Lesson 5
Isaiah 11:1-16

Henry Mahan

SUMMARY: Jesus Christ of Nazareth, a ROD and BRANCH out of Jesse (house of David), endued with the Spirit of God, is the promised Messiah. As prophet, priest, and king, He shall establish His kingdom of peace and gather Israel from the four corners of the earth. The people of His church shall be victorious over their enemies, and "to Him shall the Gentiles come."

(Vs. 1) Jesse is the father of David (tribe of Judah); and though this family and house was very prominent and illustrious during the reign of King David and Solomon, from the Babylonian captivity until the coming of Christ it was very low, like a tree cut down with nothing left but a root in the ground—a stump! (Gen. 49:10; Micah 5:2; Heb. 7:14; Matt. 1:6-16; Luke 3:23-31). "THE BRANCH" is a well-known name of the Messiah (Jer. 23:5-6; Zech. 3:8, 6:12).

(Vs. 2) The Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh; yet He was a man, made of a woman, made under the law, subject to every temptation (as we are), and dependent upon the Spirit of God which was upon Him. He was conceived by the Spirit of God (Luke 1:35); the Spirit descended upon Him at baptism (Matt. 3:16); the Spirit anointed Him to be our prophet, priest, and king (Luke 4:18-19). He had the spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and reverence without measure (John 3:34). The human nature of our Lord is difficult to define, but He was truly a man of flesh and blood (Luke2:51-52.); and the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him to fulfill all required of us (Rom. 5: 19) .

(Vs. 3) The word "quick" refers to scent or smell, because the sense of smell is more sure in judging whether something is good or bad than the senses of seeing or hearing (meat or milk, for example). Our Lord has perfect understanding and knowledge of those who fear (truly reverence) the Lord and those who merely profess to know Him. He knew Nathaniel (Jn. 1:47), and He knew the Pharisees (Matt. 22:18). He does not judge by outward appearance (Luke 16:15), nor does He need the testimony of men (Jn. 2:24-25, 6:64).

(Vs. 4) "But with righteousness shall He judge the poor"—HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS! He came to preach good news, salvation, and redemption to the poor in spirit (I Tim. 1:15). The poor sinner who knows it, confesses it, and seeks righteousness in Christ shall be accepted in Him (I Cor. 1:30). The poor, meek, and humble shall find pardon; the Lord shall take their part and deal with their enemies (Matt. 5:3-5).

"The rod of his mouth and the breath of his lips." BY HIS WORD He is pleased to reveal Christ and save some; so BY HIS WORD He shall destroy His enemies (II Thess. 2:8).

(Vs. 5) It is said of our Redeemer, "Holy and reverend is his name; He loveth RIGHTEOUSNESS and righteousness is the sceptre of His kingdom." By His active and passive obedience, He imputed to us an everlasting righteousness! He is FAITHFUL to His Father, to His word, to His work, and to His church. These two attributes give us hope—"faithful and just" (I Jn. 1:9); "just and justifier" (Rom. 3:26).

(Vs. 6-9) These verses are not to be understood literally at this time, but the prophet speaks spiritually. The meaning is that many sons of Adam of fierce, cruel, and evil dispositions shall be changed, transformed by the grace of Christ and the preaching of the gospel; and they shall become most humble, gentle, and kind servants of God and His church, as cruel Saul of Tarsus and the rugged jailer in Philippi (II Cor. 5:17).

But one day there shall be a new earth on which shall dwell the creatures of God in perfect peace and tranquility (Rom. 8:19-21; II Pet. 3:13).

(Vs. 10) An ensign is a signal, a banner displayed for the gathering of soldiers for battle—where they shall stand, whom they shall follow, and the certain identification of the company. Christ, the son of Jesse, is our banner! (Exo. 17:15); our Lord Jesus "lifted up" is our banner (Jn. 12:32, 8:28). Both Jew and Gentile are one church in Him (Eph. 2:14-15, 1:3-6)—chosen in Him, redeemed in Him, accepted in Him, and seated in Him. To Him we come, and His rest is glorious.

(Vs. 11-16) "The Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people."

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.