Isaiah 11:7
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
11:1-9 The Messiah is called a Rod, and a Branch. The words signify a small, tender product; a shoot, such as is easily broken off. He comes forth out of the stem of Jesse; when the royal family was cut down and almost levelled with the ground, it would sprout again. The house of David was brought very low at the time of Christ's birth. The Messiah thus gave early notice that his kingdom was not of this world. But the Holy Spirit, in all his gifts and graces, shall rest and abide upon him; he shall have the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in him, Col 1:19; 2:9. Many consider that seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are here mentioned. And the doctrine of the influences of the Holy Spirit is here clearly taught. The Messiah would be just and righteous in all his government. His threatening shall be executed by the working of his Spirit according to his word. There shall be great peace and quiet under his government. The gospel changes the nature, and makes those who trampled on the meek of the earth, meek like them, and kind to them. But it shall be more fully shown in the latter days. Also Christ, the great Shepherd, shall take care of his flock, that the nature of troubles, and of death itself, shall be so changed, that they shall not do any real hurt. God's people shall be delivered, not only from evil, but from the fear of it. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? The better we know the God of love, the more shall we be changed into the same likeness, and the better disposed to all who have any likeness to him. This knowledge shall extend as the sea, so far shall it spread. And this blessed power there have been witnesses in every age of Christianity, though its most glorious time, here foretold, is not yet arrived. Meanwhile let us aim that our example and endeavours may help to promote the honour of Christ and his kingdom of peace.And the cow and the bear shall feed - That is, together. Animals that by nature do not dwell together, where by nature the one would be the prey of the other, shall dwell together - animage of safety and peace.

And the lion shall eat straw like the ox - A representation of the change that will take place under the reign of the Messiah in the natural disposition of men, and in the aspect of society; as great as if the lion were to lose his natural appetite for blood, and to live on the usual food of the ox. This cannot be taken literally, for such an interpretation would suppose a change in the physical organization of the lion - of his appetites, his teeth, his digestive organs - a change which it would be absurd to suppose will ever exist. It would in fact make him a different being. And it is clear, therefore, that the whole passage is to be interpreted in "moral" sense, as denoting great and important changes in society, and in the hearts of men.

7. feed—namely, "together"; taken from the second clause.

straw—no longer flesh and blood.

Shall feed together, as it follows, without any danger or fear.

The lion shall eat straw, the grass and fruits of the earth, as they did at first, Genesis 1:29,30, and shall not devour other living creatures, as now they do. And the cow and the bear shall feed,.... That is, together, in one church state, at one table, or in one pasture, upon the wholesome food of the Gospel, the salutary doctrines of Christ; who though before of different dispositions, the one tame and gentle, useful and profitable, dispensing the milk of the divine word, and gracious experience; the other cruel and voracious, barbarous and inhuman, worrying the lambs and sheep of Christ; but now of the same nature, and having no ill will to one another, and being without fear of each other:

their young ones shall lie down together; those like the calf and the young bear, shall lie in the green pastures of Gospel ordinances, and do no injury, the latter to the former, being of one mind, and agreeing in doctrine and practice:

and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; kings shall be nursing fathers to the church, and feed on the same Gospel provisions; and there shall be a great agreement between them who were before comparable to lions for their strength, power, and cruelty, and ministers of the Gospel, who are compared to oxen, for their strength and laboriousness, 1 Corinthians 9:9 "straw" here denotes true doctrine, though elsewhere false, see 1 Corinthians 3:12.

See Gill (Editor's note) on "Isa 11:6" .

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Cf. Isaiah 65:25. shall feed] Better, shall graze, unless we are to supply “alike” as in Isaiah 65:25. Some critics prefer to read “shall associate together,” with a small alteration of the text.Verse 7. - The lion shall eat straw (comp. Isaiah 65:25). There is nothing impossible in this. Cats are fond of some kinds of vegetable food. This is the fate of the imperial power of the world. When the axe is laid to it, it falls without hope. But in Israel spring is returning. "And there cometh forth a twig out of the stump of Jesse, and a shoot from its roots bringeth forth fruit." The world-power resembles the cedar-forest of Lebanon; the house of David, on the other hand, because of its apostasy, is like the stump of a felled tree (geza‛, truncus, from gâza‛, truncare), like a root without stem, branches, or crown. The world-kingdom, at the height of its power, presents the most striking contrast to Israel and the house of David in the uttermost depth announced in Isaiah 6:1-13 fin., mutilated and reduced to the lowliness of its Bethlehemitish origin. But whereas the Lebanon of the imperial power is thrown down, to remain prostrate; the house of David renews its youth. And whilst the former has no sooner reached the summit of its glory, than it is suddenly cast down; the latter, having been reduced to the utmost danger of destruction, is suddenly exalted. What Pliny says of certain trees, "inarescunt rursusque adolescunt, senescunt quidem, sed e radicibus repullulant," is fulfilled in the tree of Davidic royalty, that has its roots in Jesse (for the figure itself, see F. V. Lasaulx, Philosophie der Geschichte, pp. 117-119). Out of the stumps of Jesse, i.e., out of the remnant of the chosen royal family which has sunk down to the insignificance of the house from which it sprang, there comes forth a twig (choter), which promises to supply the place of the trunk and crown; and down below, in the roots covered with earth, and only rising a little above it, there shows itself a nētzer, i.e., a fresh green shoot (from nâtzēr, to shine or blossom). In the historical account of the fulfilment, even the ring of the words of the prophecy is noticed: the nētzer, at first so humble and insignificant, was a poor despised Nazarene (Matthew 2:23). But the expression yiphreh shows at once that it will not stop at this lowliness of origin. The shoot will bring forth fruit (pârâh, different in meaning, and possibly

(Note: We say possibly, for the Indo-Germanic root bhar, to bear (Sanscr. bharâmi equals φέρω, fero, cf., ferax, fertilis), which Gesenius takes as determining the radical meaning of pârach, cannot be traced with any certainty in the Semitic. Nevertheless peri and perach bear the same relation to one another, in the ordinary usage of the language, as fruit and blossom: the former is so called, as that which has broken through (cf., pĕtĕr); the latter, as that which has broken up, or budded.)

also in root, from pârach, to blossom and bud). In the humble beginning there lies a power which will carry it up to a great height by a steady and certain process (Ezekiel 17:22-23). The twig which is shooting up on the ground will become a tree, and this tree will have a crown laden with fruit. Consequently the state of humiliation will be followed by one of exaltation and perfection.

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