A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: The peaceful kingdom
Through the prophet Isaiah, God uses the imagery of a vine, to tell his people that a young shoot will sprout from the old rootstock of Jesse (the father of King David), which will grow and bear fruit. This descendant of Jesse will be imbued with God’s Holy Spirit:
- Of true wisdom and of understanding,
- Of wise counsel and of power,
- Of knowledge and of fear of the Lord
and he will delight in knowing God.
Unlike many judges, this chosen descendant will not judge others according to their outward appearance. Instead he will judge those who are in need with utter fairness and he will make decisions for the poor with complete justice. His voice will be so powerful that it will strike the earth and with his very breath he will kill evil people.
In that time, natural enemies such as wolves and lambs, leopards and goats, calves and lions will live alongside each other in harmony and lie down to sleep together, with a small child leading them. The land will be holy, with no injury and destruction. Instead, the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of God, just as the waters cover the ocean bed.
The passage illustrates:
- That God has chosen someone special to achieve his purposes; Christians interpret this figure as Jesus
- That God’s future restores the earth to the innocent state it enjoyed when originally created
Big Ideas: Vine, vineyard; Dreams, visions and prophecy; Messiah, Christ, Jesus; Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, ‘Second Adam’
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, 4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. 6The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. 7The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. 9They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 10In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples - of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. 11In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. 12He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. 14But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them. 15And the Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching breath, and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals. 16And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that remains of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.
1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down 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 put his hand on the cockatrice' den. 9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. 14But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. 15And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. 16And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
Someone who conveys God's message to human beings or speaks about the future sometimes through words alone, sometimes through dramatic actions.
Old Testament prophet who lived in Jerusalem in the 7th century BCE, and prophesied under King Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. He is regarded as one of the greatest Old Testament prophets.
The Bible describes God as the unique supreme being, creator and ruler of the universe.
Figure of speech in which a person or object or happening is described in terms of some other person, object or action, either by saying X is Y (metaphor); or X is like Y (simile). In each case, X is the original, Y is the image.
Plant bearing grapes, from which wine is made. Vines, grapes and wine are referred to throughout the Bible. They aer important both literally (wine was an important drink in biblical times) and metaphorically.
Father of King David
In the Old Testament the second king of Israel, after Saul, anointed by Samuel to be king.
The third person of the Trinity (God in three persons). Came upon the disciples at Pentecost after Jesus had ascended in to heaven.
A title of respect. Used in the Old Testament as a title for God. Also used of Jesus Christ.
Name originally given to disciples of Jesus by outsiders and gradually adopted by the Early Church.
The name given to the man believed by Christians to be the Son of God. Also given the title Christ, meaning 'anointed one' or Messiah. His life is recorded most fully in the Four Gospels.