After the Assyrian of the endtimes is destroyed and Israel is delivered from all her enemies, there will be peace during the reign of Him who is the Rod out of Jesse’s stem. Coming by virgin birth through David’s line, He is the Branch out of the root of Jesse, who was the father of David. The Branch of the Lord will bring all things into subjection to God and rule with the iron rod of inflexible righteousness.
This Ruler is the One who is presented in the Apocalypse as having the seven spirits of God—that is, the Holy Spirit in the sevenfold plenitude of His power. Upon Him rests (1) the Spirit of Jehovah; (2) the Spirit of wisdom; (3) the Spirit of understanding; (4) the Spirit of counsel; (5) the Spirit of might; (6) the Spirit of knowledge; and (7) the Spirit of the fear of Jehovah, which is the Spirit of reverence. We are told in John 3:34 that the Father giveth not the Spirit “by measure” to His beloved Son.
From the moment of His birth the Lord Jesus was under the controlling power of the Holy Spirit. As man on earth He chose not to act in His own omnipotence, but as the Servant of the godhead. After His baptism in the Jordan, the Spirit was seen descending on Him as a dove. This was the anointing (of which the apostle Peter spoke) in preparation for His gracious public ministry. Never for one moment was He out of harmony with the Spirit. It was this that made it possible for Him to grow in wisdom as he grew in stature, “and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
Scripture guards carefully the truths of the perfect manhood of our Lord and His true deity. Confessedly, this mystery is great: that the eternal wisdom should have so limited Himself as a man that He grew in wisdom and knowledge from childhood to physical maturity as under the tutelage of the Father; and that the Father by the Spirit revealed His will to Jesus from day to day so that He could say, “I speak not My own words, but the words of Him that sent Me.” All the works Christ wrought, He attributed to the Spirit of God who dwelt in Him in all His fullness. We see Jesus in Isaiah 11:1-5 as Jehovah’s Servant, speaking and acting according to the Father’s will. So our Lord’s judgment was inerrant and His understanding perfect.
When in God’s due time Christ takes over the reins of the government of this world, all will be equally right and just at last. David’s prophetic words will be fulfilled, for there will be “a righteous Ruler over men, a Ruler in the fear of God” (literal rendering of 2 Samuel 23:3). Earth’s long centuries of selfish misrule will come to an end, and Israel and the nations will enjoy the blessings of Messiah’s gracious and faithful sway. All wickedness will be dealt with in unsparing judgment and the meek of the earth will be protected and enter into undisturbed blessedness.
When Christ comes to rule, the curse will be lifted from the lower creation and the very nature of the beasts of the earth will be changed.
Those who attempt to spiritualize Isaiah 11:6-9 would say that the beasts here represent violent and savage men whose hearts will be changed by regeneration. But the prophet gave no hint of such an application of his words. He very definitely spoke of that which God will do for the animal kingdom when the curse is lifted. There is no hint that the prophet was speaking allegorically or that his language should not be interpreted literally.
It seems evident that when the Second Man, the last Adam, is set over this lower universe, ideal conditions will prevail on earth. The earth will be as it was before sin came in to mar God’s fair creation. Sin’s sad consequences—violence and rapine among the beasts and sickness and death among men and women—will all be undone when Christ comes, as predicted by the prophets, to be the restorer of all things. “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (see also Habakkuk 2:14).
While the millennium is not to be confused with the new heavens and the new earth, it will nevertheless be a period of wonderful blessing for those who will dwell in the world during that time. Then God will head up all things in Christ.
It is when Jesus returns in glory and, as the Branch out of the root of Jesse, fulfills the promises made to David, that all these things will come to pass. Then Jacob’s prophecy will have its glorious fulfillment: “Unto Him shall the gathering of the peoples be” (literal rendering of Genesis 49:10). In that day, we are told, God will magnify Jesus in the eyes of Israel, and the Gentiles too will seek Him.
God’s own earthly people, scattered for so long among the Gentile nations, will be gathered back to their own land. Many people think that the promises of their restoration were fulfilled long ago when a remnant returned in the days of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. But in Isaiah 11:11 we are definitely informed that “the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people” (italics added). We also learn that they will return not simply from Babylon as before, but from all the lands where they have been dispersed throughout the long centuries of their sorrow and suffering. Israel and Judah, no longer divided, will be drawn to the Lord Himself—the “ensign” to be set up in that day. They will flow together to the land of their fathers, no longer as rival nations, but as one people in glad subjection to their King and their God.
The chapter closes with details about the manner of Israel and Judah’s return. They will be assisted by nations that were once their enemies and aided by certain geographical changes. No doubt these changes will be effected at the time when the feet of our Lord stand again on the mount of Olives and a great earthquake with far-reaching results occurs as foretold in Zechariah 14.