|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 2. - The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him (comp, Matthew 3:16; Luke 2:40; Luke 4:1, 14, 18; John 3:34, etc.). The human nature of our Lord required, and received abundantly, the sanctifying and enlightening influences of the Holy Spirit. These influences were not in him transient or occasional, as in too many men, who more or less "resist the Spirit," but permanent and enduring. They "rested upon" him; from first to last never quitted, and never will quit, him. The spirit of wisdom and understanding. The influences of the Holy Spirit are manifold, affecting the entire complex nature of man (see 1 Corinthians 12:8-11). Here, three pairs of graces are set forth as specially manifested in the Messiah through the power of the Spirit:
(1) "Wisdom and understanding," or intellectual and moral apprehension (εὐσυνεσία) the ability to perceive moral and abstract truth;
(2) "counsel and might," or the power at once to scheme and originate, and also to carry out thought into act;
(3) "The knowledge and the fear of the Lord," or acquaintance with the true will of God, combined with the determination to carry out that will to the full (John 4:34; Luke 22:42; Hebrews 10:7). It is needless to say that all these qualities existed in the greatest perfection in our blessed Lord.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,.... The rod and branch, the King Messiah, so qualifying him for his office, and the discharge of it. This shows that Christ's kingdom is of a spiritual nature, and administered in a spiritual manner, for which he was abundantly furnished by the "Spirit of the Lord" resting on him; by whom is meant the third Person in the Trinity, so called, not because created by him, for not any created spirit is meant, but because he proceeded from him; he is the one Jehovah with him, a divine Person, truly God, yet distinct both from the Father and the Son; so that here is a clear proof of the trinity of Persons. Christ was filled with the Spirit from the womb, and he descended and rested upon him at his baptism; he was anointed with him to be Prophet, Priest, and King, and received his gifts and graces from him without measure, which abide with him, and are designed in the following words:
the spirit of wisdom and understanding; which appeared in his disputation with the doctors; in his answers to the ensnaring questions of the Scribes and Pharisees; in the whole of his ministry; and in his conduct at his apprehension, trial, condemnation, and death; as also in the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding he imparted to his disciples, and does more or less to all his people:
the spirit of counsel and might; of "counsel", which fitted him to be the wonderful Counsellor, and qualified him to give suitable and proper advice to the sons of men; and of "might" or "power", to preach the Gospel with authority; do miracles in the confirmation of it; bear the sins of his people, and the punishment due to them; obtain eternal redemption for them; and engage with all their enemies and conquer them:
the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord; and so as man had the "knowledge" of God the Father; of his mind and will; of the Scriptures, and things contained therein; of the law and Gospel; all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were hid in him, which he communicates to his saints; and "of the fear of the Lord", and so had a reverence of him, a strict regard to his will, and always did the things which pleased him; see Hebrews 5:7 this verse is also applied to the Messiah, both by ancient and modern Jews (u).
(u) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 93. 2. Zohar in Gen. fol. 68. 3. & in Numb. fol. 54. 4. & 92. 1. & in Deut. fol. 123. 3. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 2. 4. sect. 8. fol. 6. 3. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 13. fol. 209. 3. Midrash Ruth, fol. 34. 4. Pirke Eliezer, c. 3. fol. 3. 2. Raziel, fol. 11. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 156. 1. Baal Hatturim in Numbers 7.12. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 1. fol. 3. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Spirit of the Lord—Jehovah. The Spirit by which the prophets spake: for Messiah was to be a Prophet (Isa 61:1; 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 Spirits" (Re 1:4), 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; Col 1:19).
rest—permanently; not merely come upon Him (Nu 11:25, 26).
wisdom—(1Co 1:30; Eph 1:17; Col 2:3).
understanding—coupled with "wisdom," being its fruit. Discernment and discrimination (Mt 22:18; Joh 2:25).
counsel … might—the faculty of forming counsels, and that of executing them (Isa 28:29). Counsellor (Isa 9:6).
knowledge—of the deep things of God (Mt 11:27). The knowledge of Him gives us true knowledge (Eph 1:17).
fear of the Lord—reverential, obedient fear. The first step towards true "knowledge" (Job 28:28; Ps 111:10).
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