A root of Jesse, which shall stand etc. "The root of Jesse, which standeth," etc. - St. John hath taken this expression from Isaiah, Revelation 5:5, and Revelation 22:16, where Christ hath twice applied it to himself. Seven MSS. have עומד omed, standing, the present participle. Radix Isaei dicitur jam stare, et aliquantum stetisse, in signum populorum. - Vitringa. "The root of Jesse is said to stand, and for some time to have stood, for an ensign to the people." Which rightly explains either of the two readings. Psalm 110:1-7; (note) is a good comment on this verse.
And in that day - That future time when the reign of the Messiah shall be established; Note, Isaiah 3:2; Isaiah 4:1. The prophet, having described the birth, and the personal characteristics of the great personage to whom he referred, together with the peaceful effects of his reign, proceeds to state the result of that reign in some other respects. The first is Isaiah 11:10, that the “Gentiles” would be brought under his reign; the second Isaiah 11:14, that it would be attended with the restoration of the scattered people of Judea; and the third Isaiah 11:15-16, that it would be followed by the destruction of the enemies of the people of God.
There shall be a root of Jesse - There shall be a sprout, shoot, or scion of the ancient and decayed family of Jesse; see the note at Isaiah 5:1. Chaldee, ‹There shall be a son of the sons of Jesse.‘ The word “root” here - שׁרשׁ shoresh - is evidently used in the sense of a root that, is alive when the tree is dead; a root that sends up a shoot or sprout; and is thus applied to him who should proceed from the ancient and decayed family of Jesse; see Isaiah 53:2. Thus in Revelation 5:5, the Messiah is called ‹the” root” of David,‘ and in Revelation 22:16, ‹the root and the offspring of David.‘
Which shall stand - There is reference here, doubtless, to the fact that military ensigns were sometimes raised on mountains or towers which were permanent, and which, therefore, could be rallying points to an arm or a people. The idea is, that the root of Jesse, that is, the Messiah, should be conspicuous, and that the nations should flee to him, and rally around him as a people do around a military standard. Thus the Saviour says John 12:32: ‹And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.‘
For an ensign - For a standard, or a sign round which they shall rally.
Of the people - That is, as the parallelism shows, of the Gentiles.
To it shall the Gentiles seek - The pagan world shall look to it for safety and deliverance. In the Scriptures, the world is spoken of as divided into Jews and Gentiles. All who are not Jews come under this appellation. This is a distinct prophecy, that other nations than the Jews should be benefited by the work of the Messiah, and constitute a part of his kingdom. This fact is often referred to by Isaiah, and constitutes a very material feature in his prophecies; Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:22; Isaiah 54:3; Isaiah 60:3, Isaiah 60:5, Isaiah 60:11, Isaiah 60:16; Isaiah 61:6, Isaiah 61:9; Isaiah 62:2; Isaiah 66:12, Isaiah 66:19. The word “seek” here, is used in the sense of seeking as a Deliverer, or a Saviour: they shall apply to him for instruction, guidance, and salvation; or they shall apply to him as a nation looks to its deliverer to protect it; compare Isaiah 8:19; 2 Kings 1:3; Isaiah 65:1.
And his rest - The rest, peace, and quietness, which he shall give. This evidently includes all the rest or peace which he shall impart to those who seek him. The word מנוחה menûchâh sometimes denotes “a resting place,” or a habitation Numbers 10:33; Micah 2:10; Psalm 132:8; but it also denotes “a state of rest, quietness;” Rth 1:9 ; Jeremiah 45:3; Psalm 23:2; Psalm 95:11; Deuteronomy 12:9; Isaiah 28:12; Isaiah 46:1. Here it evidently means the latter. It may refer,
(1) To the peace which he gives to the conscience of the awaened and troubled sinner Matthew 11:28-30; or
(2) To the prosperity and peace which his reign shall produce.
Shall be glorious - Hebrew, ‹Shall be glory.‘ That is, shall be full of glory and honor. It shall be such as shall confer signal honor on his reign. The Chaldee understands this of his place of residence, his palace, or court. ‹And the place of his abode shall be in glory.‘ The Vulgate renders it, ‹and his sepulchre shall be glorious.‘
‹By his rest, we are not to understand his grave - or his death - or his Sabbath - or the rest he gives his people - but his place of rest, his residence. There is no need of supplying a preposition before glory, which is an abstract used for a concrete - glory, for glorious. The church, Christ‘s home, shall be glorious from his presence, and the accession of the Gentiles.‘ - (Alexander.) This is a beautiful rendering; it is, moreover, consistent with the letter and spirit of the passage. Some include both ideas.
