The existing division between Isaiah 3 and 4 is scarcely satisfactory. Verse 1 of
Isaiah 4. belongs to the minatory (conveying a threat) portion of the section
beginning with ch. 2:1 and terminating with v. 6 of this chapter and so stands
connected in subject with Isaiah 3., which is wholly minatory; whereas the
remainder of this chapter (vs. 2-6) is consolatory, consisting of a series of
promises. Verse 1 is also formally connected with ch. 3. by the vau conjunctive,
while the absence of any such link at the opening of v. 2 indicates the commencement
of a new paragraph at that point.
1 “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will
eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy
name, to take away our reproach.” Seven women shall take hold of one man.
This verse has been well called a "companion picture to ch. 3:6-7.” As there, in
the evil time of God's judgment, the despairing men are represented as "taking hold"
of a respectable man to make him their judge, so now the despairing women
"take hold" of such a man and request him to allow them all to be regarded as
his wives. There has been such a destruction - men are become so scarce –
that no otherwise can women escape the shame and reproach of being unwedded
and childless. (Where does the membership of the National Organization of
Women and those sympathetic to its credo fit in a situation such as this? CY – 2020)
Our own bread will we eat. They do not ask him to support them; they are able
and willing to support themselves. To take away; rather, take thou away - the
imperative mood, not the infinitive. Our reproach. Children were regarded
as such a blessing in the ancient times that to be childless was a misfortune
and a subject of reproach. (What has transpired since then to cause the
abortion of over sixty million [6o,000,000] children in the
alone over the last half century? CY – 2020) Hagar "despised" the barren Sarai
(Genesis 16:4). Her "adversary provoked Hannah sore, because the Lord had
shut up her womb" (1 Samuel 1:6). Compare the lament of Antigone, who views
it as a disgrace that she descends to the tomb unwed (Soph., 'Antig.,' 11. 813-816).
Among the Jews childlessness was a special reproach, because it took away all
possibility of the woman being in the line of THE MESSIAH’S DESCENT
(compare ch. 54:1-6).
(vs. 2-6) As the present prophecy (chps. 2-4.), though in the main one of threatening
and denunciation, opened with a picture that was encouraging and comforting
(ch. 2:2-4), so now it terminates with a similar picture. The evangelical prophet,
like the great apostle of the Gentiles, is unwilling that any one should be "swallowed
up with overmuch sorrow." (II Corinthians 2:7) He will not separate the mercies
of God from His judgments.
2 “In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious,
and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are
in this passage merely a promise that in the Messianic times the produce of the soil
would become more abundant than ever before, its harvests richer, and its fruitage
more luxuriant. But in the light of later prophecy it is scarcely possible to shut
up the meaning within such narrow limits. The "Branch" of Isaiah can hardly
be isolated altogether in a sound exegesis from the "Branch" of Jeremiah
King...shall execute judgment and justice in the earth”; “...and He shall execute
judgment and righteousness in the land.” This is a pertinent message to us
today in light of people taking the law into their own hands. We are always
cautioned against vengeance and we will have to stand in judgment for our
actions here - Imagine the embarrassment on that Day when we give
account – Recently in
religious stance – compare man’s executions with God’s execution of
"Branch" of Zechariah is stated to be "a man" (ibid 6:12: note that the word used
for "Branch" is the same as Isaiah's, viz. tsemakh), and the "Branch "of Jeremiah is a
King (Jeremiah 33:15). Moreover, Isaiah uses a nearly equivalent term (netser) in an
admittedly Messianic sense. Although, therefore, there is some obscurity in the
phrase, "Branch of Jehovah," it would seem to be best to understand Isaiah as
here intimating, what he elsewhere openly declares (ch. 11:1-5) - viz. the coming
of the Messiah in the latter days as the ornament and glory of his people.
Be beautiful and glorious; rather, for beauty and glory; or, for ornament
and glory; i.e. for the ornament and
It is argued with reason that the two clauses of this verse are parallel, not antithetical,
and that as we understand the one, so must we understand the other. If, then, the
"Branch" is the Messiah, so is "the fruit of the earth" which may well be, since
He was "the grain of wheat" which "fell into the ground and, died, and so brought
forth much fruit" (John 12:24). Excellent and comely; rather, for majesty and
beauty (compare Exodus 28:2, 40). Unto
the escaped of
who shall have survived the great calamity, and become citizens of the
fulfilled only in those who 'saved themselves' from the generation which rejected
Christ. That remnant was the germ of the Catholic Church, made such by
being incorporated into the true Vine" ('Speaker's Commentary,' note at loc.).
3 “And it shall come to
pass, that he that is left in
of the preceding verse. Shall be called holy. Strikingly fulfilled in the fact that
the early Christians were known as ἅγιοι – hagioi – holy or κλητοὶ ἅγιοι – klaetoi
Perhaps, however, more is meant than this. The early Christians not only were
called, but were "holy." Even Gibbon places the innocent lives of the early
among the causes of the conversion of the
Every one that is written among the living. A register of the "living,"
which names may be "blotted" (ibid. ch. 3:5).
4 “When the Lord shall have
washed away the filth of the daughters of
and shall have purged the blood of
spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” When the Lord shall
have washed away the filth of the daughters of
Sin must not be merely repented of and pardoned; it must be put away.
There could be no
moral defilement of the daughters of
however, that the murder of infants in sacrifice to Moloch may be in the
prophet's mind. Ahaz "burnt his children in the fire after the abominations
and the practice was probably widespread among the people long before
or, by a blast of burning; i.e. a fiery blast which shall destroy everything
(compare Isaiah 1:31).
5 “And the LORD will create
upon every dwelling place of
and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a
flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense.”
Upon every dwelling-place ("over the whole habitation," Revised Version).
Mr. Cheyne translates "upon the whole site," and takes the "site" to be
especially the temple. Makon seems certainly never to be used for
i.e. every Christian Church, is intended. On these, and on all Christian
assemblies, there will rest a new presence of God - one which He
will have "created;" recalling that of the pillar of fire and of cloud which
A cloud and smoke by day. The "pillar of the cloud" is never said in the
Pentateuch to have been one of “smoke;" but Sinai "smoked" when God
as issuing out of God's nostrils (Psalm 18:8). In the poetry of Isaiah,"
smoke, no less than "cloud," symbolizes God's presence (see ch. 6:4).
Upon all the glory shall be a defense; rather, as in the margin, a covering.
Over all the glory
THE PRESENCE OF GOD SHALL REST like a canopy, protecting it.
6 “And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat,
and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.”
And there shall be, etc.; rather, and it (i.e. "the canopy") shall be a tabernacle,
or bower, a shelter from the sun's heat by day, and from storm and rain
both by day and night. The metaphors need no explanation.
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