Isaiah 11: The Root of Jesse

(16 verses, 3:15 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Isaiah 11 is a prophecy of the coming of Christ and the establishment of His eternal kingdom, the Church.


  • vv. 1-5 describe the life and ministry of the Christ.
  • vv. 6-9 describe the eternal condition of the Church at the second coming of Christ.
  • vv. 10-16 describe the uniting of the faithful into one body and the destruction of the wicked.


  • In the description of the life and ministry of Jesus, Isaiah calls Jesus “a shoot from the stump of Jesse.” This tells us that Jesus’ coming is only by God’s goodness and mercy toward mankind. With the Davidic line being cut off to the stump, God resurrects the line of Jesse by sending the true fulfillment of the promise He made to David in II Samuel 7: “Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come form your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” These words are not fulfilled in Solomon, but are fulfilled in Christ. Solomon is a shadow of the root of Jesse that is to come.
  • Notice the strong emphasis on the character of Christ as described by Isaiah. He does not judge by what his eyes see. This is reminiscent of how the Lord did not look upon the outward appearance when choosing David as king in I Samuel 16. As is the Father, so is the Son! This is a clear prophecy stating that it will be God in the flesh who fulfills this promise.
  • His words are described in violent terms, too. This shows the ultimate power of God’s Word as a word that kills (the Law) and makes alive again (the Gospel).
  • Notice the repeated phrase “in that day” (vv. 10-11). This refers to the day of the Lord, when the Messiah will come to rescue His people. While this certainly includes the faithful of Israel, it is interesting to note that there will be saints gathered into the Church from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the coastlands of the seas. These are Gentile regions in the time of Isaiah, which indicates that the coming Messiah comes to rescue all mankind from sin and death. This portion ought to remind us of the Nunc Dimittis (Simeon’s song from Luke 2), where we sing, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy Word. For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel.” This Messiah is Jesus, the signal for the peoples.
  • This day of the Lord will also be marked by the destruction of the enemies of the Church. These are represented by Israel’s traditional enemies: the Philistines, the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites. For us, this includes the complete destruction of death and the devil. Because of the suffering and death of Jesus, we no longer need to fear these enemies.


  • Prayer: Heavenly Father, though we were cut off from the True Vine that is Christ, You have graciously grafted us in to become living branches. Cause us to bear fruit in keeping with repentance, even as you continue to put the sinful flesh to death in the waters of Holy Baptism. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

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