And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:…
I. The first verse of the text foretells THE BIRTH AND FAMILY OF THE MESSIAH. The Messiah was to be born of the house of David, the son of Jesse. But why is Jesse mentioned here, rather than David, his more illustrious son? Partly to point out the birthplace of the Messiah. Jesse appears always to have lived at Bethlehem, and was known as the Bethlehemite; whereas, David resided the greater part of his life at Hebron and Jerusalem. Jesse was in a more humble rank of life than Jesse's son; and so Jesus, though superior to David, as a royal king, being David's Lord, as well as David's son, yet, in the actual circumstances of His life, was nearer to the humble rank of Jesse than the royal state of David. It was also out of the stem of Jesse that the rod was to come forth — from a stem where there was nothing but stem and root remaining; not out of a noble tree, with its wide-spreading branches. "And a Branch shall grow out of his roots." It is intimated here, and elsewhere more clearly foretold, that the Branch should spring from the family of Jesse, when it was in lowly circumstances, at a time when the house of David should be much reduced, and that slender expectations should be formed of it at first, but that in process of time it should grow into a beautiful and glorious Branch. How exactly all this describes the birth and lineage of Jesus Christ. Yet was ever branch so glorious in its increase? What noble fruits have hung on that Branch l What Churches have clustered around it!
II. HIS FULL QUALIFICATIONS FOR HIS OFFICE, as described in this prediction (ver. 2). "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him." On Him was poured the unction of the Holy One in all its fulness. But, remember, the Spirit of the Lord rested on Him in His office of Mediator. Now, this is a public office, an office which Jesus sustains for the benefit of His people; and therefore the Spirit of the Lord rests upon Him for His people.
1. "The spirit of wisdom." He had wisdom in full measure. He must have had a perfect comprehension of God in His nature, qualities, attributes, works, and Ways; He must have had a thorough understanding of the only method by which wretched man could be saved; He must have known what was in the mind of man, for He answered the Pharisees and Sadducees, and knew the difficulties and doubts of His disciples, even before they gave them utterance in words. How wise were all His provisions for His Church! How wise to win souls was Jesus Christ! And remember He has wisdom for you.
2. "The spirit of understanding." This is enlarged on in the following verse. The Saviour had a quickness in understanding what might be for the glory or dishonour of His heavenly Father. No tinsel could hide from Him the foul deformity of sin; no hypocrisy could yell from Him the pride and corruption of the Pharisee. When Satan came with his temptations, and baited his snare with all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory, Christ instantly understood the deceit, and, "Get thee hence, Satan," was His indignant language.
3. "The spirit of counsel." "This," says our prophet, "is the name whereby He shall be called, Wonderful Counsellor." Christ is able to give the wisest counsel in the kindest manner. He has advice suited to every case. He counsels the sinner. He says to the Church in a Laodicean state, "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich." He counsels the Christian warrior how to maintain the fight against sin with persevering faith.
4. "The spirit of might." He is a Lamb in meekness; He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah in strength. His work required a very undaunted spirit, and He never quaked with fear, nor trembled with alarm. And He has the spirit of might for you also.
5. "The spirit of knowledge." In Christ dwells all knowledge — the knowledge of Jehovah, His heavenly Father, of His holy will, His righteous claims, the blessedness of knowing God as Father. And this same knowledge of His Father He is able to impart to you.
6. "And of the fear of the Lord." "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and it is also one of the highest attainments of wisdom, and one of the best effects of the Holy Spirit on the heart.
(J. Hambleton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
WEB: A shoot will come out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots will bear fruit.