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Christ's Rule
Isaiah 11:6-16
#3 New Testament Age
Book of Isaiah : Overview of BFF Contents

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The Bible Teacher's Commentary

Paul J. Bucknell

Isaiah 11:6-16 Three Interpretations
Argument #1 Word context | #2 Logical presentation
#3 Last section's timing | #4 'My holy mountain' | #5 'In that day'
Isaiah 11:6-16 Bible study questions
Isaiah Outline | Timeline | Overview | Brief Introductions
Isaiah 1-6 | 7-12 | 13-23 | 24-27 | 28-33 | 34-35 | 36-39 | 40-66

Christ's Rule: Isaiah 11:6-16

Argument #3 Timing argument of the Last days

Purpose

This timing argument of whether Isaiah 11 refers to the New Testament age is the third of five major reasons that the figurative interpretation should be used to understand Isaiah 11:6-16.

Argument #3: Last section (11:10-16) refers to the timing and whether it refers to the NT age

Isaiah 11:10 and 11:11-16 form two definite sections, each beginning with "in that day."

We will exclude discussion on chapter 12 for simplicity. Isaiah 11:10 refers to the bringing in of the Gentiles while Isaiah 11:11-16 speaks of the last renewal among the Jews. We speak firmly here because the verses and thoughts are clearly affirmed in the New Testament. In other words, their interpretations are given for us.

a) Isaiah 11:10 Bringing in the Gentiles

"Then it will come about in that day That the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious" (Isaiah 11:10, NASB).

Isaiah 11:6.  And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6, NASB).The gentiles, nations or world families coming into the kingdom of God is a very clear NT concept that needs little support. Romans and Acts both emphasize this concept but even Jesus mentioned it.

"This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them" (John 10:6).

But let us go right to the place the apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 11:10,

"And again Isaiah says, “THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE.”" (Romans 15:12).

Those that understand Romans know that Paul has spoken much on the relationship between the Jewish and Gentile brothers. Here to support his arguments, he provides four OT quotes which would gives further clarity. In other words, the nations also have a part in the work that results from the root of Jesse.

We also should note that the concept 'root of Jesse' is like a bush that has its roots coming up all over the place in the scriptures. The concept is spoken of in 11:1 and then followed up in 11:10. Again, we must admit that what happens in 11:10 is a result of what happens in 11:1-5. Christ is the banner who is lifted up and the Gentiles come unto Him and depend or trust in Him. Lastly, we will quote from a very clear statement of Jesus from Revelations 22.

I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16).

Paul is speaking about Isaiah 11:10 in Romans 15:12 and applies it to what was then happening in the NT church. He was not speaking of some distant age. Our conclusion here forces us to question whether our interpretation of 6-9 is of a far distant age.

b) Isaiah 11:11-16 Reviving of the Jews

There are several different views of the importance of the Jewish race in the New Testament age. There are two extremes:

1) The Jews are no longer considered of any significance to God because God has rejected them and gone to deal with the nations, or

2) The Jewish race is of great significance to the Lord as before so that the Gentiles must become Jews to be saved. We prefer a moderate understanding over the two extremes perspectives.

The Jewish people are important, even a bit special because of their past. God in His graciousness still has concern for the Jews, if for no other reason they are the family He started. The Lord promises to work in the Jewish nation at the end of the age. Even the Reformed theologian John Murray sees this in Romans 11.25-32.

"For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in" (Romans 11:25, NASB).

However, we are not to think that our spiritual life will again rotate around the Jews, their faith, the physical temple, etc. Some Christians are putting their trusts in the wrong areas. Instead of Christ, they are looking to the old Jewish laws to be restored.

This is not what we see here or elsewhere such as in Romans 11. The Jewish people will again be recalled to the Lord. It seems like Isaiah 11:11-12 speaks of a genuine re-gathering of the Jews in Israel. One could also interpret it figuratively where they would be called out from their punishment and into the fellowship of the Lord.

The reforming of national Israel seems to suggest a literal interpretation. This is what we wee happening each year in Israel. We see a physical regathering from many countries. However, Romans 11 suggests it will at least be a return of the hearts of the Israelite people to God, perhaps even come about at a time of rejection by the Gentiles.

Our major point is that this third section Isaiah 11:10-16 definitely refers to the New Testament era. We cannot postpone these verse to the distant millennial age. Because of this, we are not easily able to place Isaiah 11:6-9 in the remote future. God is working these prophesies out now in the New Testament age.

Next => Argument #4: The holy mountain (11:9) is new Jerusalem | Main Isaiah 11:6-16 article