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Isaiah 11:2

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And the Spirit of the Lord - The Spirit of Yahweh. Chaldee, ‹And there shall rest upon him the spirit of prophecy from before Yahweh.‘ In the previous verse, the prophet had announced his origin and his birth. In this, he proceeds to describe his extraordinary endowments, as eminently holy, pure, and wise. There can be no doubt that reference is here had to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the sacred Trinity, as descending upon him in the fullness of his influences, and producing in him perfect wisdom, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. The Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon him - a Spirit producing wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, etc. All these are lit the Scriptures traced to the agency of the Holy Spirit; see 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.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 223-4

The Messiah was to be of the royal line, for in the prophecy uttered by Jacob the Lord said, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” Genesis 49:10. AA 223.1

Isaiah prophesied: “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” “Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” Isaiah 11:1; 55:3-5. AA 223.2

Jeremiah also bore witness of the coming Redeemer as a Prince of the house of David: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.” And again: “Thus saith the Lord: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.” Jeremiah 23:5, 6; 33:17, 18. AA 223.3

Even the birthplace of the Messiah was foretold: “Thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. AA 223.4

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 56

So it is still. Events upon which the attention of all heaven is centered are undiscerned, their very occurrence is unnoticed, by religious leaders, and worshipers in the house of God. Men acknowledge Christ in history, while they turn away from the living Christ. Christ in His word calling to self-sacrifice, in the poor and suffering who plead for relief, in the righteous cause that involves poverty and toil and reproach, is no more readily received today than He was eighteen hundred years ago. DA 56.1

Mary pondered the broad and far-reaching prophecy of Simeon. As she looked upon the child in her arms, and recalled the words spoken by the shepherds of Bethlehem, she was full of grateful joy and bright hope. Simeon's words called to her mind the prophetic utterances of Isaiah: “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 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 righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.... For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 11:1-5; 9:2-6. DA 56.2

Yet Mary did not understand Christ's mission. Simeon had prophesied of Him as a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as a glory to Israel. Thus the angels had announced the Saviour's birth as tidings of joy to all peoples. God was seeking to correct the narrow, Jewish conception of the Messiah's work. He desired men to behold Him, not merely as the deliverer of Israel, but as the Redeemer of the world. But many years must pass before even the mother of Jesus would understand His mission. DA 56.3

Mary looked forward to the Messiah's reign on David's throne, but she saw not the baptism of suffering by which it must be won. Through Simeon it is revealed that the Messiah is to have no unobstructed passage through the world. In the words to Mary, “A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,” God in His tender mercy gives to the mother of Jesus an intimation of the anguish that already for His sake she had begun to bear. DA 56.4

“Behold,” Simeon had said, “this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.” They must fall who would rise again. We must fall upon the Rock and be broken before we can be uplifted in Christ. Self must be dethroned, pride must be humbled, if we would know the glory of the spiritual kingdom. The Jews would not accept the honor that is reached through humiliation. Therefore they would not receive their Redeemer. He was a sign that was spoken against. DA 56.5

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 103

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 103.6

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 695

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 695.3

A fountain was to be opened “for sin and for uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1); the sons of men were to hear the blessed invitation: PK 695.4

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