And the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb
This, and the three following verses ( Isaiah 11:7-9 ) , describe the peaceableness of the Messiah's kingdom; and which the Targum introduces in this manner,
``in the days of the Messiah of Israel, peace shall be multiplied in the earth.''The wild and tame creatures shall agree together, and the former shall become the latter; which is not to be understood literally of the savage creatures, as if they should lose their nature, and be restored, as it is said, to their paradisiacal estate, which is supposed to be the time of the restitution of all things; but figuratively of men, comparable to wild creatures, who through the power of divine grace, accompanying the word preached, shall become tame, mild, meek, and humble; such who have been as ravenous wolves, have worried Christ's sheep, made havoc of them, breathing out slaughter and threatenings against them, as did Saul, through converting grace, become as gentle and harmless as lambs, and take up their residence in Christ's fold, and dwell with, yea, some of them even feed, Christ's lambs and sheep, as the above mentioned person: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
such who are like the leopard, for the fierceness of his nature, and the variety of his spots; who can no more change their hearts and their actions, than that creature can change its nature and its spots; are so wrought upon by the power of divine grace, as to drop their rage against the saints, alter their course of life, and attend on the word and ordinances, lie down beside the shepherds' tents, where the church feeds her kids, or young converts: and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
either dwell and feed together, or lie down together, or walk together, since it follows: and a little child shall lead them;
become through the grace of God so tractable, that they shall be led, guided, and governed by the ministers of the Gospel, Christ's babes and sucklings, to whom he reveals the great things of his Gospel, and out of whose mouths he ordains praise. Bohlius F1 interprets this little child of Christ himself, by whom they should be led and directed, see ( Isaiah 9:6 ) and the following passages are referred to the times of the Messiah by the Jewish writers F2; and Maimonides F3 in particular observes, that they are not to be understood literally, as if the custom and order of things in the world would cease, or that things would be renewed as at the creation, but in a parabolical and enigmatical sense; and interprets them of the Israelites dwelling safely among the wicked of the nations of the world, comparable to the wild beasts of the field. (This verse may apply to the future state when all things will be restored to their original state before man fell. By Adam's sin, death and bloodshed were introduced into the creation. ( Romans 5:12 ) . In the final state these will be removed and the wild nature of animals become tame. Editor.)
F1 Comment. Bibl. Rab. in Thesaur. Dissert. Philolog. par. 1. p. 752.
F2 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 25. 3. Baal Hatturim in Deut. 11. 25.
F3 Hilchot Melachim, c. 12. sect. 1. & Moreh Nevochim, par 3. c. 11. p. 354.