(Has this already happened too?)

The following was a question from a pastor in Virginia:

"I have a question for you. What is the deal with the wolf and lamb dwelling together in Isaiah 11 & 65? I know it is not literal, but what is the significance of this picture of animals at peace?"

As we both know, God felt very free to use many metaphors to describe men. For example, men are referred to as trees: Men are also referred to as waves: And even with more frequency, men are referred to as animals: More specifically, within this category of beasts, men are referred to as different kinds of animals: We must remember, false teachers are referred to as wolves and goats. Particularly, here are some passages that show the wolf as a false teacher: It is also clear that God's people are often referred to as lambs or sheep: What really seems to explain the passages in Isaiah 11 and 65 are these two passages. The first is quite long but very helpful: The second is equally helpful in identifying what I believe to be the significance of Isaiah 11 and 65: Therefore, my conclusion is that Isaiah represents the time in which Messiah would come to save His people from the animals that devoured them, which were the ravenous wolfen Pharisees. Jesus spoke of the Pharisees appropriately: One of the main characteristics of the Pharisees was that they tried to use the law against the people of God, thus imposing heavy burdens upon them without so much as lifting a finger themselves. David spoke of these enemies of God describing the force of their tongues: This prayer of David comes as no surprise when we consider his failure with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. The wicked and self-righteous Jews probably had a great time bringing the law against David to condemn him. They continued this until their destruction in AD 70. The adulterous woman was a great example of their devouring qualities. This is precisely how Satan was used as the accuser of the brethren. The problem under the OC was that every accusation that Satan brought through the ravenous wolves was a valid accusation. For God's people were under the curse of the law of sin and death. Therefore, what we see under the NC is the accuser of the brethren cast down, for he and his beastly follower can no longer lay a charge against God's elect. They cannot bite and devour us. We are safe from their accusations because Christ has removed the curse of sin and death. We are no longer a prey for them to devour: The little child leading them simply could be referring to the ruling nature of Christians over the world. The passage also speaks of the little child in proximity to the snake: Under the OC God's people would be swayed and cut by the devouring and accusatory words of the self-righteous. They could never respond with the righteousness of Christ, for that eternal sacrifice had not been made. Concerning the cockatrice in verse 11, not only did Jesus and John the Baptist identify the Pharisees as offspring of vipers, Isaiah also described their characteristics in this long passage: So the little child in Isaiah is very possibly representing the little child of God being frail and vulnerable, often not knowing the dangers of false teaching, nevertheless safe from the venom of false teaching. We seem to be very good examples of this having come from Arminianism to the truth of the unconditional and free grace of God.

The other possible interpretation is that all the beasts represented in Isaiah 11 are referring to the uniting of the Jews and the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, and that in Christ Jesus there is no difference. We are all one in the body of Christ. Isaiah 2 prophesied that their would be no more war under the Messianic reign. Ephesians says that not only is there peace with God, there is also peace with each other, specifically that the middle wall of partition has been broken down between Jew and Gentile. This peace treaty brought about by the the precious blood of Christ could very well be that which we see in Isaiah 11 as it also says, "they shall neither hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain." This mountain corresponds directly with Isaiah 2:

Both interpretations have strong arguments. However, the greatest argument showing the fulfillment of Isaiah 11 is found in Romans 15: It says that Jesus Christ was a confirm the promises made unto the fathers. Luke says the same thing: Paul in Romans then proceeds to show several promises made to the fathers. One of these promises comes from Isaiah 11: Both of these elements (the Root of Jesse and the Gentiles trusting in Him) are found in Isaiah. But what is interesting is that one of the elements is found in Isaiah 11:1: The other element is found in verse 10: This is very interesting because Paul says both are fulfilled through faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore all the elements in Isaiah 11:2-9 would also need to be fulfilled if vv.1 and 10 were fulfilled in Christ. This maintains strength hermeneutically concerning Biblical history, grammar, and context.