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A shoot will grow out of Jesse's1 root stock, a bud will sprout2 from his roots.

sn The text mentions David's father Jesse, instead of the great king himself.
Perhaps this is done for rhetorical reasons to suggest that a new David, not
just another disappointing Davidic descendant, will arise. Other prophets call
the coming ideal Davidic king "David" or picture him as the second coming of
David, as it were. See Jer 30:9; Eze 34:23-24; Eze 37:24-25; Hos 3:5; and Mic
5:2 (as well as the note there).

( yifreh, "will bear fruit," from



, parah),
but the ancient versions, as well as the parallelism suggest that

(yifrakh, "will sprout", from

, parakh) is the better reading here. See J. N.
2

tc The Hebrew text has

Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:276, n. 2.


Isa 11:2 The LORD's spirit will rest on him3 a spirit that gives extraordinary
wisdom,4 a spirit that provides the ability to execute plans, 5 a spirit that produces
absolute loyalty to the LORD.6
3

sn Like David (1Sa 16:13), this king will be energized by the Lord's spirit.

tn Heb "a spirit of wisdom and understanding." The synonyms are joined
here to emphasize the degree of wisdom he will possess. His wisdom will
enable him to make just legal decisions (v. Isa 11:3). A very similar phrase
occurs in Eph 1:17.
4

tn Heb "a spirit of counsel [or "strategy"] and strength." The construction is a
hendiadys; the point is that he will have the strength/ability to execute the
plans/strategies he devises. This ability will enable him to suppress
oppressors and implement just policies (v. Isa 11:4).
5

tn Heb "a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord." "Knowledge" is used here
in its covenantal sense and refers to a recognition of God's authority and a
willingness to submit to it. See Jer 22:16. "Fear" here refers to a healthy
respect for God's authority which produces obedience. Taken together the two
terms emphasize the single quality of loyalty to the Lord. This loyalty
guarantees that he will make just legal decisions and implement just policies
(vv. Isa 11:4-5).
6

Isa 11:3 He will take delight in obeying the LORD.7 He will not judge by mere
appearances,8 or make decisions on the basis of hearsay.9
7

tn The Hebrew text reads literally, "and his smelling is in the fear of the Lord."

In Amo 5:21 the Hiphil of


( ruakh, "smell") carries the nuance of "smell
with delight, get pleasure from." There the Lord declares that he does not









2








3







5




6





7







8







10








"smell with delight" (i.e., get pleasure from) Israel's religious assemblies, which
probably stand by metonymy for the incense offered during these festivals. In
Isa 11:3 there is no sacrificial context to suggest such a use, but it is possible
that "the fear of the Lord" is likened to incense. This coming king will get the
same kind of delight from obeying (fearing) the Lord, as a deity does in the
incense offered by worshipers. Some regard such an explanation as strained
in this context, and prefer to omit this line from the text as a virtual dittograph
of the preceding statement.
tn Heb "by what appears to his eyes"; KJV "after the sight of his eyes"; NIV
"by what he sees with his eyes."
8

tn Heb "by what is heard by his ears"; NRSV "by what his ears hear."

Isa 11:4 He will treat the poor fairly,10 and make right decisions11 for the
downtrodden of the earth.12 He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,13 and
order the wicked to be executed.14
tn Heb "with justice" (so NAB) or "with righteousness" (so KJV, NASB, NIV,
NRSV).
10

tn Heb "make decisions with rectitude"; cf. ASV, NRSV "and decide with
equity."
11

tn Or "land" (NAB, NCV, CEV). It is uncertain if the passage is picturing


universal dominion or focusing on the king's rule over his covenant people.
The reference to God's "holy mountain" in v. Isa 11:9 and the description of
renewed Israelite conquests in v. Isa 11:14 suggest the latter, though v. Isa
11:10 seems to refer to a universal kingdom (see Isa 2:2-4).
12

