A child leads them all
Twig from David’s family tree1
From the stump of King David’s family tree,
From the roots of his father Jesse,
A twig will sprout. 
Giving him wisdom and insight,
Gifts of a counselor,  and actions of a hero.
He’ll be savvy about life,
Respectful toward the LORD.
3He honors God with respect,
And is delighted to do it.
He won’t judge people by how they look.
He won’t decide based on what they say.
4He’ll treat the poor to goodness.
He’ll show them what fairness looks like.
But he’s going to shake the world with his words.
And he’ll sentence the wicked to death.
5He’ll wrap his waist in the belt of goodness.
It’s the symbol of someone to trust.
Then wolves and lambs will live in peace,
With leopards and goats
Lions and cows.
And a child will lead them all.
Their young sleep side by side,
As lions and oxen share the straw.
8A breast-fed baby will play on the ground,
By the hole to the home of a cobra.
A curious child will push his hand
Deep into that hole in the ground.
9No one hurts another,
Not in my holy presence.
For I’ll fill this world
With knowledge of who I am
Like water fills the sea.
It’s time to come home10When that day comes, the former sprout from the root of Jesse’s family tree will stand tall enough for the whole world to see him. People everywhere will come looking for him, in the glorious place where he lives. 11When that time comes, God will extend his hand. He’ll reach out one more time to reclaim his people and welcome them home. They’ll come from Assyria, Egypt, and Pathros.  They’ll come from Ethiopia, Elam, Babylon and Hamath, and from coastlands beside the sea.
God will signal the nations
For exiles to come back home.
Israel’s banished, Judah’s scattered,
Return from the far corners of Earth.
No longer jealous  of the south.
And Judah’s lead tribe in Judah’s land—
No longer hostile to the north.
14They’ll join forces and swing to the west
Swooping down on Philistine  towns.
Then they’ll march east,
Take Edom and Moab, 
And convince Ammonites to do as they’re told.
15The LORD will dry a stretch of Egypt’s water. 
And with the wind from the sweep of his hand,
He’ll clear a path across the Euphrates River.
He’ll snap it seven ways, into seven streams
So people can cross wearing sandals.
16They’ll be a highway there to here,
From Assyria, for God’s scattered people.
A highway like one from Egypt
For Israelite refugees coming home.
Many Christians and Jews say this is a prophecy about a coming messiah—a good and heroic king who will restore Israel to her glory days and make it even better. Christians have a hard time not seeing Jesus in this chapter. References to his character, his brave actions, and his influence throughout the world for these 2,000 years seem reflected in the symbols and metaphors we read. Many Jews, however, say they read this chapter literally. Some say the long-awaited Messiah, a savior-king from King David’s family, hasn’t come yet. As evidence, they site some of the prophecies not yet fulfilled: a wolf still eats a lamb (11:6). Even in human terms, the rich often feed on the poor. Yet among the followers of Jesus, the rich are taught to share with the poor. Some do. And others who know the Lord’s Prayer smell like lambchops.
“His name is Wonderful Advisor” (9:6).
Locations in this verse represent much of the Middle East around Israel. Pathros was a region in southern Egypt. Ethiopia, also called Cush, was even further south. Assyria was based in what is now northern Iraq. It’s where the northern Jewish nation was exiled to live during Isaiah’s day, in the 700s BC. Babylonians were based in what is now southern Iraq. It’s where the southern Jewish nation was exiled in 586 BC. Hamath is one of the oldest cities in Syria, home to Canaanites in Old Testament times.
Jews in the northern nation of Israel were jealous of the Temple King Solomon built in Jerusalem. They knew they were missing out on worshiping at the place their ancestor David selected in what Moses ordered as the one-and-only place to worship God. “The LORD your God will choose one worship center for the entire nation of Israel” (Deuteronomy 12:5). Jews in the northland set up what sounds like worship centers with idols (1 Kings 12:26-30).
David had subjugated the historically hostile and militant Philistines in about 1000 BC. That’s several centuries before Isaiah, who lived until about 700 BC. But Philistines were still around. They lingered another century before they were assimilated into local cultures and lost their distinctiveness.
The three nations east of the Jordan River stretch along the full boundary of the united Israel: Ammon in the north, Moab in the middle, and Edom in the south.
The Hebrew word is yam, which often means “sea,” but can also mean a river, lake, seashore. So it’s unclear if the writer was referring to the Nile River, the reed-laced lakes in Egypt’s northland, or the Red Sea’s Gulf of Suez. It’s a fair guess, though, that the writer wanted readers to remember God parting the waters for Moses and the Israelites on their rushed escape from Egyptian slavery.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.