Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
From the local and temporary national deliverance the prophet passes by
the law of suggestion in an easy transition to the end of all
prophecy--the everlasting deliverance under Messiah's reign, not merely
His first coming, but chiefly His second coming. The language
and illustrations are still drawn from the temporary national subject,
with which he began, but the glories described pertain to Messiah's
reign. Hezekiah cannot, as some think, be the subject; for he was
already come, whereas the "stem of Jesse" was yet future ("shall come")
&c.; 5:1, 2;
Jer 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16;
1. rod--When the proud "boughs" of "Lebanon"
(Isa 10:33, 34,
the Assyrians) are lopped, and the vast "forests cut down"
amidst all this rage, a seemingly humble rod shall come out of
Jesse (Messiah), who shall retrieve the injuries done by the Assyrian
"rod" to Israel
(Isa 10:5, 6, 18, 19).
stem--literally, "the stump" of a tree cut close by the roots:
happily expressing the depressed state of the royal house of David,
owing to the hostile storm
(Isa 10:18, 19),
when Messiah should arise from it, to raise it to more than its
Job 14:7, 8;
Branch--Scion. He is nevertheless also the "root"
Re 5:5; 22:16.
"Root and offspring" combines both,
Zec 3:8; 6:12).
2. Spirit of the Lord--JEHOVAH. The Spirit
by which the prophets spake: for Messiah was to be a Prophet
De 18:15, 18).
Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are specified, to imply that the
perfection of them was to be in Him. Compare "the seven
that is, the Holy Ghost in His perfect fulness: seven being the
sacred number. The prophets had only a portion out of the
"fulness" in the Son of God
(Joh 1:16; 3:34;
rest--permanently; not merely come upon Him
(Nu 11:25, 26).
understanding--coupled with "wisdom," being its fruit. Discernment
counsel . . . might--the faculty of forming counsels, and that
of executing them
knowledge--of the deep things of God
The knowledge of Him gives us true knowledge
fear of the Lord--reverential, obedient fear. The first step towards
3. make him of quick understanding--literally, "quick-scented in
the fear of Jehovah"; endowed with a singular sagacity in discerning the
genuine principle of religious fear of God, when it lies dormant in the
yet unawakened sinner
Ac 10:1-48; 16:14)
[HORSLEY]. But MAURER, "He
shall delight in the fear of God." The Hebrew means "to
delight in the odors" of anything
"smell," that is, "delight in."
after . . . sight--according to mere external appearances
(Joh 7:24; 8:15;
Herein Messiah is represented a just Judge and Ruler
(De 1:16, 17).
reprove--"decide," as the parallelism shows.
after . . . ears--by mere plausible hearsays, but by the true merits
of each case
4. judge--see that impartial justice is done them. "Judge" may mean
here "rule," as in
reprove--or, "argue"; "decide." But
LOWTH, "work conviction in."
and Re 11:15.
earth--its ungodly inhabitants, answering to "the wicked" in the
parallel, and in antithesis to the "poor" and "meek," namely, in spirit,
the humble pious
It is at the same time implied that "the earth" will be extraordinarily
wicked when He shall come to judge and reign. His reign shall therefore
be ushered in with judgments on the apostates
rod of . . . mouth--condemning sentences which proceed from His
mouth against the wicked
(Re 1:16; 2:16; 19:15, 21).
breath of . . . lips--his judicial decisions
Re 19:20; 20:9-12).
He as the Word of God
comes to strike that blow which shall decide His claim to the kingdom,
previously usurped by Satan, and "the beast" to whom Satan delegates
his power. It will be a day of judgment to the Gentile dispensation, as
the first coming was to the Jews. Compare a type of the "rod"
5. righteousness . . . girdle--
(Re 1:13; 19:11).
The antitypical High Priest
The girdle secures firmly the rest of the garments
So "truth" gives firm consistency to the whole character
"righteousness" is His breastplate.
6. wolf . . . lamb--Each animal is coupled with that one which is
its natural prey. A fit state of things under the "Prince of Peace"
These may be figures for men of corresponding animal-like
(Eze 22:27; 38:13;
Jer 5:6; 13:23;
Still a literal change in the relations of animals to man and
each other, restoring the state in Eden, is a more likely
Ge 2:19, 20,
with Ps 8:6-8,
which describes the restoration to man, in the person of "the Son of
man," of the lost dominion over the animal kingdom of which he had been
designed to be the merciful vicegerent under God, for the good of his
7. feed--namely, "together"; taken from the second clause.
straw--no longer flesh and blood.
8. play--literally, "delight" himself in sport.
cockatrice--a fabulous serpent supposed to be hatched from the egg
of a cock. The Hebrew means a kind of adder, more venomous than the
asp; BOCHART supposes the basilisk to be meant,
which was thought to
poison even with its breath.
9. my holy mountain--Zion, that is, Jerusalem. The seat of government
and of Messiah's throne is put for the whole earth
sea--As the waters find their way into every cavern of its depths, so Christianity shall pervade every recess of the earth
describe the personal qualities of Messiah, and
the regenerating effects of His coming on creation, so
the results of it in the restoration of His people, the Jews,
and the conversion through them of the Gentiles.
