Not by appearance shall he judge,Isaiah 11:3b-5
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Like Father, Like Son
In choosing a successor to King Saul from among Jesse’s sons, God chose David, a humble shepherd boy in the fields. With a penetrating and impartial eye,
The Lord said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart.I Samuel 16:7
The final heir to King David’s throne—the blossom from the stump of Jesse—will also judge with the eye of God. Unafraid to separate the wheat from the chaff with his winnowing fork (Matthew 3:12) or to call out hypocrites, the Messiah unmasks every person.
Like Father, like Son.
A Just Judge
With Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, the poor and oppressed rejoice:
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;Luke 1:68 (Liturgy of the Hours translation)
he has come to his people and set them free.
The new shepherd-king from Jesse’s stock will guide his sheep into green pastures and protect them from evildoers (Psalm 23:4). With loins girt with tsedeq (righteousness, justice) and emunah (faithfulness, steadfastness), the Messiah “shall judge the poor with justice, and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted” (Isaiah 11:4a).