Great as verses 6 is, it needs to be understood in the context of the verses that come before it. In Judah 28 we learn that the leaders of Ephraim and Judah have made a right mess of things. In response, God promises a leader who will be faithful and bring change. Hence,
In that day the Lord Almighty
will be a glorious crown,
a beautiful wreath
for the remnant of his people.
6 He will be a spirit of justice
to the one who sits in judgment,
a source of strength
to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
Now, unlike the previous two posts in which the term ‘spirit’ was used as the ‘essence’ of the person, ‘Spirit’ as it is mentioned here, relates directly to the Divine. Why? Because we are told that God will be ‘a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgement.’
While it is easy to see this as alluding to the ‘Trinity of God’ where Father, Son and Holy Spirit reign, the reference to a king who turns back the enemy at the gate seems to suggests that this is a historical monarch. Which is very interesting as it also suggests that in this instance the Spirit will rest on the person (and not within!). As such, the Spirit is given for a specific amount of time to enable the leader to accomplish the task they have been given. Which makes perfect sense given that Pentecost has yet to come when God’s spirit will reside in all who are open to receiving Him. But for now, God will operate through the leader who is ready to bring about justice and judgement.