“There shall come forth a rod [shoot NASB/ESV] from the stem [stump ESV] of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1).
Israel had been described as a felled tree, nothing but a stump remained (Isaiah 6:11-13). However, the tree was not dead. There remained life in that stump.
Arising from the stump would come a branch from Jesse. This branch would have an “excellent and appealing” fruit (Isaiah 4:2). This branch would build the temple of the LORD (Zechariah 6:12). This branch would be king (Jeremiah 23:5 cf. 33:15). This branch would be called “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16). This branch is a man (Zechariah 6:12). This branch is the servant of the LORD (Zechariah 3:8). This branch would attract the gentiles (Isaiah 11:10).
This branch is Jesus (Isaiah 11:1, 10 cf. Romans 15:12). Notes: (1) Jesus came through Jesse (Isaiah 11:1 cf. Luke 3:32). (2) Jesus came through David (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15 cf. Matthew 1:1; Luke 3:31; Romans 1:3). (3) The name “Jesus” means, “Jehovah is salvation.” (4) Jesus built the church (Matthew 16:18), which is a temple (1 Corinthians 1:1-2 cf. 3:16; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5). (5) He is king (Matthew 21:5; 27:11; John 18:36; 1 Corinthians 15:25; 1 Timothy 6:15 cf. Revelation 19:11-16).
“The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and might, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:2).
The language reminds one of Solomon. We’re told, “God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt” (1 Kings 4:29-30).
The Spirit came upon Jesus at his baptism (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). The ESV Study Bible commented, “wisdom and understanding for leadership (Deuteronomy 1:13; 1 Kings 3:9 cf. Isaiah 10:13); counsel and might to carry out his wise plans (Isaiah 36:5 cf. Job 12:13; observe the connection to Isaiah 9:6 …); knowledge and fear of the LORD for holiness (Psalm 14:4; Proverb 2:5).”
“He shall not judge by the sight of his eyes, nor decide by the hearing of his ears; But with righteousness he shall judge …” (Isaiah 11:3-4).
Righteous judgment demands impartiality. Justice is blind. Jesus taught, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Jesus one day will judge humanity (John 5:22; 12:48; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16; 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10). He is “the righteous judge” (2 Timothy 4:8).
“Righteousness shall be the belt of his loins, and faithfulness the belt of his waist” (Isaiah 11:5).
Some kings are known for their beautiful garments (e.g., Matthew 6:29). However, this king’s clothing includes “righteousness” and “faithfulness”.
Sidebar: Christians are to be clothed with: (1) Christ (Galatians 3:27; Romans 13:14; (2) humility (1 Peter 5:5); (3) tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, … above all love (Colossians 3:12-14); (4) the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-ff); (5) the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4 said to women).
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb; The leopard shall lie down with the young goat; The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them; The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:6-9).
Many in the religious world anticipate a time when complete world peace will exist on this earth. Some even literalize the animals in this passage. Thus, they look for a time when the animal kingdom will be at peace.
However, the peace spoken of here exists in “my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:9 cf. Isaiah 2:2; Daniel 2:35, 44). Man is changed in Christ. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11).
The reason such peace is possible is because the knowledge of the LORD was spread through the earth (Isaiah 11:9). Consider: Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:8; 10:18; Colossians 1:3-6; 1:23.