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Isaiah 11:1

ESV There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
NIV A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
NASB Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
CSB Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will 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.
KJV And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
NKJV There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

What does Isaiah 11:1 mean?

Isaiah has just finished describing the defeat of the Assyrian Empire at the hand of the Mighty One (Isaiah 10:34). Before that moment comes, God will use the Assyrians to nearly wipe out His people for their faithlessness to Him. Yet the Lord has been clear: this is not the end of His people. A remnant will return, both to faith in the Lord and to the land of Israel (Isaiah 10:20).

This chapter starts with the prophet looking forward to the birth of a new Israelite empire. The new nation will be led by a king who is both human and much more than human. In short, Isaiah will describe the rise of Messiah and His righteous reign over Israel and the earth. He will be add details to his previous description of this mysterious leader (Isaiah 9:1–7).

He begins by describing a new emergence from the once-cut-off descendants of Jesse. The picture is of a tree that has been chopped down and yet life remains deep inside the stump. From that stump, new growth begins to emerge. This fits with Isaiah's calling from the Lord in Isaiah 6. This was where God describes the judgment to come on Judah until only a stump of the tree remains. Still, in the end, the Lord said, "the holy seed is its stump" (Isaiah 6:13).

This stump is referring to Jesse who was the father of King David. The Lord's promise to David was that his house and his kingdom would be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16). Even when the line of David seems to have come to an end, the remnant survives. The promise is not broken. New growth will spring up from the seemingly dead stump and grow to become a strong tree, even bearing fruit. This fruit will be the hope of Israel's future and that of all humanity, the Messiah.
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