell together under the Messiah’s rule (10-12). The tension that once existed between Israel and Judah is now gone, for the two kingdoms are united again. They work together in overpowering any nation that threatens the peace of the messianic kingdom (13-14). In a migration of people likened to the exodus from Egypt, those held in foreign captivity return to their homeland (15-16).

Just as Moses and his people sang a song of praise to God for his deliverance from Egypt, so the returned exiles sing their praise to God for his deliverance from Babylon. Now that he has forgiven them, they have no need to fear. God’s salvation brings with it confidence, strength, refreshment and joy (12:1- 3). Those who have received this salvation not only want to praise God, but they also want to tell others of him and all that he has done (4-6).

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