|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 3. - And shall make him of quick understanding. This rendering of the original, though defended by Dr. Kay, is quite without support from any other passage where the same word is used. Modern writers almost all translate, either "the breath of his nostrils shall be in the fear of the Lord" (Herder, Ewald, Meier, Cheyne), or "a sweet savor shall he find in the fear of the Lord" (Gesenius, Delitzsch, Rosenmüller, Knobel). He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes. "God sooth the heart." Our Lord "knew men's thoughts" (Matthew 9:4, etc.), and therefore did not need to "judge according to the appearance" (John 7:24). Thus his judgments were always righteous.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord,.... Or "cause him to smell the fear of the Lord" (w); that is, to discern in whom it was: this is one effect of the Spirit's resting upon him, and particularly as the spirit of understanding, and of the fear of the Lord, whereby he has a quick and sharp discerning of it; not merely of the grace of fear, so as to know what that is, and what the exercise of it; or so as to make it the rule of his actions, though all this is true; but so as to discern where and in whom it was, and was not; he could distinguish between him that feared God and him that feared him not; he knew Nathanael to be an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile, John 1:47 and the Scribes and Pharisees to be hypocrites, Matthew 22:18. As the Jews (x) understand this passage of the Messiah, and of his quick smell, as the word used signifies, or of his discerning of good and bad men, they make this to be a rule of judging the Messiah by; and accordingly made use of it with one that set up himself for the Messiah, and took the name of Barcochab, the son of a star, referring to Numbers 24:17 and tried him whether he could discern a good man from a bad man; and because he could not, they rejected him as a false Messiah, and called him Barcoziba, the son of a lie (y): compare with this Luke 7:39 where it may be seen the same notion obtained among the Jews in Christ's time:
and, he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes; or according to the outward appearance, the external guise of sanctity and religion men might put on; as the Scribes and Pharisees were outwardly righteous before men, but not to Christ, who knew their hearts; they seemed to be somewhat to others, but nothing to him, because he judged not by appearances to the eyes:
neither reprove after the hearing of his ears; he needed no testimony of men, for he knew what was in men; nor did he regard the words of men, the boastings of a Pharisee, any more than his outward actions; nor would he reprove or condemn, nor will he, upon a human testimony.
(w) "et faciet odorari eum timorem Jehovae", Munster, Vatablus; "et odorabitur timorem Jehovae", Cocceius. (x) Zohar in Exod. fol. 31. 3. & 86. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 62. 3.((y) T. Bab. Sanhedrin. fol. 93. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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 (Mt 12:20; 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 (Ex 30:38; Am 5:21); "smell," that is, "delight in."
after … sight—according to mere external appearances (Joh 7:24; 8:15; Jas 2:1; 1Sa 16:7). 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 (Joh 6:64; Re 2:23).
Isaiah 11:3 Parallel Commentaries
Isaiah 11:3 NIV
Isaiah 11:3 NLT
Isaiah 11:3 ESV
Isaiah 11:3 NASB
Isaiah 11:3 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible