The Lord Sets His Hand Again: Thoughts on Isaiah 11:11-12

I’ve always wondered about Isaiah 11:11-12. I’ve wondered whether verse 11 describes a different event than verse 12 and wondered about the specific timing that these verses will be fulfilled.

“(11) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. (12) And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:11-12)

After much study, I am ready to present my findings on Isaiah 11:11-12. In this article, I will show that Isaiah 11:11-12 will find its fulfillment during the end times.

Isaiah 11:11-12 Overview

Isaiah 11:11 mentions that the “Lord shall set his hand again”. The word “again” implies that the Lord has set His hand before. Many Bible commentators believe that the first time the Lord set His hand to recover the Israelites was when He rescued them from Egypt (as Isaiah 11 was written before the Babylonian captivity). The “second time” the Lord is going to recover the remnant of His people will transpire during the end times. The specific time when the Lord is going to set His hand during the end times is a key issue to address.

Isaiah 11:11-12 & Isaiah 49:22

Isaiah 11:12 mentions that the Lord “shall set up an ensign for the nations” and that the remnant of Israel scattered throughout the world shall be assembled. Meanwhile, Isaiah 49:22 mentions that the Lord is going to lift His hand to the Gentiles and set up an ensign in an effort to bring back the remnant of Israel. The nations will respond to the Lord lifting His hand and setting up an ensign (standard) by transporting the remnant of Israel back to their land:

“Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” (Isaiah 49:22)

I believe Isaiah 49:22 describes the same recovery process as Isaiah 11:11-12 since the verse mentions that the Lord will use His Hand (Isaiah 11:11) and set up an ensign (Isaiah 11:12). Both actions ultimately lead to the recovery of the remnant of Israel from the nations where they were scattered:

“Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” (Isaiah 49:22)

“(11) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. (12) And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:11-12)

The events of Isaiah 11:11-12 and Isaiah 49:22 describe the events following Armageddon. We can see this by considering Isaiah 66:19-20 (a post-Armageddon passage) and Isaiah 60:1-9. These passages describe the defeated Gentiles reacting to the ensign (and the Lord’s lifted hand) by transporting the Gentiles back to Israel:

“(19) And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. (20) And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.” (Isaiah 66:19-20)

“(1) Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (2) For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (3) And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. (4) Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. (5) Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. (6) The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. (7) All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. (8) Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? (9) Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.” (Isaiah 60:1-8)

The Highway of Isaiah 11:16

Isaiah 11:16 and Isaiah 35:8-10 speak of a “way of holiness” that the remnant of Israel located in Egypt and Assyria will use to return to Israel following their redemption:

And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” (Isaiah 11:16)

“(8) And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. (9) No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: (10) And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:8-10)

I believe the highway will be created following the events of the seventh vial judgment, which will knock down every mountain on Earth:

“(17) And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. (18) And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. (19) And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. (20) And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” (Revelation 16:17-20)

The main reason why I believe the highway will form following the event of the seventh vial judgment is that Isaiah 40:1-4 (a passage which saw its first fulfillment with the first coming of Christ (Matthew 3:1-3) indicates that a desert highway is going to form at a time when every mountain and hill is going to be brought low:

“(1) Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (2) Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. (3) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (4) Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:” (Isaiah 40:1-4)

Isaiah 49:10-13 suggests that similar highways may exist to guide people to the land of Israel from around the world:

“(10) They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. (11) And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. (12) Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.” (Isaiah 49:10-12)

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this article on Isaiah 11:11-12 insightful. The passage definitely relates to the end time gathering of the people of Israel from the nations following the events of Armageddon.

If you would like to read more about the gathering of the people of Israel from the nations, click this link for my article on the Valley of the Dry Bones Prophecy: Is the Valley of Dry Bones Prophecy Fulfilled?

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Wayne Croley
Wayne Croley

Hi! I’ve studied and written about Bible prophecy since I was a teenager. My goal is to make Bible prophecy easy for you to understand while avoiding the sensationalism seen elsewhere. I am the author of several end time books, including Prophecy Proof Insights on the End Times, a comprehensive book about the end times. I hold an M.B.A. and degrees in Managerial Economics and Political Science.


