11:1 stem of Jesse. The “rod out of the stem of Jesse” is actually a “shoot out of the stump of Jesse.” Jesse was, of course, the father of King David, so the prophecy indicates that the family “tree” coming from Jesse would be eventually be cut down (note Jeremiah 22:30). Later, a new branch would somehow rise out of the dead stump. This was fulfilled in the virgin birth of Jesus, the greater Son of David.
11:1 Branch. On the Branch, as a name of Christ, see note on Isaiah 4:2.
11:4 the wicked. “The wicked” is “the Wicked [One],” the final world ruler known as “that man of sin” (II Thessalonians 2:3,8).
11:6 with the lamb. In the original creation, all animals were herbivorous (Genesis 1:30), and these conditions will be restored in the coming kingdom age, when Christ returns.
11:8 cockatrice. This old English word referred to a legendary serpent hatched from a cock’s egg, but the Hebrew word could mean any poisonous viper or adder.
11:9 not hurt nor destroy. Even carnivorous animals can, if necessary, survive on herbivorous diets, as they were originally created to do. In the age to come, environmental conditions and plant nutrients will be so changed as to implement this practice once again, and there will be no more bloodshed, in nature, even among the animals.
11:10 root of Jesse. See note on Isaiah 11:1.
11:11 second time. This prophecy, given even before Israel’s first exile, predicts a future return from their second exile, a return which has been under way ever since the reestablishment of the Jews in their ancient homeland, beginning shortly after World War I. The first return would be under the Persian emperor Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28).
11:11 Shinar. Shinar was the location of Babylon (Genesis 10:10). That Jews will be living in Babylon in the last days is one indication that Babylon will be rebuilt in that period (see notes on Zechariah 5:11; Revelation 17:5).
11:12 from the four corners. The Jews are to be regathered not only from nearby nations (as in Isaiah 11:11), but from the four quarters (better rendering than “corners”) of the earth. This obviously refers not to the Babylonian captivity but to the worldwide dispersion of A.D. 135.
11:16 shall be a highway. See note on Isaiah 19:23.