Chapter 10 opens with a continuation from chapter 9, of judgment against the house of Israel. Throughout scripture, judgment always begins with the household of faith. In this section, the LORD's hand continues to be stretched out against Israel in judgment, as it was in chapter 9.
Indeed, verse 12 highlights the passage, saying:
Therefore it shall come to pass, when the LORD has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”
The end of chapter 10 uses trees, branches, and boughs to insert a picture into the prophecy.
Behold, the Lord,
The Lord of hosts,
Will lop off the bough with terror;
Those of high stature will be hewn down,
And the haughty will be humbled.
He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron,
And Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.
Isaiah has a lot to say about trees and branches. We see here a picture of major tree demolition. As I have said in previous posts, both Assyria and Rome cut down many, many trees when they conquered the land of Israel. This act of tree demolition will decimate a land and cause desolation. I am no scientist, but I know that trees make land thrive. They provide oxygen and shade. They stabilize the soil, prevent erosion, enhance the land's capacity to store water, and moderate air and soil temperatures.
Today you can visit Israel and see the millions and millions of trees that have been planted since the 1800s. I have had the honor of planting numerous trees in Israel.
Anyway, I digress. This prophecy about trees is directed toward the surrounding nations that have come against Israel. You do not want to be included in this indictment of the nations that come against Israel.
Chapter 11 switches gears but maintains the theme of trees. Just look at verse 1:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Yishai (Jesse), and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
- Rod - The word means a twig, a rod, a shoot. It is what comes out of a stump that has been hacked down and left for dead. Some day this shoot would grow and bear fruit.
- Yishai - This name of King David's father means I possess. His name has a far-reaching fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant. (Don't know what that is? See Genesis 15 and 17)
- Branch - the Hebrew word netzer, the origin of the name of the town of Nazareth - Branch Town - the town where the Messiah grew up and began His ministry.
In John 1:46, Nathaniel asks, "Can anything good come out of
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called:
THE LORD (YHVH) OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
We also see this theme in the New Covenant. In John 3:34 – John describes Yeshua as having the fullness of the Spirit, without limit.
Twice in Revelation, we see the seven spirits of God in Revelation (chapters 3 and 5). As I have said before, seven is the Biblical number of completeness. (I've probably said it seventy times seven).
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