|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 5. - Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, etc.; i.e. "righteousness shall be ever with him, ever ready for active use, ever (as it were) bracing him for action." Assuredly, he was "righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works" (Psalm 145:17). Faithfulness (comp. Ephesians 6:14, "Having your loins girt about with truth").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,.... He shall be adorned with it, strengthened by it, and ready at all times to perform it; he loved righteousness, and did acts of righteousness throughout the whole course of his life; and, by his active and passive obedience, wrought out an everlasting righteousness for his people; he is a King that reigns in righteousness, righteousness is the sceptre of his kingdom; all his administrations of government are righteous; just and true are all his ways:
and faithfulness the girdle of his reins; he was faithful to God, that appointed him as King and Head of the church; faithful as a Prophet, in declaring his mind and will; and is a faithful High Priest, as well as a merciful one. The Targum, interprets this of righteous and faithful men, thus,
"and the righteous shall be round about him, and they that work (the work) of faith shall draw nigh unto him;''
but it is said of a single person, of the Messiah only, to whom it properly belongs.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. righteousness … girdle—(Re 1:13; 19:11). The antitypical High Priest (Ex 28:4). The girdle secures firmly the rest of the garments (1Pe 1:13). So "truth" gives firm consistency to the whole character (Eph 5:14). In Isa 59:17, "righteousness" is His breastplate.
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