Isaiah 11:10
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) In that day there shall be a root of Jesse . . .—The “root,” as in Isaiah 53:2; Deuteronomy 29:18, is the same as the “rod” and “branch” growing from the root in Isaiah 11:1. The new shoot of the fallen tree of Jesse is to grow up like a stately palm, seen afar off upon the heights of the “holy mountain,” a signal round which the distant nations might rally as their centre. So the name of “the root of David” is applied to the glorified Christ in Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16. The word for “seek” implies, as in Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 19:3; Isaiah 55:6, the special seeking for wisdom and illumination.

His rest shall be glorious.—Better, his resting-place shall be glory; i.e., he shall abide evermore in the eternal glory which is the dwelling-place of Jehovah.

Isaiah 11:10. And in that day, &c. — We have here the latter part of this prophecy, which sets forth some more illustrious events of this kingdom, with their consequences. The events are set forth Isaiah 11:10-16, and are three. 1st, The remarkable conversion of the Gentiles, Isaiah 11:10. 2d, The calling of the dispersed Jews to the communion of the kingdom of Christ, Isaiah 11:11 to Isaiah 14:3 d, A diminution of the powers of the adverse empires, Egypt and Assyria, Isaiah 11:15-16. The consequence of these events is represented to be a remarkable thanksgiving of the Jewish people, converted to the Messiah for the redemption granted to them, Isaiah 12:1-6. There shall be a root of Jesse, &c. — This verse, is more literally rendered, And it shall be in that day, — Namely, in that glorious gospel day, that the Gentiles shall seek to the root of Jesse, which stands for an ensign of the people; and his rest shall be glorious. By the root of Jesse, we may either understand a branch growing from that root, and so may interpret it of Christ’s human nature, or, referring it to his divine nature, we may take it for a root properly so called, as the expression is to be understood Revelation 22:16; where Christ is represented as being as well the root, as the offspring of David. Which shall stand, or which stands, for an ensign of the people — Which shall grow up into a great and high tree, shall become a visible and eminent ensign, which not only the Jews, but all nations may discern, and to which they may and shall resort; to it shall the Gentiles seek — As the gospel shall be preached to the Gentiles, so they shall receive it, and believe in the Messiah; and his rest — That is, either, 1st, His resting-place, his temple, or church, the place of his presence and abode; shall be glorious — Filled with greater glory than the Jewish tabernacle and temple were; only this glory shall be spiritual, consisting in the plentiful effusion of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. Or, 2d, The rest enjoyed by those who are true worshippers in this temple, or true members of this church: their rest of grace, of faith, hope, and love: the rest consequent on the justification of their persons, and the renovation of their nature; the rest which they enter into by believing, (Hebrews 4:3,) which they receive in consequence of coming to Christ, weary and heavy laden, and learning of him, Matthew 11:28; their peace with God, peace of conscience, and tranquillity of mind, is glorious, for it passeth all understanding, Php 4:7. And it shall be much more glorious in a future world, when they enter the rest remaining for the people of God, Hebrews 4:9. Then their rest shall be not only glorious, but glory: and glory shall be their rest, as the words may be also rendered.11:10-16 When the gospel should be publicly preached, the Gentiles would seek Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and find rest of soul. When God's time is come for the deliverance of his people, mountains of opposition shall become plains before him. God can soon turn gloomy days into glorious ones. And while we expect the Lord to gather his ancient people, and bring them home to his church, also to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, when all will be united in holy love, let us tread the highway of holiness he has made for his redeemed. Let us wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, looking to him to prepare our way through death, that river which separates this world from the eternal world.And in that day - That future time when the reign of the Messiah shall be established; Note, Isaiah 3:2; Isaiah 4:1. The prophet, having described the birth, and the personal characteristics of the great personage to whom he referred, together with the peaceful effects of his reign, proceeds to state the result of that reign in some other respects. The first is Isaiah 11:10, that the "Gentiles" would be brought under his reign; the second Isaiah 11:14, that it would be attended with the restoration of the scattered people of Judea; and the third Isaiah 11:15-16, that it would be followed by the destruction of the enemies of the people of God.

There shall be a root of Jesse - There shall be a sprout, shoot, or scion of the ancient and decayed family of Jesse; see the note at Isaiah 5:1. Chaldee, 'There shall be a son of the sons of Jesse.' The word "root" here - שׁרשׁ shoresh - is evidently used in the sense of a root that, is alive when the tree is dead; a root that sends up a shoot or sprout; and is thus applied to him who should proceed from the ancient and decayed family of Jesse; see Isaiah 53:2. Thus in Revelation 5:5, the Messiah is called 'the" root" of David,' and in Revelation 22:16, 'the root and the offspring of David.'

