What does Isaiah 11:6 mean?
ESV: The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
NIV: The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
NASB: And 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.
CSB: The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf will be together, and a child will lead them.
NLT: In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.
KJV: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
Verse Commentary:
This is part of Isaiah's prophecy, looking beyond his own time to the day when God would reveal a new leader from the line of David (Isaiah 11:1). This leader will be unlike any other. He will be supernaturally empowered to bring true equity and justice to all people, including the poor and powerless. He will also kill the wicked. His rule will be characterized by righteousness and faithfulness. He will exhibit perfect honor and obedience to God (Isaiah 11:2–5).

This promised leader will be referred to as the "Messiah," from the Hebrew term Mashiyach, literally meaning "anointed one." This same concept, in Greek, is expressed as Christos, from which we derive the title "Christ." The Messiah will be revealed to be Jesus of Nazareth, who came to earth to serve and to die for the sins of humanity (John 3:16–18). Now Isaiah begins to describe the time of His return to earth. This will be when Christ will establish His kingdom and rule over Israel and the world from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1–5).

The prophet describes one aspect of the new kingdom in this passage: peace and safety. He begins by depicting a series of impossible animal relationships. This list of animals would not exist together peacefully in the world we currently as we know it. Isaiah finishes making his point by stating how a mere child will lead these animals around.

Isaiah refers to harmony between wolves and lambs, leopards and goats, and lions and calves. Those who have seen these animals together in the wild or on nature shows understand that the expectation would be for violence. The predator would attack and devour the prey. Any small human children nearby would be in grave danger as well.

Biblical commentators see two possible ways of understanding this passage. Some take these descriptions literally, believing that in the Messiah's kingdom the very nature of the animals will be changed. That any danger to former prey from former predators will be eliminated. Other interpreters believe Isaiah's words to be a picture of a fundamental change in human government and culture. This change would be in the relationships between people and nations. Wolves, leopards, and lions would represent predatory empires like those of the Assyrians and Babylonians. Lambs, goats, and calves would be small, defenseless nations easily conquered by these global war machines.

In that sense, the Messiah will rule over the earth in such a way as to end conflict between tribes, countries, and people groups. This would fit with Isaiah's prophecy that nations will no longer learn or study war (Isaiah 2:4).
Verse Context:
Isaiah 11:1–16 once more returns to a description of a glorious kingdom to come. This passage was written when Israel's earthly kingdom hung by a thread. That future kingdom will be lead by a descendant of Jesse, David's father. He will rule the earth in the Spirit of the Lord, and restore righteousness, justice, and peace to the earth. All will live in harmony. All the non-Jewish nations will gather under the banner of the Messiah. The Lord will reassemble His Israelite people to their land from the four corners of the earth.
Chapter Summary:
Isaiah describes a future leader who will be raised up from line of Jesse and King David. The leader will be a man and yet more than just a man. He will be powered by the Spirit of the Lord to lead with wisdom, might, and knowledge. He will restore justice and bring peace to the world, ending all conflict. The non-Jewish nations of the earth will come to Him. He will reassemble the scattered Israelites. The reunited nation will have final victory over their enemies under His rule.
Chapter Context:
Isaiah 11 follows the previous chapter's promise of the Lord's defeat of the Assyrian Empire. Along with the promise that a descendant of King David will one day rule Israel and the world. He will rule in the power of the Spirit of the Lord with wisdom, justice, and righteousness. Conflict will cease, even among the animals. All the non-Jewish nations will gather to the Messiah. The Lord will reassemble His Israelite people to the land from the four corners of the world. Reunited as one nation, they will defeat their enemies and live under the rule of the Lord. Chapter 12 continues this description.
Book Summary:
Isaiah is among the most important prophetic books in the entire Bible. The first segment details God's impending judgment against ancient peoples for sin and idolatry (Isaiah 1—35). The second part of Isaiah briefly explains a failed assault on Jerusalem during the rule of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36—39). The final chapters predict Israel's rescue from Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 40—48), the promised Messiah (Isaiah 49—57), and the final glory of Jerusalem and God's people (Isaiah 58—66).
Accessed 4/22/2024 1:26:40 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com