Bible passage: Isaiah 11:1-10
Written: Between 701-681 BC
In Isaiah 11:1-10, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a ruler who would be a descendant of Jesse. Jesse was the father of ancient Israel's great King David. This descendant would rule with true justice and true faith, and he would establish true peace. This peace would be so great that even wild animals would be able to lie down next to one another. This descendant would also become a standard for people throughout the world. And, this descendant would be sought by people throughout the world.
This is an important prophecy for Christians because we believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of this Old Testament promise. Jesus, as explained in the New Testament, is a descendant of Jesse. And Jesus has become a standard for peoples throughout the world. In fact, Christianity is the first religion to spread to every country in the world. The words of Jesus, which speak of true justice, true faith and true peace, have been taught to people in every country in the world. We Christians also believe that Jesus will return in the future to establish a kingdom on earth, a kingdom of justice and righteousness.
There is an ancient Hebrew text, called the Targum Jonathan, in which Rabbis sought to interpret passages of the Old Testament scriptures. The Targum Jonathan shows that at least some of the ancient Rabbis believed that the message contained in Isaiah 11:1-10 was a reference to a Messiah. Here is an excerpt from the Targum Jonathan: "And there shall go forth a King from the Sons of Jesse, and the Messiah shall be anointed from his children's children." Jesse was the father of King David. But the Messiah would be a descendant of Jesse, specifically through his son David.
- Research and commentary is based on the book 100 Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.
Here is Isaiah 11:1-10:
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD--
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 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.
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
NIV Footnote:  Hebrew; Septuagint lion will feed
(New International Version translation)