In the light of this powerful prophetic revelation offered to us by Isaiah, in chapter 11, the first and foremost aspect for us to see and to understand, so that we may digest carefully what the prophet has shared with us here, is not only his picture of our Redeemer Himself, but also with Him, the abiding Presence of the Spirit of God resting forever on Jesus.
In His state of humiliation, in which Jesus permitted Himself to become dependent on the third Person of the Triune Godhead, the Holy Spirit, our King also became for us the truest example of steadfast and unfailingly obedient humanity.
Jesus’ example for us, is the best one which we all can choose to emulate, in our own growing dependent faith in God Almighty, living by faith and trust in Someone beyond ourselves, our own resources, or our own devices.
Isaiah’s description that follows, is a complex revelation, touching on the interaction of Jesus as the incarnated GodMan (Theanthropos), with His unique human and divine natures in hypostatic union in one Person, and His interactions with the Holy Spirit during His time on the earth, but also giving evidence of His continuous, intimate, eternal coordination with the Holy Spirit:
ISAIAH 11:2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord—
The Hebrew word used here by Isaiah, translated as “rest” in English is nuwach or nuah, conveying a basic sense of absence of movement and of being settled in a particular place with overtones of finality.
W. E. Vine, in his Expository Dictionary notes that "To rest’ can sometimes indicate a complete envelopment and thus permeation, as in the spirit of Elijah “resting” on Elisha (2 KINGS 2:15), the hand of God “resting” on the mountain (ISAIAH 25:10), and when Wisdom “rests in the heart of him that hath understanding.” (PROVERBS 14:33)
The Septuagint translates nuwach, with the Greek verb anapauo in the sense of "to settle on an object" as exemplified by the Spirit resting on believers who are reviled. (1PETER 4:14)
The Holy Spirit will rest on the Messiah (permanently; not temporarily come upon, e.g., NUMBERS 11:25, 26), a prophecy that was fulfilled at His first coming, but will also be fulfilled at His Second Coming.
This is a fascinating and somewhat mysterious statement, in view of the unity of the Trinity and yet the Gospels speak very prominently of the ongoing role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus.
While this is indeed a great mystery, Jesus' dependence on the Holy Spirit to control and empower ministry during His time on earth, should also be a great encouragement to all believers and strong motivation for each of us to seek to learn to walk by the Spirit, keeping in step with Him! (GALATIANS 5:16, EPHESIANS 5:18)
After laying the revelatory foundation that the Holy Spirit will eternally rest on the Messiah, Isaiah continues to unfold the revelation before us, showing that this is the sevenfold Spirit, Who is from the beginning and is without end!
The Holy Spirit is first and foremost, the Spirit of God, the Lord, Who as third Person of the Trinity, is co-essential with the Father and the Son, having every attribute of the Godhead within Himself.
After this firm foundation concerning His deity is laid, the prophet reveals six other amazing attributes or qualities of the Holy Spirit of God:
Spirit of Wisdom – indicating a level of discernment and discretion that can come through experience and/or revelation/insight that causes the most appropriate, or proper application, of knowledge into a particular situation, to bring about the best solution to the problems that are being faced.
Spirit of Understanding - the ability of perceive and comprehend moral, ethical, and abstract truths which can also come through both revelation and insight from the Lord, as well as experientially.
Spirit of Counsel – this attribute of applied knowledge, to strategize and to capitalize on understandings that have been retrieved, itemized, catalogued, and integrated, to form a plan, is coupled in a special way, linguistically termed a hendiadys, a figure of speech used for emphasis, where two words joined by and are used to express a single complex idea, in this case with the Spirit of Might.
Spirit of Might – once a wise plan, using insightful understanding, is properly applied with strategic precision, it must have the power or might to be acted upon – thus Counsel must have Might to move to completion and conclusion.
Spirit of Knowledge - the accumulated accrual of practical and useful facts about the material and spiritual reality in which we live, used as a resource to draw upon in addressing issues and solving problems
Spirit of Reverential and Obedient Fear of the Lord – implies a true core, intimate, experiential knowledge of God, just Who and what He is, which comes from a basic foundation of believing, saving faith in Him, serving to separate the follower of Jesus, yet also engendering respectful, honoring, reverence to the ultimate Source of all that is, and the almighty Ruler above all that is, was, or ever will be, bringing about obedient surrender of selfish, willful, thoughtless living, into selfless, passionate desire to serve Him lovingly, worship Him totally, creating within and acting out of compassionate care for all others.