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Christ's Rule
Isaiah 11:6-16
#4 'My holy mountain'
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 #4: 'My Holy Mountain' and a Spiritual Jerusalem

Purpose

This argument of 'My holy mountain' to refer to spirtual Jerusalem is the fourth of five major reasons that the figurative interpretation should be used to understand Isaiah 11:6-16.

Arguments of Interpreting Isaiah 11:6-16

Argument #4: The holy mountain (11:9) is new Jerusalem

What does the 'holy mountain' refer to? If 11:6-9 refers to the New Testament (NT) age, then we should find this concept to be strongly embedded into the NT. Do we find a figurative picture of Isaiah 11:6-9?

We see the results of the Spirit's work in the NT, though realize it will be fully realized in the age to come. We see it in the NT age in two areas:

1) Christ's wonderful transformation of the people around Him through His Spirit-anointed ministry.

2) The kingdom of God (Heaven) where God's presence is seen in and through the church.

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).1) Christ's transformation

We first see that Christ simply transformed everything around Him. God's Spirit was released through His life into the lives of others.

As much as the other disciples opened themselves to this Spirit, the affect of Christ's rule changed their lives. We see a reverse of the curse that was put on man in the Garden of Eden where he ran from God. Now God's life is again in Him. We note that the wild animals during His temptation did not bother him.

And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. (Mark 1:13).

2) The Kingdom of God

Although some dispute the presence of the kingdom of God in the NT era, they are overrun by a number of clear scriptures. Only different unsound presumptions enable them to skip over these words. The phrase is used more than 150 times in the New Testament.

"But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all" (Mark 10:14-15).

”But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:28).

"Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

We are not saying that the kingdom of God only pertains to the church's presence on earth. Not at all, many verses show that the kingdom of God has even a more glorious display in the future. We realize that there will be a new era one day when Christ returns. Imperfections that we are familiar with now will vanish.

'My Holy Mountain' refers to the place where God reveals His glorious self. The phrase is often used in the Old Testament but only once in the New Testament from Peter.

"And we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain" (2 Peter 1:18).

From a quick viewing of the Old Testament verses, we see that 'holy mountain' refers to Mt. Zion. We might first think that it refers to Mount Sinai, but there are no verses that allude to this. Instead they start in the Psalms after Jerusalem has been clearly chosen.

”But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain” (Psalms 2:6).

”O Lord, in accordance with all Thy righteous acts, let now Thine anger and Thy wrath turn away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain; ..." (Daniel 9:16).

Jerusalem was the mountain that God chose to establish His temple and worship center. Abraham had offered up Isaac there, and God offered up His only Son, Christ Jesus there too. Although the NT does not use the phrase 'holy mountain,' it does regularly refer to a heavenly Jerusalem. Jerusalem is used as a spiritual center when it is not used in the physical sense. We see a definite switch from physical references to Jerusalem in the Gospels and Acts to a figurative place later on. Note the different descriptions of Jerusalem below.

Spiritual Jerusalem in the NT

Highlight
Comments
Full Reference
Galatians 4:25-26

the present Jerusalem, ... the Jerusalem above

The contrast shows us that with the New Testament era a spiritual Jerusalem became the new worship center. Because of the Holy Spirit, people can worship anywhere (cf. John 4). Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
Galatians 4:25-26
Hebrews 12:22

Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem

The heavenly Jerusalem is the place where God lives. Mount Zion is now a spiritual or figurative term for God's throne. Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
Hebrews 12:22
Revelation 3:12

the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

God's city is now the new Jerusalem. New is in contrast to the old. This city comes down from out of heaven. ‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
Revelation 3:12
Revelation 21:2

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

The new Jerusalem is a holy city. It comes down out of heaven from God. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:2
Revelation 21:10

the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

Jerusalem is the holy city. It again states that it comes from out of heaven, And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:10

The old holy mountain which was the earthly Jerusalem is no longer the center to meet God in. God has formed a new city, the heavenly Jerusalem, the holy city. All of these incline us to assume that things have changed. Which is Isaiah referring to when he refers to 'My holy mountain'?

From Hebrews 12:22, we must understand that the New Jerusalem is not something just in the future as far as the Christian is concerned. Instead as the scriptures clearly support, we now are part of God's rule. We are Christ's body. And so even though this city will descend from heaven one day to earth, yet it is now true and real and should greatly affect the life and perspective of every Christian.

Conclusion

In conclusion, then, we see that God's Holy Mountain is also the spiritual Jerusalem or the place where all who reside are affected by the politics of that place. It has direct connection with the kingdom of God, which is similarly present and future. Like Hebrews 12:22, we would assert that Isaiah 11:6-9 refers now to what happens to those who reside in God's holy hills.

"They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).

We are not speaking simply of those who call themselves Christians but as those people who have been with God. They have know Yahweh; they have met Him. These people who know Him are radically changed. The emphasis on 'the earth' and 'cover the sea' show that He was definitely including these people called Gentiles who were not physical Jews.

”FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM UPON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL SHALL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM" (Hebrews 8:10,11, NASB).

The 'holy mountain' then, refers both to the kingdom of Christ during His time on earth as well as when He is in heaven. There is a definite spiritual relationship.

Next => Argument #5: "In that day" | Main Isaiah 11:6-16 article