What meaning then was attached to Christ's presentation! But the priest did not see through the veil; he did not read the mystery beyond. The presentation of infants was a common scene. Day after day the priest received the redemption money as the babes were presented to the Lord. Day after day he went through the routine of his work, giving little heed to the parents or children, unless he saw some indication of the wealth or high rank of the parents. Joseph and Mary were poor; and when they came with their child, the priests saw only a man and woman dressed as Galileans, and in the humblest garments. There was nothing in their appearance to attract attention, and they presented only the offering made by the poorer classes. DA 52.1
The priest went through the ceremony of his official work. He took the child in his arms, and held it up before the altar. After handing it back to its mother, he inscribed the name “Jesus” on the roll of the first-born. Little did he think, as the babe lay in his arms, that it was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. The priest did not think that this babe was the One of whom Moses had written, “A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you.” Acts 3:22. He did not think that this babe was He whose glory Moses had asked to see. But One greater than Moses lay in the priest's arms; and when he enrolled the child's name, he was enrolling the name of One who was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. That name was to be its death warrant; for the system of sacrifices and offerings was waxing old; the type had almost reached its antitype, the shadow its substance. DA 52.2
The Shekinah had departed from the sanctuary, but in the Child of Bethlehem was veiled the glory before which angels bow. This unconscious babe was the promised seed, to whom the first altar at the gate of Eden pointed. This was Shiloh, the peace giver. It was He who declared Himself to Moses as the I AM. It was He who in the pillar of cloud and of fire had been the guide of Israel. This was He whom seers had long foretold. He was the Desire of all nations, the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star. The name of that helpless little babe, inscribed in the roll of Israel, declaring Him our brother, was the hope of fallen humanity. The child for whom the redemption money had been paid was He who was to pay the ransom for the sins of the whole world. He was the true “high priest over the house of God,” the head of “an unchangeable priesthood,” the intercessor at “the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 10:21; 7:24; 1:3. DA 52.3Read in context »
With awed yet exultant spirit he searched in the prophetic scrolls the revelations of the Messiah's coming,—the promised seed that should bruise the serpent's head; Shiloh, “the peace giver,” who was to appear before a king should cease to reign on David's throne. Now the time had come. A Roman ruler sat in the palace upon Mount Zion. By the sure word of the Lord, already the Christ was born. DA 103.1
Isaiah's rapt portrayals of the Messiah's glory were his study by day and by night,—the Branch from the root of Jesse; a King to reign in righteousness, judging “with equity for the meek of the earth;” “a covert from the tempest; ... the shadow of a great rock in a weary land;” Israel no longer to be termed “Forsaken,” nor her land “Desolate,” but to be called of the Lord, “My Delight,” and her land “Beulah.” Isaiah 11:4; 32:2; 62:4, margin. The heart of the lonely exile was filled with the glorious vision. DA 103.2
He looked upon the King in His beauty, and self was forgotten. He beheld the majesty of holiness, and felt himself to be inefficient and unworthy. He was ready to go forth as Heaven's messenger, unawed by the human, because he had looked upon the Divine. He could stand erect and fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs, because he had bowed low before the King of kings. DA 103.3
John did not fully understand the nature of the Messiah's kingdom. He looked for Israel to be delivered from her national foes; but the coming of a King in righteousness, and the establishment of Israel as a holy nation, was the great object of his hope. Thus he believed would be accomplished the prophecy given at his birth,— DA 103.4
He saw his people deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins. He longed to rouse them to a holier life. The message that God had given him to bear was designed to startle them from their lethargy, and cause them to tremble because of their great wickedness. Before the seed of the gospel could find lodgment, the soil of the heart must be broken up. Before they would seek healing from Jesus, they must be awakened to their danger from the wounds of sin. DA 103.6Read in context »
Activities in Heaven
And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Isaiah 65:21, 22 ML 358.1Read in context »
Through the promised Seed, the God of Israel was to bring deliverance to Zion. “There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Isaiah 11:1; 7:14, 15. PK 695.1
“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; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:2-5, 10. PK 695.2
“Behold the Man whose name is the Branch; ... He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.” Zechariah 6:12, 13. PK 695.3Read in context »
“In that day,” says Isaiah, “there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people.... And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isaiah 11:10-12. PK 376.1
The day of deliverance is at hand. “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9. Among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, He sees men and women who are praying for light and knowledge. Their souls are unsatisfied; long have they fed on ashes. See Isaiah 44:20. The enemy of all righteousness has turned them aside, and they grope as blind men. But they are honest in heart and desire to learn a better way. Although in the depths of heathenism, with no knowledge of the written law of God nor of His Son Jesus, they have revealed in manifold ways the working of a divine power on mind and character. PK 376.2
At times those who have no knowledge of God aside from that which they have received under the operations of divine grace have been kind to His servants, protecting them at the risk of their own lives. The Holy Spirit is implanting the grace of Christ in the heart of many a noble seeker after truth, quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary to his former education. The “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9), is shining in his soul; and this Light, if heeded, will guide his feet to the kingdom of God. The prophet Micah said: “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.... He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness.” Micah 7:8, 9. PK 376.3Read in context »