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  1. I believe God is waking up his chosen elect and see the world for what it truly is and know who’s running the show I believe we are living in the days of Noah and the stage is being set the veil is being lifted.keep your lamps full My brothers and sisters love you all

  2. The Bible predicts that Israel will experience two world wide, end time, regatherings to the Promise Land.

    The first worldwide ragathering will be a return of unbelief in preparation for the Tribulation.

    The second worldwide gathering will be a return in faith at the end of the tribulation, in preparation for the blessing of the millennium (1,000 year reign of Christ)

    Several OT passages highlight a return of Jews in spiritual unbelief as a prelude to the discipline of the tribulation period (Ezek 22:17-22; Zeph 2:1-2) but here is a key Ot passage that deals with both world wide regatherings.

    Isa 11:11-12: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
    12And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

    Isaiah mentions this is the second regathering which begs the obvious question “When did the first one occur?” Some maintain this was the Babylonia return form exile that started in 536 BC. However, this return was not worldwide as described in Isa 11:11-12.

    Since Israel will experience two worldwide returns from exile, it seems as if the present worldwide return of the Jews to Isreal must be in fulfillment for the first international regathering of Israel.

    B. Second, the Bible predicts that Israel’s intial regathering will occur in pahses, or stages.

    In 70 AD, the land of Israel, the city of Jerusalem, and the Jewish temple were crushed under the heel of Roman domination. Since that time, the Jews have been scattered all over the world.

    God’s warning of worldwide exile in Deut 28:64-66 has been lieerally, geographically fulfilled over the last 1900 years.

    Deut 28:64-66 – And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
    65And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:
    66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

    But as we have seen the Bible predicts that Israel will be regathered to the land in the end times. Scripture that this regathering will be in stages. It is portrayed in as a process for it will take some time to regather and resettle the land.

    Ezekeil 37:1-14 – The Valley of Dry Bones

    Ezekiel sees a graveyard vision illustration the national restoration, regeneration, and return of the “whole house of Israel” (37:11).

    First, Israel is restored physically. The physical restoration is pictured by the coming together of bones, flesh, and skin to become a complete body. Piece by Piece. But the army is still made uo of lifeless corpses (37:8).

    Second, Ezekiel witnesses the spiritual regeneration when the breath of the Sprirt breathes spiritual life into the dead nation (37:9). Of course this won’t happen until the messiah returns.

    I believe the first gathering has already begun for the last 130 years. A pile of bones is beginning to come together and take shape in the Land of Israel.

    The modern return began as early as 1871 when a few Jews began to trickle back into the landof Israel

    By 1882, about 25,00 Jews have settled there.

    At the first Zionist conference in 1897, lead by Theodore Herlz the goal of reclaiming the land for the Jewish people was officially adopted. But the regathering was slow.

    By 1914, the number of the Jews I the land was only 85,000

    During WW1, the British sought support form the Jews for the war effort.

    Nov 2, 1917, the British gave the Balfour Decleration to Lord Rothschild, a wealthy Jewsih entrepenuer staing their approval to the jewish goal of reclamation.

    1939, WW2 broke out, about 450,000 had manged to return.

    Nazi Germany’s heinous and descipable tratement of the Jews created a world wide sympathy and favorable enviornement for the Jews. Hitlers’s atrocities actually provided the greateset momentum for the establishment for a national homeland for the Jews.

    May 14, 1948, the UN approved of a national Jwesih home land and Brisith control ended.

    Since those days waves of emmigrants, most notably form ethopis and the Soviet union, have pored into Israel.

    2001, 38% of the 13.4 million Jews in the world are now living in Israel. (1948 only 6% were in Israel.

    42.5% of all Jews reside in Israel (5.7 million), and 39.3% in the United States (5.3 million), with most of the remainder living in Europe (1.5 million)

    By 2030, predicted that half the Jews will have returned.

    C. Third, the regathering of Israel will set the stage for the events of the end times.

    The Bible predicts that Israel must be partially regathered to her land for the events of the end times to unfold. End time prophecy in Scripture is built upon the assumption that Israel will be regathered and functioning as a nation. The clearest passage is Dan 9:27.