13

tc The Hebrew text reads literally, "and he will strike the earth with the

scepter of his mouth." Some have suggested that in this context



'( erets,
"earth") as an object of judgment seems too broad in scope. The parallelism is
tighter if one emends the word to )(
'( arits, "potentate, tyrant"). The
phrase "scepter of his mouth" refers to the royal (note "scepter") decrees that
he proclaims with his mouth. Because these decrees will have authority and
power (see v. Isa 11:2) behind them, they can be described as "striking" the
tyrants down. Nevertheless, the MT reading may not need emending. Isaiah
refers to the entire "earth" as the object of God's judgment in several places
without specifying the wicked as the object of the judgment (Isa 24:17-21; Isa
26:9, Isa 26:21; Isa 28:22; cf. Isa 13:11).
tn Heb "and by the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked." The "breath of
his lips" refers to his speech, specifically in this context his official decrees that
the wicked oppressors be eliminated from his realm. See the preceding note.
14

Isa 11:5 Justice will be like a belt around his waist, integrity will be like a belt
around his hips.15
tn Heb "Justice will be the belt [or "undergarment"] on his waist, integrity the
belt [or "undergarment"] on his hips." The point of the metaphor is uncertain. If
a belt worn outside the robe is in view, then the point might be that
justice/integrity will be readily visible or that these qualities will give support to
his rule. If an undergarment is in view, then the idea might be that these
characteristics support his rule or that they are basic to everything else.
15

Isa 11:6 A wolf will reside16 with a lamb, and a leopard will lie down with a young
goat; an ox and a young lion will graze together,17 as a small child leads them
along.

( gur) normally refers to living as a dependent, resident alien


tn The verb
in another society.
16

tc The Hebrew text reads, "and an ox, and a young lion, and a fatling
together." Since the preceding lines refer to two animals and include a verb,
17

many emend


( um ri', "and the fatling") to an otherwise unattested verb
e



( yimr 'u, "they will graze"); cf. NAB, TEV, CEV. One of the Qumran
e

copies of Isaiah confirms this suggestion (1QIsaa). The present translation


assumes this change.
Isa 11:7 A cow and a bear will graze together, their young will lie down together.18 A
lion, like an ox, will eat straw.
18

tn Heb "and a cow and a bear will graze together they will lie down, their

young." This is a case of pivot pattern;



( yakhddav, "together") goes with
both the preceding and following statements.
Isa 11:8 A baby19 will play over the hole of a snake;20 over the nest21 of a serpent an
infant22 will put his hand.23
19

tn Heb "one sucking," i.e., still being nursed by his mother.

20

tn Or perhaps, "cobra" (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NCV); KJV, ASV, NRSV "asp."


( m 'urat, "place of
light"), i.e., opening of a hole. Some prefer to emend to

( m 'arat,

21

tc The Hebrew text has the otherwise unattested

"cave, den").

22

tn Heb "one who is weaned" (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).

sn The transformation of the animal kingdom depicted here typifies what will
occur in human society under the just rule of the ideal king (see vv. Isa 11:3-5).
The categories "predator-prey" (i.e., oppressor-oppressed) will no longer exist.
23

Isa 11:9 They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain. 24 For
there will be universal submission to the LORD's sovereignty, just as the waters
completely cover the sea.25
tn Heb "in all my holy mountain." In the most basic sense the Lord's "holy
mountain" is the mountain from which he rules over his kingdom (see Eze
28:14, Eze 28:16). More specifically it probably refers to Mount
Zion/Jerusalem or to the entire land of Israel (see Psa 2:6; Psa 15:1; Psa 43:3;
Isa 56:7; Isa 57:13; Eze 20:40; Oba 16; Zep 3:11). If the Lord's universal
kingdom is in view in this context (see the note on "earth" at v. Isa 11:4), then
the phrase would probably be metonymic here, standing for God's worldwide
dominion (see the next line).
24

tn Heb "for the earth will be full of knowledge of the Lord, as the waters
cover the sea." The translation assumes that a universal kingdom is depicted
25

here, but

'( erets) could be translated "land" (see the note at v. Isa 11:4).
"Knowledge of the Lord" refers here to a recognition of the Lord's sovereignty
which results in a willingness to submit to his authority. See the note at v. Isa
11:2.
Isa 11:10 At that time26 a root from Jesse27 will stand like a signal flag for the
nations. Nations will look to him for guidance,28 and his residence will be majestic.
tn Or "in that day" (KJV). The verb that introduces this verse serves as a
discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on "in the future" in Isa 2:2.
26

27

sn See the note at v. Isa 11:1.

tn Heb " a root from Jesse, which stands for a signal flag of the nations, of
him nations will inquire" [or "seek"].
28

(Isa 11:1-10 WTT)