And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him . . .—The words throw us at once back upon the memories of the past, and forwards upon the hopes of the future. It was the “spirit of the Lord” that had made men true heroes and judges in the days of old (Judges 11:29; Judges 13:25). It was in the “spirit of the Lord” descending on Jesus of Nazareth and abiding on Him (John 1:33) that men were taught to see the token that He was the Christ of God. And in this case the spirit was to give more than the heroic daring which had characterised Jephthah and Samson. The future King was to be as a David and Solomon in one, pre-eminent, chiefly, as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:7), in the wisdom and counsel which had been the glory of the latter. “Wisdom,” in its highest form, as implying the comprehension of the secret things of God; “understanding,” as the sagacity which discerned the right thing to do and the right word to say (Hebrews 5:14) in all human relationships; these formed the first link in the chain of supernatural gifts. With these there was to be the “spirit of counsel and might,” the clear purpose and strength which fits a king for the right exercise of sovereignty; and lastly, as at once the crown and source of all, the “spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord,” the reverence and faith which is “the beginning of all wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7). The copious use of the vocabulary of the Book of Proverbs is interesting as showing the part which that book played in the prophet’s education. (See Introduction.)Isaiah 11:2. And the Spirit of the Lord — The Holy Ghost, by which he was anointed, (Acts 10:38,) and by whose power his human nature was formed in the womb of the virgin, (Luke 1:35,) shall rest upon him — Shall not only come upon him at certain times, as it came upon the prophets, but shall have its constant and settled abode in him; the spirit of wisdom and understanding — It is not needful exactly to distinguish these two gifts; it is sufficient that they are necessary qualifications for a governor and a teacher, and it is evident they signify perfect knowledge of all things necessary for his own and people’s good, and a sound judgment to distinguish between things that differ; the spirit of counsel and might — Of prudence, to give good counsel; and of might and courage, to execute it; the spirit of knowledge — Of the perfect knowledge of the whole will and counsel of God, as also of all secret things, yea, of the hearts of men; fear of the Lord — A fear of reverence, a care to please him, and aversion to offend him.1 Corinthians 12:8-11. The meaning here is, that the Messiah should be endowed with these eminent prophetic gifts and qualifications for his ministry by the agency of the Holy Spirit. It was by that Spirit that the prophets had been inspired (see 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16); and as the Messiah was to be a prophet Deuteronomy 18:15, Deuteronomy 18:18, there was a fitness that he should be endowed in the same manner. If it be asked how one, who was divine in his own nature, could be thus endowed by the aid of the Spirit, the answer is, that he was also to be a man descended from the honored line of David, and that as a man he might be furnished for his work by the agency of the Holy Spirit. His human nature was kept pure; his mind was made eminently wise; his heart always retained the fear and love of God, and there is no absurdity in supposing that these extraordinary endowments were to be traced to God. That he was thus under the influence of the Holy Spirit, is abundantly taught in the New Testament. Thus, in Matthew 3:16, the Holy Spirit is represented as descending on him at his baptism, In John 3:34, it is said, 'For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God, for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him;' compare Colossians 1:19.
Shall rest upon him - That is, shall descend on him, and remain with him. It shall not merely come upon him, but shall attend him permanently; compare Numbers 11:25-26.
The spirit of wisdom - The spirit producing wisdom, or making him wise. Wisdom consists in the choice of the best means to secure the best ends. This attribute is often given to the Messiah in the New Testament, and was always evinced by him; compare 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 2:3 : 'In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.'
And understanding - The difference between the words here rendered wisdom and understanding is, that the former denotes wisdom properly; and the latter, that judgment resulting from wisdom, by which we distinguish things, or decide on their character.
The spirit of counsel - That by which be shall be qualified to "give" counsel or advice; the qualification of a public instructor and guide; see the note at Isaiah 9:6.
And might - Strength, vigor, energy; that strength of heart and purpose which will enable a man to meet difficulties, to encounter dangers, to be bold, open, and fearless in the discharge of his duties. It is not necessary to remark, that this characteristic was found in an eminent degree in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Of knowledge - That is, the knowledge of the attributes and plans of Yahweh; compare Matthew 11:27 : 'Neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son.' John 1:18 : 'No man hath seen God at I any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him;' 1 John 5:20.