Which shall stand - There is reference here, doubtless, to the fact that military ensigns were sometimes raised on mountains or towers which were permanent, and which, therefore, could be rallying points to an arm or a people. The idea is, that the root of Jesse, that is, the Messiah, should be conspicuous, and that the nations should flee to him, and rally around him as a people do around a military standard. Thus the Saviour says John 12:32 : 'And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.'

For an ensign - For a standard, or a sign round which they shall rally.

Of the people - That is, as the parallelism shows, of the Gentiles.

To it shall the Gentiles seek - The pagan world shall look to it for safety and deliverance. In the Scriptures, the world is spoken of as divided into Jews and Gentiles. All who are not Jews come under this appellation. This is a distinct prophecy, that other nations than the Jews should be benefited by the work of the Messiah, and constitute a part of his kingdom. This fact is often referred to by Isaiah, and constitutes a very material feature in his prophecies; Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:22; Isaiah 54:3; Isaiah 60:3, Isaiah 60:5, Isaiah 60:11, Isaiah 60:16; Isaiah 61:6, Isaiah 61:9; Isaiah 62:2; Isaiah 66:12, Isaiah 66:19. The word "seek" here, is used in the sense of seeking as a Deliverer, or a Saviour: they shall apply to him for instruction, guidance, and salvation; or they shall apply to him as a nation looks to its deliverer to protect it; compare Isaiah 8:19; 2 Kings 1:3; Isaiah 65:1.

And his rest - The rest, peace, and quietness, which he shall give. This evidently includes all the rest or peace which he shall impart to those who seek him. The word מנוחה menûchâh sometimes denotes "a resting place," or a habitation Numbers 10:33; Micah 2:10; Psalm 132:8; but it also denotes "a state of rest, quietness;" Ruth 1:9; Jeremiah 45:3; Psalm 23:2; Psalm 95:11; Deuteronomy 12:9; Isaiah 28:12; Isaiah 46:1. Here it evidently means the latter. It may refer,

(1) To the peace which he gives to the conscience of the awaened and troubled sinner Matthew 11:28-30; or

(2) To the prosperity and peace which his reign shall produce.

Shall be glorious - Hebrew, 'Shall be glory.' That is, shall be full of glory and honor. It shall be such as shall confer signal honor on his reign. The Chaldee understands this of his place of residence, his palace, or court. 'And the place of his abode shall be in glory.' The Vulgate renders it, 'and his sepulchre shall be glorious.'

'By his rest, we are not to understand his grave - or his death - or his Sabbath - or the rest he gives his people - but his place of rest, his residence. There is no need of supplying a preposition before glory, which is an abstract used for a concrete - glory, for glorious. The church, Christ's home, shall be glorious from his presence, and the accession of the Gentiles.' - (Alexander.) This is a beautiful rendering; it is, moreover, consistent with the letter and spirit of the passage. Some include both ideas.

10. root—rather, "shoot from the root" (compare Note, see on [705]Isa 11:1; Isa 53:2; Re 5:5; 22:16).

stand—permanently and prominently, as a banner lifted up to be the rallying point of an army or people (Isa 5:26; Joh 12:32).

the people—peoples, answering to "the Gentiles" in the parallel member.

to it … seek—diligently (Job 8:5). They shall give in their allegiance to the Divine King (Isa 2:2; 60:5; Zec 2:11). Horsley translates, "Of Him shall the Gentiles inquire"; namely, in a religious sense, resort as to an oracle for consultation in difficulties" (Zec 14:16). Compare Ro 15:12, which quotes this passage, "In Him shall the Gentiles trust."

rest—resting-place (Isa 60:13; Ps 132:8, 14; Eze 43:7). 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.

A root; a branch growing upon the root; of which see on Isaiah 11:1.

Shall stand for an ensign; shall grow up into a great and high tree, shall become a visible and eminent ensign. Of the people; which not only the Jews, but all nations may discern, and to which they may and shall resort.

To it shall the Gentiles seek; as the gospel shall be preached to the Gentiles, so they shall receive it, and believe in the Messiah. His rest; his resting-place, as this word frequently signifies, as Genesis 8:9 49:15 Psalm 132:8,14 Isa 34:14 Micah 2:10; his temple or church, the place of his presence and abode.

