Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 4

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1



The first verse of this chapter has already been dealt with as describing one consequence of divine judgment upon the sins of Judah announced in chapter three.

Verse 2

Verse 2:

1. "In that day" refers, in this context, to the future "day of the Lord" - the millennial era, (comp. Isaiah 2:20-21).

2. "The branch of the Lord" is a progressively developed reference to the coming Messiah, (Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12).

a. When He came the first time, "not to be ministered unto, but to minister", Israel saw in Him "no beauty" that she should desire Him; thus, despised, rejected and crucified her king - the "Lord of glory" and "Prince of Life", (Isaiah 53:2; Acts 3:15; Acts 5:31; 1 Corinthians 2:8).

b. When He comes the second time, in power and great glory, a severely chastened and humiliated people will not only welcome Him as their Deliverer; they will exalt, honor and extol His name, crying: "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the LORD!" (Romans 11:26-27; Matthew 23:37-39; Isaiah 28:5-6).

3. Whatever else one may see in "the fruit of the earth" (by way of abundant provision in the Messianic kingdom, Psalms 72:16), he should not fail to recognize its significance in connection with the resurrection of Jesus, as "the firstfruits of them that slept", whereby He was "declared to be the Son of God" and possessor of universal authority, (1 Corinthians 15:20; Romans 1:4; Matthew 28:18; John 5:22; John 5:27).

4. Thus, from beneath the prophet’s denunciation of the darkest sin, and its consequent judgment, there bursts forth a song of praise for the preservation of a remnant through whom God’s faithful covenant may be fulfilled, (Isaiah 10:20-23; Isaiah 37:31-32; Joel 2:32; Obadiah 1:17).

Verses 3-4

Verse 3-4:

1. Once called "Sodom," because of her wretched sinfullness, and falling under the wrath of God’s displeasure, Jerusalem is here viewed once more as "the Holy City" - "beautiful for situation, and the joy of the whole earth", (Psalms 48:2; Isaiah 52:1; Isaiah 62:12).

"Glorious things of thee are spoken,

Zion, City of our God;

He, whose word cannot be broken,

Formed thee for His own abode:

On the Rock of Ages founded,

What can shake thy sure repose?

With salvation’s walls surrounded,

Thou mayst smile at all thy foes."

--John Newton

2. Zion is holy because her citizens have passed through the fountain that was opened "for sin and uncleanness", (Isaiah 1:16-18; Zechariah 12:1-2; Jeremiah 2:12-13; Jeremiah 17:12-13; Psalms 51:2; Psalms 51:7; John 1:29).

3. Her blood-guiltiness has been purged by the fire of divine judgment - designed for her purification, (Isaiah 48:10-11; Zechariah 13:8-9; Malachi 3:2-6; Matthew 3:11-16; comp. 1 Peter 1:6-9).

Verses 5-6

Verse 5-6:

1. The pillar of cloud and fire signify the presence of the Lord among, and for the defense and blessing of, His people; His glory, as a canopy of love, is spread over them all, (Exodus 13:21-22; Numbers 9:15-23; Isaiah 60:1-3).

2. Once again "the tabernacle of the Lord" is with men, and His people will know the fullness of divine comfort, joy, rest and peace, (Isaiah 25:4-9).

3. The language gives, to believing hearts, adequate assurance of God’s abiding presence, constant care and protection.

4. A people so richly blessed ought to rejoice greatly in their eternal king!

5. Nor should that joy be regarded as something to be experienced only in the future; the blessings of Christ’s reign may be ours RIGHT NOW - through such faith as entrusts everything to Him, and receives daily of His sufficient and satisfying grace, (Colossians 1:9-14; Romans 14:16-19; Philippians 4:19).

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 4". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.