10. root--rather, "shoot from the root" (compare Note,
Re 5:5; 22:16).
stand--permanently and prominently, as a banner lifted up to be the
rallying point of an army or people
the people--peoples, answering to "the Gentiles" in the parallel
to it . . . seek--diligently
They shall give in their allegiance to the Divine King
(Isa 2:2; 60:5;
HORSLEY translates, "Of Him shall the
Gentiles inquire"; namely, in a religious sense, resort as to
an oracle for consultation in difficulties"
which quotes this passage, "In Him shall the Gentiles trust."
Ps 132:8, 14;
The sanctuary in the temple of Jerusalem was "the resting-place of the
ark and of Jehovah." So the glorious Church which is to be is described
under the image of an oracle to which all nations shall resort, and
which shall be filled with the visible glory of God.
11. set . . . hand--take in hand the work. Therefore the coming
restoration of the Jews is to be distinct from that after the Babylonish
captivity, and yet to resemble it. The first restoration was
literal, therefore so shall the second be; the latter, however, it
is implied here, shall be much more universal than the former
(Isa 43:5-7; 49:12, 17, 18;
Am 9:14, 15;
Mic 4:6, 7;
Zep 3:19, 20;
As to the "remnant" destined by God to survive the judgments on the
Pathros--one of the three divisions of Egypt, Upper Egypt.
Cush--either Ethiopia, south of Egypt, now Abyssinia, or the southern
parts of Arabia, along the Red Sea.
Elam--Persia, especially the southern part of it now called Susiana.
Shinar--Babylonian Mesopotamia, the plain between the Euphrates and
the Tigris: in it Babel was begun
In the Assyrian inscriptions RAWLINSON
distinguishes three periods: (1) The Chaldean; from 2300 B.C. to 1500, in which falls Chedorlaomer
called in the cuneiform characters Kudur of Hur, or Ur of the Chaldees,
and described as the conqueror of Syria. The seat of the first Chaldean
empire was in the south, towards the confluence of the Tigris and
Euphrates. (2) The Assyrian, down to 625 B.C. (3)
The Babylonian, from 625 to 538 B.C., when Babylon
was taken by the Persian Cyrus.
islands of . . . sea--the far western regions beyond the
12. In the first restoration Judah alone was restored, with perhaps
some few of Israel (the ten tribes): in the future restoration both
are expressly specified
To Israel are ascribed the "outcasts" (masculine); to Judah the
"dispersed" (feminine), as the former have been longer and more utterly
castaways (though not finally) than the latter
The masculine and feminine conjoined express the universality of
from the four corners of the earth--Hebrew, "wings of the
13. envy . . . of Ephraim . . . Judah--which began as early as the
(Jud 8:1; 12:1,
&c.). Joshua had sprung from, and resided among the Ephraimites
the sanctuary was with them for a time
The jealousy increased subsequently
&c.; 19:41; 20:2; 3:10);
and even before David's time
(1Sa 11:8; 15:4),
they had appropriated to themselves the national name Israel. It ended
&c.; 1Ki 12:1-33;
adversaries of Judah--rather, "the adversaries from
Judah"; those of Judah hostile to the Ephraimites [MAURER]. The parallelism "the envy of Ephraim," namely,
against Judah, requires this, as also what follows; namely, "Ephraim
shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim"
(Eze 37:15, 17, 19).
14. With united forces they shall subdue their foes
fly--as a bird of prey
upon the shoulders--This expresses an attack made unexpectedly on one
from behind. The image is the more apt, as the Hebrew for
is used also of a maritime coast ("side of the sea": Hebrew,
"shoulder of the sea," Margin). They shall make a sudden
victorious descent upon their borders southwest of Judea.
them of the east--Hebrew, "children of the East," the Arabs,
who, always hostile, are not to be reduced under regular government, but
are only to be despoiled
(Jer 49:28, 29).
lay . . . hand upon--take possession of
Edom--south of Judah, from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea; "Moab"--east
of Jordan and the Dead Sea.
Ammon--east of Judea, north of Moab, between the Arnon and Jabbok.
15. There shall be a second exodus, destined to eclipse even the
former one from Egypt in its wonders. So the prophecies elsewhere
The same deliverance furnishes the imagery by which the return from
Babylon is described
(Isa 48:20, 21).
destroy--literally, "devote," or "doom," that is, dry up; for what
God dooms, perishes
tongue--the Bubastic branch of the Nile [VITRINGA]; but as the Nile was not the obstruction
to the exodus, it is rather the west tongue or Heroöpolite fork of
the Red Sea.
with . . . mighty wind--such as the "strong east wind"
by which God made a way for Israel through the Red Sea. The
Hebrew for "mighty" means terrible.
MAURER translates, "With the terror of His anger";
that is, His terrible anger.
in the seven streams--rather, "shall smite it (divide it by
smiting) into seven (many) streams, so as to be
easily crossed" [LOWTH]. So Cyrus divided the
river Gyndes, which retarded his march against Babylon, into three
hundred sixty streams, so that even a woman could cross it
[HERODOTUS, 1.189]. "The river" is the Euphrates,
the obstruction to Israel's return "from Assyria"
a type of all future impediments to the restoration of the Jews.
dry shod--Hebrew, "in shoes." Even in sandals they should be able
to pass over the once mighty river without being wet
16. highway--a highway clear of obstructions
(Isa 19:23; 35:8).
like as . . . Israel . . .
(Isa 51:10, 11; 63:12, 13).