Shall be glorious; shall be filled with greater glory than the Jewish tabernacle and temple were; of which see on Haggai 2:9; only this glory shall be spiritual, consisting in glorious ordinances, in the plentiful effusions of the excellent gifts, and graces, and comforts of the Holy Spirit. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse,.... The Messiah, so called, either with respect to his human nature, who was to spring from Jesse; so the Targum,

"and there shall be at that time a son of the sons of Jesse;''

who, when incarnate, was like a root under ground, hidden to men, as to the glory of his person, and the fulness of his grace, and was mean, abject, and contemptible in their view; or rather with respect to his divine nature, just as he is called "the root and offspring of David", Revelation 5:5 the former as God, the latter as man; and so the phrase may denote his eternity, being before Jesse, or any other man or creature whatever; and his being the Creator and preserver of all, of Jesse, and of all others; and, as Mediator, he is the root from whom Jesse, and all the elect of God, are; they have their being in him; they are rooted and grounded in him; and are bore by him as the branches by the root; and they have their life and nourishment, their fruitfulness, holiness, and perseverance therein from him. This is understood of the Messiah, by ancient and modern Jews (e):

which shall stand for an ensign of the people; in the ministration of the Gospel, for the gathering of the people of God to him, to enlist in his service, and fight under his banner, where they may be sure of victory; an ensign set up, a banner displayed, is for the gathering of soldiers together; it is a sign of preparation for war, and an encouragement to it; and is sometimes done when victory is obtained, see Isaiah 5:26 and is a direction where soldiers should stand, when they should march, and who they should follow, as well as it serves to distinguish one company from another; and of all this use is the preaching of Christ and his Gospel:

to it shall the Gentiles seek; that is, to Christ, signified by the root of Jesse, and set up for an ensign of the people; being sought out by him in redemption and calling, and being sensible of their need of him, and that there is something valuable in him, having had a manifestation of him to them; and therefore seek to him, not out of curiosity, nor with worldly views, nor in the last, but in the first place, and chiefly; not hypocritically, but sincerely, and with their whole hearts; not carelessly, but diligently and constantly; not partially, but for everything they want; principally for the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, for eternal glory and happiness, and for a justifying righteousness, as the title to it: or to him shall they "betake themselves" (f), see Deuteronomy 12:5 as to an ensign, standard bearer, captain-general, leader and commander of the people; or as to a stronghold, for protection from enemies; or as to a city of refuge, to secure from avenging justice and wrath to come; and, under a sense of danger and ruin, to one that is able to save; and for help to one that is mighty; or him "shall" they "consult" (g); or seek to him for advice and counsel, see Isaiah 8:19 who is a most proper person to be consulted on all occasions, he being the wonderful Counsellor, Isaiah 9:6. This is a prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles, and which had its accomplishment, in part, in the first times of the Gospel, and will be completely fulfilled in the last days:

and his rest shall be glorious; either that which Christ gives to those that seek unto him, and which is both a spiritual rest here, from the burden and guilt of sin, and the tyrannical power of it; from the bondage, curse, and condemnation of the law; from a sense of divine wrath; and a rest in afflictions, though not from them; and an eternal rest hereafter, a "rest in glory" (h); as the words may be rendered here; it will be a glorious one, the bodies of the saints at death rest in the grave, and their souls in the arms of Jesus; and after the resurrection, body and soul will rest together from sin and Satan, from unbelief, doubts, and fears, and from all enemies; or else this rest is what Christ himself enjoys. Some understand it of his death, which, though ignominious in itself, yet glorious in its consequences; a glorious display of the condescension and love of Christ was made in it; and glorious things have been effected by it: others, of his grave, which was an honourable man's; his grave was made with the rich; though perhaps better of his rest in glory; when he had done his work, and sat down at the right hand of God, he was crowned with glory and honour; or rather it may design his church, which is his rest, Psalm 132:13 which is glorious, with his righteousness, grace, and presence, and being put in order by him, as an army with banners; and especially it will be, when all the glorious things spoken of it shall be fulfilled.

(e) Zohar in Exod. fol. 71. 1. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 98. fol. 85. 3. Midrash in Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 97. 2. Baal Hatturim in Numbers 26. 10. (f) "non significat quaerre, sed tendere, aut se confere", Bootius, Animadv. l. 1. c. 5. sect. 6. (g) "Ad eum consulent", Junius. (h) So Ben Melech observes that is wanting, and the sense is "in", or, "with glory".

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the {e} people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his {f} rest shall be glorious.

(e) He prophecies of the calling of the Gentiles.

(f) That is, the Church which he also calls his rest, Ps 132:14.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. This verse occupies a position somewhat detached from those that follow, as is shewn by the repetition of the introductory formula in Isaiah 11:11. The thought also is distinct and complete. It is a prophecy of the attractive influence of the true religion over the nations of the world; and resembles ch. Isaiah 2:2-4, although here the personal Messiah is the central figure. Comp. John 12:32.

