11 But on this humbled ground, a tiny shoot, hopeful and promising,
will sprout from Jesse’s stump;
A branch will emerge from his roots to bear fruit.
2 And on this child from David’s line, the Spirit of the Eternal One will alight and rest.
By the Spirit of wisdom and discernment
He will shine like the dew.
By the Spirit of counsel and strength
He will judge fairly and act courageously.
By the Spirit of knowledge and reverence of the Eternal One,
3 He will take pleasure in honoring the Eternal.
He will determine fairness and equity;
He will consider more than what meets the eye,
And weigh in more than what he’s told.
4 So that even those who can’t afford a good defense
will nevertheless get a fair and equitable judgment.
With just a word, He will end wickedness and abolish oppression.
With nothing more than the breath of His mouth, He will destroy evil.
5 He will clothe himself with righteousness and truth;
the impulse to right wrongs will be in his blood.
With unwavering steps and integrity uncompromised, He will establish peace.
6 A day will come when the wolf will live peacefully beside the wobbly-kneed lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
The calf and yearling, newborn and slow, will rest secure with the lion;
and a little child will tend them all.
7 Bears will graze with the cows they used to attack;
even their young will rest together,
and the lion will eat hay, like gentle oxen.
8-9 Neither will a baby who plays next to a cobra’s hole
nor a toddler who sticks his hand into a nest of vipers suffer harm.
All my holy mountain will be free of anything hurtful or destructive,
for as the waters fill the sea,
The entire earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Eternal.
10 Then on that day, that root from Jesse’s line
will stand as a signal for the peoples of the world
Who will come to Him seeking guidance and direction;
and glory will be restored to the land where He resides.[a]
11 At that time, my Lord will reach out and gather in the remnant of His scattered people a second time. God’s people, those who had been defeated and exiled, will make their way back from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the islands of the sea.
12 When God raises a signal, the whole world will hear the news
of how He is assembling the people He had banished,
Gathering those scattered from Judah from across the whole wide earth.
There are no capricious acts with God. God, and no one else, is the undoing of Israel. He may use Assyria as His agent to chastise the people of Judah for their wrongdoing, but judgment is never God’s last move. When God judges—when God punishes—He does so for a reason. His judgment is always measured, finite, and based on His covenant loyalty. God takes no delight in His people’s suffering; but sometimes, tragically, it is necessary. Willful ignorance and blatant disregard for God and others cannot be ignored. In the end, God’s purpose is to repair a world deeply injured by sin and its consequences. So His next move is to rescue and restore His covenant partners. Reconciliation and grace always follow destruction.
13 At that time Ephraim will no longer envy Judah,
those who afflict Judah will be brought down,
For those groups who had been at odds with each other—
envy and hostility will end.
14 But they will join forces against those who threaten them,
swooping down on the slopes of Philistia in the west,
Plundering and prevailing over the nations in the east who oppressed them:
Edom, Moab, and Ammon.
15 And the Eternal will make it easy,
so easy for God’s people to return from Egypt and Assyria.
He will create a swath of dry land through the gulf of Egypt’s sea;
with a wave of His hand, He will blow a scorching wind
Over the Euphrates—breaking it up into seven streams—
so the people can cross it in their sandals.
16 He will build a highway for the remnant of His people as they leave Assyria behind,
just as He did for the Israelites when they left the land of Egypt.[b]