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Isaiah chapter 11

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

1Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3And He will delight in the fear of the Lord, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make decisions by what His ears hear; 4But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the humble of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5Also righteousness will be the belt around His hips, And faithfulness the belt around His waist. 6And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fattened steer will be together; And a little boy will lead them. 7Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea. 10Then on that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal flag for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious. 11Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover with His hand the second time The remnant of His people who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea. 12And He will lift up a flag for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth. 13Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, And those who harass Judah will be eliminated; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, And Judah will not harass Ephraim. 14They will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west; Together they will plunder the people of the east; They will possess Edom and Moab, And the sons of Ammon will be subject to them. 15And the Lord will utterly destroy The tongue of the Sea of Egypt; And He will wave His hand over the Euphrates River With His scorching wind; And He will strike it into seven streams And make people walk over in dry sandals. 16And there will be a highway from Assyria For the remnant of His people who will be left, Just as there was for Israel On the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt.
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

What does Isaiah chapter 11 mean?

Isaiah's description turns from God's coming judgment against His people to an amazing future kingdom to come. The Lord had told him that Judah would be reduced to the stump of a once-great tree. Now Isaiah reveals that from that stump of the line of Jesse, a new shoot will emerge into a branch that would once more bear fruit. Christians understand the future leader of Israel described in this passage to be the same person described in Isaiah 2 and 9. This is the promised Messiah: Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God (Isaiah 11:1).

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on this leader, empowering Him with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, and knowledge. He will delight in the fear of the Lord. He won't judge people or situations by appearances that can be perceived with the senses. Unlike some of Judah's ancient kings, this leader will judge the poor with righteousness. He will give fairness to the powerless. He will not be powerless, however, striking the earth with His powerful words. He will kill the wicked with the breath of His lips. In short, He will restore justice. Righteousness and faithfulness will be His belt and His foundation. He will be the perfect leader for Israel and for the world (Isaiah 11:2–5).

During the Messiah's reign, it is said that even predator and prey animals will live in harmony. Wolves will live with lambs and leopards will rest near young goats. Lions and calves, as well as bears and cows will coexist without killing. Even little children will be safe from deadly snakes. Commentators disagree if this means the very nature of animals will be changed when the Messiah reigns on earth. An alternative meaning is that these animals to represent nations at peace. That would suggest that these nations have lost all interest in conflict under the peaceful reign of the Son of God on earth. In either case, the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Widespread understanding of God and living in submission to His Son is the thing that will finally bring peace and unity to the world (Isaiah 11:6–9).

When that time comes, this "root of Jesse," will be a signal to all the non-Jewish nations or the world. All will acknowledge the glory of God resting on Mount Zion in Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:10).

The Lord will also bring Israelites back to the Promised Land despite them being scattered around the globe. This will include both those of the northern ten tribes of Israel/Ephraim and those of the southern two tribes of Judah. The divided Israel will be reunited as one nation. United, they will defeat their enemies in the region and bring peace to their land with the Messiah as their king (Isaiah 11:11–14).

To make their return possible, the Lord will create paths through the Sea of Egypt and the Euphrates River. As the Lord had done before when setting His people free from Egypt. He will provide a highway from Assyria and the east for His people to return to the land He has given to them (Isaiah 11:15–16).
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