And of the fear of the Lord - The fear of Yahweh is often used to denote piety in general, as consisting in a reverence for the divine commands, and a dread of offending him; "that is," a desire to please him, which is piety; compare Job 28:28; Psalm 19:9; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 3:13; Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 19:23. That this characteristic was found eminently in the Lord Jesus, it is not necessary to attempt to prove.
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).The Spirit of the Lord; the Holy Ghost, wherewith he was anointed, Acts 10:38, and by whom his mother was overshadowed, Luke 1:35.
Shall rest upon him; not only come upon him at certain times, as he did upon the prophets now and then at his pleasure, but shall have its constant and settled abode in him; although the same phrase be sometimes used of other prophets in an inferior sense, as Numbers 11:17 2 Kings 2:15.
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding; which hath these perfections in itself, and confers them upon him. It is neither easy, nor at all necessary, exactly to distinguish these two gifts; it is sufficient that they are necessary qualifications for a governor, and for a teacher, both which offices were to meet in the Messiah; and it is evident that they signify a practical and perfect knowledge of all things necessary for the discharge of his trust, and for his own and people’s good, and a sound judgment, to distinguish between things that differ.
Of counsel and might; of prudence, to give good counsel; and of might and courage, to execute it; which are two necessary qualifications of a ruler.
Of knowledge; of the perfect knowledge of the whole will and counsel of God, especially that which concerns the salvation of men, the prosecution whereof was his great work, as also of all secret and hidden things, yea, of the hearts of men, the knowledge whereof is ascribed to Christ. Matthew 9:4 Revelation 2:23.
Of the fear of the Lord; not a fear of diffidence or horror, but of reverence; a care to please him, and loathness to offend him, which well became the Messiah towards his God and Father.
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.And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. His supernatural endowment through the spirit of Jehovah with the qualities of a perfect ruler. The “charismata” are grouped in three pairs; when we add the separate mention of the spirit of Jehovah at the head of the list we may perhaps find here the first suggestion of the “seven spirits” of God (Revelation 1:4). In reality, however, the three pairs unfold the different aspects of the “Spirit of Jehovah.” The first pair of virtues are intellectual, the second practical, and the third religious.
wisdom and understanding (or “discernment”) are the fundamental intellectual qualifications of a judge or ruler. Deuteronomy 1:13; 1 Kings 3:12.
counsel and might] “Counsel” is the faculty of adapting means to ends or of forming right resolutions; “might” the energy necessary to carry them through.
of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord] of the knowledge and fear of Jehovah. It seems necessary here to take “knowledge” as equivalent to “knowledge of Jehovah,” in spite of the rule that “not more than one construct can stand before the same genitive” (Davidson, Syntax, § 27. b). “Knowledge of Jehovah” is insight into His character and His moral claims on men, “fear of Jehovah” is the common O.T. expression for piety; both together make up the O.T. idea of religion.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.
Isaiah 10:28Aesthetically considered, the description is one of the most magnificent that human poetry has ever produced. "He comes upon Ayyath, passes through Migron; in Michmash he leaves his baggage. They go through the pass: let Geba be our quarters for the night! Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul flees. Scream aloud, O daughter of Gallim! Only listen, O Laysha! Poor Anathoth! Madmenah hurries away; the inhabitants of Gebim rescue. He still halts in Nob today; swings his hand over the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. Behold, the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, lops down the branches with terrific force; and those of towering growth are hewn down, and the lofty are humbled. And He fells the thickets of the forest with iron; and Lebanon, it falls by a Majestic One." When the Assyrian came upon Ayyath ( equals Ayyah, 1 Chronicles 7:28 (?), Nehemiah 11:31, generally hâ-‛ai, or 'Ai), about thirty miles to the north-east of Jerusalem, he trod for the first time upon Benjaminitish territory, which was under the sway of Judaea. The name of this 'Ai, which signifies "stone-heap," tallies, as Knobel observes, with the name of the Tell el-hagar, which is situated about three-quarters of an hour to the south-east of Beitn, i.e., Bethel. But there are tombs, reservoirs, and ruins to be seen about an hour to the south-east of Beitin; and these Robinson associates with Ai. From Ai, however, the army will not proceed towards Jerusalem by the ordinary route, viz., the great north road (or "Nablus road"); but, in order to surprise Jerusalem, it takes a different route, in which it will have to cross three deep and difficult valleys. From Ai they pass to Migron, the name of which has apparently been preserved in the ruins of Burg Magrun, situated about eight minutes' walk from Beitn.