    Dan 9:27 – And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

    The tribulation doesn’t begin until the 7 year peace treaty is signed, it cant be signed if a Jewish state doesn’t exist, Therefore a Jewish state must exist before the tribulation.

    The main purpose of the first regathering is for the Jews to be present in the Land so they can make the peace pact with the Antichrist.

    The Jewish people are organized into a political state, thus making the peace treaty with the Anti- Christ in Dan 9:27 and the beginning of the Tribulation possible for the first time since 70 AD.

    The Lord will use the Tribulation and its unparalleled horror to bring the Jewish people to faith in the Lord Jesus as the promised messiah, who died for their sins and rose again on the third day.

    During the Tribulation the Jews will be scattered over the face of the earth as they are persecuted by the AntiChrist. Many will be killed and many more will flee for their lives (Matt 24:15-21, Dan 7:25)

    At the end of the tribulation, Jesus will come again, the second coming, wage war against anti Christ at Armageddon, and defeat the emey. Christ will then set up his earthly kingdom the millennium for a thousand years and regather Israel for the second and final time.

  3. I agree that Isaiah chapter 11 is written to reveal how it will be during the millenial reign of Jesus and that after the day of the Lord. He will gather a 2nd time the people who belong to the land of Israel. Controversial as this sounds to christians is to bea jew, its by faith or conversion. Essentially adherents to judaism not neccessarily meaning beloning to the 12 tribes of Israel. The Israel today we see is governed by followers of judaism and secular
    authorities who are descendants of adherents to the Jewishfaith. Mixing the two together and believing that the Israeli people living in the modern state of Israel today as being the descendants of the 12 tribes is hogwash. How many people can trace their ancestry back 2000 years. Dna studies done by Israeli geneticists and other
    Outside geneticists reveal that oriental jews and people who live in the Palestinian areas are genetically indistiguishable. It seems that its more about belief systems and ideologies that seperate people in the region aided on by misguided believers on both sides of the fence. Now back to Isaiah chapter 11. It clearly states that the roote of Jesse (Jesus) will cause the tribes of Israel and the tribe of Judah (who is currently scattered across the earth) to return to the land and that the Lord himself (Jesus) will set up an ensign to the gentile nations to gather Again the remnents of Israel and Judah. Only The Lord knows who these people are and where they live on this earth. Unfortunately in many christian circles today and especially prophecy speculators openly indulge Israel worship. The modern secular state of Israel has become the golden calf for many christians around the world who choose to openly ignore the fact that until Jesus returns to earth all nations including Israel will have their own agendas ans will become increasingly wicked.

  4. Good morning – regarding the first time the Lord recovered His people
    from Egypt?….that was not a worldwide regathering. The current worldwide regathering of Israel (from the four corners of the world) in unbelief the past 100 years is more likely the first time. Further they are hostile to the gospel meaning they have to be regathering in unbelief – in order to have the legalistic mindset to rebuilt the temple and reactivate their Mosiaic activities.
    Del R. Strasheim, Emeritus Architect

  5. I have more verses/passages which back the idea that Isaiah 11:11 onward pertains to the future. I shall present those verses/passages when I’m ready to publish the series of articles that I’m currently working on.

  6. I think you are partially wrong. I believe that the 2nd return has already begun. Verses 11-16 are a look back to before the millenium.
    I base my evidence on a couple things 1. The current return is much too large to ignore. There are more Jews living in Palestine now than ever before. 2. verse 11 is 95% fulfilled already. The prophecy of the immigration of the Jews from Cush (ethiopia) is especially incredible. That happened in the 80s and 90s.
    However, part of this prophecy has not yet happened. It will not be completely fulfilled until all the Jews return, which is what finally happens in verse 16. This will occur after God dries up the Euphrates river (Revelation 16:12). As far as I can tell Isaiah 49:2 talks about the culmination of the prophecy after the tribulation. I believe that the next step in Isaiah 11 prophecy is the conquest of southern Jordan by Israel (2nd half of verse 14). This will set up the survival strategy of the Jews during the tribulation (Daniel 11:41, Revelation 12:14)
    I know this all sounds crazy, but the timing matches up perfectly.