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He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth

But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  (Isaiah 11:4 KJV)

Rocks broken in pieces

Isaiah saw the Messiah in a prophetic vision and spoke of Him vividly in Isaiah 11 above. He began in verse 1 to describe the fullness of the Spirit that will be upon us and continues to describe to us what He would do on the earth in verse 4. He will smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. What does this mean?

The meaning of this clause begins by recognizing that is figurative speech. Think of what it says from the natural perspective. Imagine Jesus having a rod  that comes out of His mouth. With that rod, He strikes the earth and breaks it to pieces. A parallel story that helps explain this verse is Moses striking the rock in the wilderness:

“Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water…” (Numbers 20:8 KJV)

God commanded Moses to smite the rock by speaking to it. The analogy here is to see that the rock was smitten by words. The rod of His mouth in Isaiah 11:4 above is the authority and power of the Word of God. The Lord will smite and destroy His enemies with the rod of His mouth.


What are the two metaphors in  Isaiah 11:4 above used to describe the Word of God?  Why is the Word of God called a “rod”?


Jesus is smiting the earth right now and subduing His enemies, and will complete this when He returns. How is He doing that? We are not hearing a loud voice from heaven today. He is smiting the earth and breaking His enemies to pieces through His Word at work in the lives of His people. Remember that Jesus breaks His enemies to pieces as you! (Rev. 2:26). His Word is the rod of your strength to rule! ( Ps. 110:1-2).


Ask theSpirit to help you allow the Word take root in your heart.  

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