(Note: I also find the name written Magrum (read Magrun), which is probably taken from a more correct hearsay than the Machrn of Robinson (ii.127).)
Michmash is still to be found in the form of a deserted village with ruins, under the name of Muchms, on the eastern side of the valley of Migron. Here they deposit their baggage (hiphkid, Jeremiah 36:20), so far as they are able to dispense with it - either to leave it lying there, or to have it conveyed after them by an easier route. For they proceed thence through the pass of Michmash, a deep and precipitous ravine about forty-eight minutes in breadth, the present Wady Suweinit. "The pass" (ma‛bârâh) is the defile of Michmash, with two prominent rocky cliffs, where Jonathan had his adventure with the garrison of the Philistines. One of these cliffs was called Seneh (1 Samuel 14:4), a name which suggests es-Suweinit. Through this defile they pass, encouraging one another, as they proceed along the difficult march, by the prospect of passing the night in Geba, which is close at hand. It is still disputed whether this Geba is the same place as the following Gibeah of Saul or not. There is at the present time a village called Geba' below Muchms, situated upon an eminence. The almost universal opinion now is, that this is not Gibeah of Saul, but that the latter is to be seen in the prominent Tell (Tuleil) el-Fl, which is situated farther south. This is possibly correct.
(Note: This is supported by Robinson in his Later Biblical Researches in Palestine (1857), by Valentiner (pastor at Jerusalem), and by Keil in the Commentary on Joshua, Judges, etc. (Joshua 18:21-28), where all the more recent writings on this topographical question are given.)
For there can be no doubt that this mountain, the name of which signifies "Bean-hill," would be a very strong position, and one very suitable for Gibeah of Saul; and the supposition that there were two places in Benjamin named Geba, Gibeah, or Gibeath, is favoured at any rate by Joshua 18:21-28, where Geba and Gibeath are distinguished from one another. And this mountain, which is situated to the south of er-Rm - that is to say, between the ancient Ramah and Anathoth - tallies very well with the route of the Assyrian as here described; whilst it is very improbable that Isaiah has designated the very same place first of all Geba, and then (for what reason no one can tell) Gibeah of Saul. We therefore adopt the view, that the Assyrian army took up its quarters for the night at Geba, which still bears this name, spreading terror in all directions, both east and west, and still more towards the south. Starting in the morning from the deep valley between Michmash and Geba, they pass on one side of Rama (the present er-Rm), situated half an hour to the west of Geba, which trembles as it sees them go by; and the inhabitants of Gibeath of Saul, upon the "Bean-hill," a height that commands the whole of the surrounding country, take to flight when they pass by. Every halting-place on their route brings them nearer to Jerusalem. The prophet goes in spirit through it all. It is so objectively real to him, that it produces the utmost anxiety and pain. The cities and villages of the district are lost.
