Jesse was the father of King David and so stands as the founder, the root, of David’s lineage. From David’s lineage would come Jesus Christ, often bearing the title Son of David (Mt. 1:1 et al). The prophet Isaiah spoke to a mere remnant of the nation of Judah. The Babylonians had conquered and destroyed Jerusalem, dispersed her people, and carried many into exile. The lineage of David, and thus, Jesse, was but a remnant… a mere stump of the former root. Yet, Isaiah brings a word from the Lord, a word of promise and hope. The stump is not dead; it will bring forth a shoot that will grow into a branch and that branch will bear fruit. Jesus Christ is that fruitful branch.
Jesus Christ bears fruit because the “Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him” (vs. 2) and delivers unto him wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord, a fear that shall be his delight. In a later chapter, Isaiah announces that the Spirit of the Lord has anointed this appointed one to be a preacher bringing good news to the poor, binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives, freeing those bound in prison, announcing the year of the Lord’s favor (Is. 61:1-2). Jesus would later claim the fulfillment of these verses for himself during his preaching in Nazareth (Lk. 4:16-20).
Isaiah delivers a depiction of what the fruitfulness of this branch from Jesse will be (vs. 6-9). All these images of carnivores resting among herbivores… of predators laying down amongst their prey… of children safe amid venomous serpents… all of these could be found in the Edenic Paradise where there was no eating of meat (that didn’t take place until after the Flood). In Eden, as in the fruitfulness of the branch of Jesse, animals were of no danger to each other or to humanity. Peace reigns eternal. In that day, the root of Jesse, Jesus Christ, shall stand as a banner… a signal… a rallying point… literally “something lifted up…” for Jesus, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy has promised, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself” (Jn. 12:32).
Table Talk: Discuss the similarity between the Edenic Paradise and the New Creation.
Pray: Heavenly Father, hold me in the promise of Isaiah and the promise of Jesus so that I, too, will know that peace. Amen
Isaiah 11:1-10 English Standard Version
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 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 the fear of the Lord.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9 They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.