And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might…
Modern expositors have often restricted this gracious description of royal enrichment to the ideal King of Israel, the coming Messiah. This application is, no doubt, its ultimate designation, but there is more than sufficient evidence to warrant the discrimination of mediaeval teachers, who boldly selected this heroic passage concerning the seven Spirits of God as a perfect epitome of the gifts that might be rightly claimed for those, and by those, who are Divinely called to wear an earthly crown, and to rule in temporal affairs. Dean Plumptre has suggested that these verses may well represent the programme which Isaiah himself set before his pupil, Hezekiah, on his accession to the throne, which his weak predecessor had suffered to degenerate into a vantage ground for abuse of justice and laxity of morals such as had deteriorated the faith and moral fibre of his people. And, as Dr. George Adam Smith points out, in the theology, art, and worship of the Middle Ages, this text was constantly and consistently associated with the assumption of royal responsibilities, and with the judicial administration of magistrates. It was known as "the mirror for magistrates," and was commonly employed at the coronation of kings and the fencing of tribunals of justice. "What Isaiah wrote for Hezekiah of Judah became the official prayer, song or ensample of the earliest Christian kings in Europe. It is evidently the model of that royal hymn — not by Charlemagne, as is usually supposed, but by his grandson, Charles the Bald — the Veni Creator Spiritus." So deeply did this sense of the need and privilege of the gifts of the Spirit for the ruling class pervade the life of the times that Henry III's order of knighthood, "Du Saint Esprit," was restricted to political men, and particularly to magistrates.
(F. Platt, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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;