He appeals to the daughter, i.e., the population, of Gallim, to raise a far-sounding yell of lamentation with their voice (Ges. 138, 1, Anm. 3), and calls out in deep sympathy to Laysha, which was close by (on the two places, both of which have vanished now, see 1 Samuel 25:44 and Judges 18:29), "only listen," the enemy is coming nearer and nearer; and then for Anathoth (‛Anâtâ, still to be seen about an hour and a quarter to the north of Jerusalem) he utters this lamentation (taking the name as an omen of its fate): O poor Anathoth! There is no necessity for any alteration of the text; ‛anniyâh is an appeal, or rather an exclamation, as in Isaiah 54:11; and ‛anâthoth follows, according to the same verbal order as in Isaiah 23:12, unless indeed we take it at once as an adjective written before the noun - an arrangement of the words which may possibly have been admissible in such interjectional sentences. The catastrophe so much to be dreaded by Jerusalem draws nearer and nearer. Madmenah (dung-hill, see Comm. on Job, at Job 9:11-15) flees in anxious haste: the inhabitants of Gebim (water-pits) carry off their possessions (הּעיז, from עוּז, to flee, related to chush, hence to carry off in flight, to bring in haste to a place of security, Exodus 9:19, cf., Jeremiah 4:6; Jeremiah 6:1; synonymous with hēnı̄s, Exodus 9:20; Judges 6:11; different from ‛âzaz, to be firm, strong, defiant, from which mâ‛oz, a fortress, is derived - in distinction from the Arabic ma‛âdh, a place of refuge: comp. Isaiah 30:2, to flee to Pharaoh's shelter). There are no traces left of either place. The passage is generally understood as implying that the army rested another day in Nob. But this would be altogether at variance with the design - to take Jerusalem by surprise by the suddenness of the destructive blow. We therefore render it, "Even to-day he will halt in Nob" (in eo est ut subsistat, Ges. 132, Anm. 1) - namely, to gather up fresh strength there in front of the city which was doomed to destruction, and to arrange the plan of attack. The supposition that Nob was the village of el-'Isawiye, which is still inhabited, and lies to the south-west of Ant, fifty-five minutes to the north of Jerusalem, is at variance with the situation, as correctly described by Jerome, when he says: "Stans in oppidulo Nob et procul urbem conspiciens Jerusalem." A far more appropriate situation is to be found in the hill which rises to the north of Jerusalem, and which is called Sadr, from its breast-like projection or roundness - a name which is related in meaning to nob, nâb, to rise. From this eminence the way leads down into the valley of Kidron; and as you descend, the city spreads out before you at a very little distance off. It may have been here, in the prophet's view, that the Assyrians halted.
(Note: This is the opinion of Valentiner, who also regards the march of the Assyrians as an "execution-march" in two columns, one of which took the road through the difficult ground to the east, whilst the other inflicted punishment upon the places that stood near the road. The text does not require this, however, but describes a march, which spread alarm both right and left as it went along.)
It was not long, however (as the yenōphēph which follows ἀσυνδέτως implies), before his hand was drawn out to strike (Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 19:16), and swing over the mountain of the daughter of Zion (Isaiah 16:1), over the city of the holy hill. But what would Jehovah do, who was the only One who could save His threatened dwelling-place in the face of such an army? As far as Isaiah 10:32, the prophet's address moved on at a hurried, stormy pace; it then halted, and seemed, as it were, panting with anxiety; it now breaks forth in a dactylic movement, like a long rolling thunder. The hostile army stands in front of Jerusalem, like a broad dense forest. But it is soon manifest that Jerusalem has a God who cannot be defied with impunity, and who will not leave His city in the lurch at the decisive moment, like the gods of Carchemish and Calno. Jehovah is the Lord, the God of both spiritual and starry hosts. He smites down the branches of this forest of an army: sē‛ēph is a so-called piel privativum, to lop (lit. to take the branches in hand; cf., sikkēl, Isaiah 5:2); and pu'rah equals pe'urah (in Ezekiel pō'rah) is used like the Latin frons, to include both branches and foliage - in other words, the leafy branches as the ornament of the tree, or the branches as adorned with leaves. The instrument He employs is ma‛arâtzâh, his terrifying and crushing power (compare the verb in Isaiah 2:19, Isaiah 2:21). And even the lofty trunks of the forest thus cleared of branches and leaves do not remain; they lie hewn down, and the lofty ones must fall. It is just the same with the trunks, i.e., the leaders, as with the branches and the foliage, i.e., with the great crowded masses. The whole of the forest thicket (as in Isaiah 9:17) he hews down (nikkaph, third pers. piel, though it may also be niphal); and Lebanon, i.e., the army of Asshur which is now standing opposite to Mount Zion, like Lebanon with its forest of cedars, falls down through a Majestic One ('addı̄r), i.e., through Jehovah (Isaiah 33:21, cf., Psalm 76:5; Psalm 93:4). In the account of the fulfilment (Isaiah 37:36) it is the angel of the Lord (mal'ach Jehovah), who is represented as destroying the hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp in a single night. The angel of Jehovah is not a messenger of God sent from afar, but the chosen organ of the ever-present divine power.
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