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Home » Daily Readings, Old Testament, Prophets

And a Child shall lead them…

Submitted by on Tuesday, 2 December 2008One Comment
  • Reading I: Isaiah 11:1-10
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 72:1-2,17
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 10:21-24


The vision probably should be dated during the exile or at its beginning.  One of the last things the kingdom of Judah saw before being taken captive was the sight of their king being blinded and put into chains.  The mention of the "stump of Jesse" is the reminder of a decimated family that holds the royal line.  The promise that a sprout shall spring from it — which of itself is miraculous — is a prophecy about the continuation of the royal line.  Thus, the Good News Bible translates Isaiah 11:1 thus:

The royal line of David is like a royal tree that has been cut down; but just as new branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from David’s descendants.

The translation, done this way, looks more like a commentary; it does make it clear however that we are dealing here with a new beginning in the Davidic line.  The new king is described in vv. 2-5.  It is what Solomon, the son of David, could have been but was not because of his many wives and the idolatry to which these brought him.  The new king will be totally filled with the Spirit of the Lord and will reflect in his dealings with men, the kind of King Yahweh is.

The new situation that this beginning will bring about is nothing less than Edenic.   Peace is described in this prophecy as the harmony that exists between all that has been rendered inimical because of the sin of Adam.  This description actually puts the prophecy in the literary vicinity of Genesis 2.  But that is for historical critics to figure out.  The whole point of the prophecy is that with the restoration of the rightful king’s line which was broken during the Fall of Judah in the 6th c, peace will also be restored.

The connection between king and peace is ancient.  In Israel’s prophecies, this ancient connection (ante-dating even Israel) is raised to the level of revelation.  God gives peace through his chosen king, David. In the new time that He reserves for His people, the Messiah will be the harbinger of the peace — the Shalom — that He alone can give.  The paradisiac description of animals and chldren (sons of men) is an image of this peace that derives from the righteousness of the king’s regime.

Isaiah 11:1-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.
2And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness.
3And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.
4But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: land he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
5And justice shall be the girdle of his loins: and faith the girdle of his reins.
6The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them.
7The calf and the bear shall feed: their young ones shall rest together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp: and the weaned child shall thrust his hand into the den of the basilisk.
9They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all my holy mountain, for the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the covering waters of the sea.
10In that day the root of Jesse, who standeth for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.
Psalm 72:1-2,17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1A psalm on Solomon.
2Give to the king thy judgment, O God: and to the king's son thy justice: To judge thy people with justice, and thy poor with judgment.
17Let his name be blessed for evermore: his name continueth before the sun. And in him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed: all nations shall magnify him.
Luke 10:21-24
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
21In that same hour, he rejoiced in the Holy Ghost, and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight.
22All things are delivered to me by my Father; and no one knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and to whom the Son will reveal him.
23And turning to his disciples, he said: Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see.
24For I say to you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them.
Isaiah 11:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.

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