The construction of the sentence involves a casus pendens (Driver, Tenses, pp. 264 ff.). Render thus: and it shall come to pass in that day, the root of Jesse who shall stand as a signal to the peoples—to him shall, &c.

a root of Jesse] i.e. the “branch from the roots,” of Isaiah 11:1. The expression seems to have become a technical title of the Messiah (cf. ch. Isaiah 53:2; Sir 47:22; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16). The variation of the figure from Isaiah 11:1 rather tells against the Isaianic authorship of this passage.

an ensign] as rallying-point, see on ch. Isaiah 5:26.

to it shall the Gentiles seek] Rather, of him shall nations enquire—a phrase used of the consulting of an oracle (ch. Isaiah 8:19, Isaiah 19:3). The Messiah is to be the great religious Teacher and Authority of the world.

his rest shall be glorious] his resting-place (Genesis 49:15,—here alone used of a royal residence) shall be glory, cf. ch. Isaiah 4:5.Verses 10-13. - THE JEWS AND GENTILES SHALL BE GATHERED TOGETHER INTO MESSIAH'S KINGDOM. It is characteristic of "the evangelical prophet" that he dwells earnestly and frequently on the calling of the Gentiles (see Isaiah 2:2; Isaiah 19:22-25; Isaiah 25:6; Isaiah 27:13, etc.). The prophecies to Abraham had repeatedly declared that "in him," or "in his seed," "all the families of the earth should be blessed" (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4); and some of the psalmists had echoed the glad sound and spoken of God as worshipped generally by "the nations" (Psalm 117:1; Psalm 148:11). But the idea had taken little hold upon the chosen people generally; and was practically new to them when Isaiah was inspired to preach it afresh. To render it the more palatable, he unites with it the promise of a great gathering of the dispersed Israelites from all quarters to the banner of Messiah, when it is set up. Verse 10. - There shall he a root of Jesse. The "root" of this place is the same as the "rod" and "branch" of ver. 1. The "rod" springs up out of a "root," and is inseparably connected with it. Which shall stand for an ensign of the people; rather, of the peoples. The "rod" shall lift itself up, and become an ensign, seen from afar, and attracting to itself the attention of "the peoples" or "nations" generally. The Acts and Epistles show how speedily this prophecy was fulfilled. Greeks, Romans, Galatians, Cappadoeians, Babylonians (1 Peter 5:13), saw the ensign, and sought to it. His rest shall be glorious; rather, his resting-place; i.e. his Church, with which he abides forever (Matthew 28:20). The Shechinah of his presence makes the Church "glorious" (literally, "a glory") throughout all ages; but the glory will not fully appear till the time of the "new heavens and new earth" (Isaiah 65:17; Roy. 21, 22.), when he will dwell visibly with it. This is the standard according to which He will judge when saving, and judge when punishing. "And judges the poor with righteousness, and passes sentence with equity for the humble in the land; and smites the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He slays the wicked. And righteousness is the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His hips." The main feature in Isaiah 11:4 is to be seen in the objective ideas. He will do justice to the dallim, the weak and helpless, by adopting an incorruptibly righteous course towards their oppressors, and decide with straightforwardness for the humble or meek of the land: ‛ânâv, like ‛ânı̄, from ‛ânâh, to bend, the latter denoting a person bowed down by misfortune, the former a person inwardly bowed down, i.e., from all self-conceit (hōcı̄ach l', as in Job 16:21). The poor and humble, or meek, are the peculiar objects of His royal care; just as it was really to them that the first beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount applied. But "the earth" and "the wicked" (the latter is not to be understood collectively, but, as in several passages in the Old Testament, viz., Psalm 68:22; Psalm 110:6; Habakkuk 3:13-14, as pointing forward prophetically to an eschatological person, in whom hostility towards Jehovah and His Anointed culminates most satanically) will experience the full force of His penal righteousness. The very word of His mouth is a rod which shatters in pieces (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 1:16); and the breath of His lips is sufficient to destroy, without standing in need of any further means (2 Thessalonians 2:8). As the girdle upon the hips (mothnaim, lxx την̀ ὀσφύν), and in front upon the loins (chălâzaim, lxx τὰς πλευράς), fastens the clothes together, so all the qualities and active powers of His person have for their band tzedâkâh, which follows the inviolable norm of the divine will, and hâ'emūnâh, which holds immovably to the course divinely appointed, according to promise (Isaiah 25:1). Special prominence is given by the article to 'emūnâh; He is the faithful and true witness (Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14). Consequently with Him there commences a new epoch, in which the Son of David and His righteousness acquire a world-subduing force, and find their home in a humanity that has sprung, like Himself, out of deep humiliation.
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