The Old Testament Lesson for this Sunday is from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The text is Isaiah 11:1-10 and provides us with an Advent text capturing the beauty, excitement and reality of both the first coming of the Messiah and the second coming. The text divides in the middle, with the first five verses prophesying the coming of Christ into the flesh of man (His incarnation), while verses 6-10 speak of the final coming and the restoration of Creation and the people of God to the presence of the LORD.

These verses also contain a plethora of theological information which has been well noted by many theologians. Chemnitz shows how verse 1 is a declaration of the two natures of Christ. The roots which nourish the stump of Jesse (also vs. 10) point to the divine nature. The shoot coming forth from the stump points to the human nature. Both of these natures are present in the Son of God. This verse also brings to mind the “Seed” of Genesis 3:15 and the, “Holy Seed that is in the stump,” of Isaiah 6:13. Obviously, a very direct Messianic reference.

Furthermore, we note the “7-fold spirit” of verse two which shows up again in Revelation and was part of the older confirmation rite of the Church. Then there is the presence of Trinitarian language. Isaiah frequently speaks of the Trinity and the two natures of the coming Messiah in this way: “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him.” Obviously, the word “Trinity” does not appear in Scripture but the idea of “three in one” manifests itself in various verses.

Finally, the theology of the restoration of creation and mankind is picked up beginning in verse 6. Some scholars maintain this is in reference to the restoration of the people/nation of Israel, but the words indicate an even greater truth of which this restoration points to. It is nothing less than the restoration of relationship between God and man, with man being restored to the presence of God at the marriage feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom.

11:1 חֹטֶר (Cho-ter) “shoot; twig; rod”

מִגֵּזַע (mig-Ge-za) from גזע (“stump; stock”

וְנֵצֶר (ve-Ne-tzer) “sprout; shoot; off-shoot”

מִשָּׁרָשָׁיו (mish-sha-ra-Shav) from vr<vo (sheh-resh) “root; Lit.: out of his roots”

יִפְרֶה (yif-Reh) root: פרה (paw-raw) Qal: “to be fruitful; to bear fruit; will grow”

*Note the language of “shoot; stump; root.” This is common when referring to the Messiah. Jeremiah uses the language of “righteous branch” and many talk about the “seed.”

11:2 וּבִינָה (u-vi-Nah) “understanding”

עֵצָהe (e-Tzah) “advice; counsel”

וּגְבוּרָה (u-ge-vu-Rah) “might; strength; valor”

דַּעַת: (Da-at) “understanding; discernment; wisdom; knowledge”

וְיִרְאַת. (ve-yir-At) “reverence; fear”

11:3 וַהֲרִיחוֹ (va-ha-ri-Cho) root: רוח (roo-akh) Hiphil: “to delight in; to smell”

לְמִשְׁמַע (le-mish-Ma) “rumor; a thing heard”

יוֹכִיחַ (yo-Chi-ach) root: יכח (yaw-kahh) Hiphil: “to decide; to judge; to rebuke”

11:4 דַּלִּים (dal-Lim) from: דּל (dal) “helpless; weak; poor; reduced”

בְּמִישׁוֹר (be-mi-Shor) “fairness; equity; justice; uprightness”

לְעַנְוֵי. (le-an-vei) from: ענו (aw-nawv) “bowed; burdened; poor; weak; meek”

יָמִית (ya-Mit) root: מות (mooth) Hiphil: “to kill; to destroy; to cause to be dead”

11:5 אֵזוֹרe (e-Zor) “waistcloth; loincloth”

מָתְנָיו (ma-te-Nav) “hips; loins”

וְהָאֱמוּנָה> (ve-ha-e-mu-Nah) “trustworthiness; trust; faithfulness”

חֲלָצָיו (cha-la-Tzav) “loins; waist”

11:6 וְגָר (ve-Gar) root: גור (goor) Qal: “to sojourn; to dwell as an alien”

זְאֵב (ze-Ev) “wolf”

וְנָמֵר> (ve-na-Mer) “leopard; panther”

גְּדִי (ge-Di) “kid; young goat”

יִרְבָּץ (yir-Batz) Qal: “to rest; to lie down”

וְעֵגֶל (ve-E-gel) “young bull; ox; calf”

וּכְפִיר (u-che-Fir) “young lion; lion”

וּמְרִיא (u-me-Ri) “fattened calf; fattened steer; fatling”

יַחְדָּו: (yach-Dav) “together”

קָטֹן (ka-Ton) “young one; young; small”

נֹהֵג (no-Heg) Qal: “to lead; to drive”

11:7 וּפָרָה (u-fa-Rah) “cow”

וָדֹב (va-Do) “bear”

יַלְדֵיהֶן: (yal-dei-Hen) from: ילד< (yeh-led) “child; young animal”

וְאַרְיֵה (ve-ar-Yeh) “lion”

תֶּבֶן, (Te-ven) “straw; chaff; crushed stalks”

11:8 וְשִׁעֲשַׁע (ve-shi-a-Sha) root: שׁעע (shaw-ah) Pilpolel: “to take delight in; to sport; to play; to enjoy oneself; to delight”

יוֹנֵק (yo-Nek) “nursing child; babe; suckling”

חֻרu (chur) “hole”

פָּתֶן (Pa-ten) “a venomous serpent; a horned viper; cobra”

מְאוּרַת. (me-u-Rat) “den; hole; (fiery coals)”

צִפְעוֹנִי (tzif-o-Ni) “poisonous snake; viper; serpent; adder”

גָּמוּל (ga-Mul) Qal: “to wean; to wean a child”

הָדָה (ha-Dah) Qal: “to stretch out; to put out”

11:9 יָרֵעוּ (ya-Re-u) root: רעע (raw-ah) Hiphil: “to do evil; to do harm; to treat poorly; to hurt; to harm”

דֵּעָה (de-Ah) “wisdom; knowledge”

11:10 שֹׁרֶשׁ (Sho-resh) “root”

לְנֵס (le-Nes) from: נס (nace) “signal; standard; ensign”

מְנֻחָתוֹ. (me-nu-cha-To) “resting place; rest”

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Additional Resources:

Concordia Theology-Various helps from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to assist you in preaching Isaiah 11:1-10.

Text Week-A treasury of resources from various traditions to help you preach Isaiah 11:1-10.