Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 4

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 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.

In that day - the calamitous period described last chapter.

Seven women - put for an indefinite number. So many men would be slain that there would be far more women than men; e.g., seven women, contrary to their natural bashfulness, would sue to (equivalent to "take hold of," Isaiah 3:6) one man to marry them.

We will eat our own bread - foregoing the claim of maintenance, which the law (Exodus 21:10) gives to wives, when a man has more than one.

Only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach - of being unwedded and childless; especially felt among the Jews, who were looking for "the seed of the woman," Jesus Christ, described in Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 54:4; Luke 1:25.

Verse 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 escaped of Israel.

In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious. In contrast to those on whom vengeance falls, there is a manifestation of Jesus Christ to the "escaped of Israel" in His characteristic attributes, beauty and glory, typified in Aaron's garments (Exodus 28:2). Their sanctification is promised as the fruit of their being "written" in the book of life by sovereign love (Isaiah 4:3). The means of it are the "spirit of judgment" and that of "burning" (Isaiah 4:4). Their "defense" by the special presence of Jesus Christ is promised (Isaiah 4:5-6).

Branch - the sprout of Yahweh, Messiah, (Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12; Luke 1:78, margin) The parallel clause does not, as Maurer objects (translating the produce of the Lord-namely, of the Holy Land), oppose this; for "fruit of the earth" answers to "branch." He shall not be a dry, but a fruit-bearing branch (Isaiah 27:6; Ezekiel 34:23-27).

The fruit of the earth (shall be) excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. He is "of the earth" in His birth and death, while He is also "of the Lord" ( Yahweh (H3068)) (John 12:24). His name, "the Branch," chiefly regards His descent from David, when the family was low and reduced (Luke 2:4; Luke 2:7; Luke 2:24); a sprout, with more than David's glory, springing as from a decayed tree (Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2; Revelation 22:16).

Excellent - (Hebrews 1:4; Hebrews 8:6)

Comely - (Song of Solomon 5:15-16; Ezekiel 16:14) escaped of Israel-the elect remnant (Romans 11:5):

(1) In the return from Babylon;

(2) In the escape from Jerusalem's destruction under Titus;

(3) In the still-future assault on Jerusalem, and deliverance of 'the third part'-events mutually analogous, like concentric circles, (Zechariah 12:2-10; Zechariah 13:8-9, etc; 14:2; Ezekiel 39:23-29; Joel 3:1.)

Verse 3

And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:

(He that is) left in Zion - answering to "the escaped of Israel" (Isaiah 4:2).

Shall be called - shall be (Isaiah 9:6).

Hl (I521 60 21 R2127 ) Holy - (Isaiah 52:1; Isaiah 60:21; Revelation 21:27.)

Everyone that is written - in the book of life, antitypically (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 17:8). Primarily, in the register kept of Israel's families and tribes.

Among the living - not "blotted out" from the registry as dead, but written there as among the "escaped of Israel" (Daniel 12:1; Ezekiel 13:9). To the elect of Israel, rather than the saved in general, the special reference is here, (Joel 3:17, "So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy," etc.)

Verse 4

When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

When - i:e., After that.

The Lord shall have washed away - (Zechariah 13:1 .) the filth - moral (Isaiah 1:21-25).

Of the daughters of Zion - the same as in Isaiah 3:16.

And shall have purged - purified by judgments; destroying the ungodly, correcting, and refining the godly.

The blood - (Isaiah 1:15 , note.) by the spirit of judgment. Whatever God does in the universe, He does by His Spirit, "without the hand" of man (Job 34:20; Psalms 104:30). Here He is represented using His power as Judge.

And by the spirit of burning - (Matthew 3:11-12.) The same Holy Spirit who sanctifies believers by the fire of affliction (Malachi 3:2-3) dooms unbelievers to the fire of perdition (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

Verse 5

And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, 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 defence.

The Lord will create - the 'new creation' needs as much God's creative omnipotence as the material creation (2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 2:10). So it shall be in the case of the Holy Jerusalem to come (Isaiah 65:17-18, "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth ... be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy"). Upon every dwelling-place (Hebrew, mekon, a prepared place; a sure and fixed seat, as opposed to a shifting tent) of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day. The pillar of cloud stood over the tabernacle, as symbol of God's favour and presence (Exodus 13:21-22; Psalms 91:1). Both on individual families ("every dwelling") and on the general sacred "assemblies" (Leviticus 23:2). The "cloud" became a "fire" by night, in order to be seen by the Lord's people.

For upon all the glory, shall be a defense - `upon the glorious whole;' namely, the Lord's people and sanctuary. Or else, 'upon whatever the glory (the Shekinah spoken of in the previous clause) shall rest, there shall be a defense'-literally, 'upon the whole the glory shall be the defense' or covering. The symbol of His presence shall ensure also safety. So it was to Israel against the Egyptians at the Red Sea (Exodus 14:19-20). So it shall be to literal Jerusalem hereafter (Zechariah 2:5, "I saith the Lord, will he unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her"). Also to the Church, the spiritual "Zion" (Isaiah 32:18; Isaiah 33:15-17; Hebrews 12:22).

Verse 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.

There shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day-time from the heat, and for a place of refuge - Christ's body (John 1:14). 'The Word tabernacled [Greek for "dwelt," eskeenoosen] among us' (John 2:21; Hebrews 8:2, "the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man"). It is a shadow from the heat" and "refuge from the storm" of divine wrath against man's sins (Isaiah 25:4). Heat and storms are violent in the East; so that a portable tent is a needful part of a traveler's outfit. Such shall be God's wrath hereafter, from which the "escaped of Israel" shall be sheltered by Jesus Christ (Isaiah 26:20-21; Isaiah 32:2).

Covert - answering to "defense" (Isaiah 4:5). The Hebrew [ uwlmictowr (H4563), from chaatar (H5641), to cover] for defense in Isaiah 4:5 is 'covering.' The lid of the ark, or mercy-seat, was named from a Hebrew word of similar sound and sense kapowret, from kaapar (H3722): the propitiatory for it, being sprinkled with blood by the high priest once a year, on the day of atonement, covered the people typically from wrath. Jesus Christ is the true Mercy-seat, on whom the Shekinah rested, the propitiatory [kapowret, hilasteerion (G2435)], or atonement, beneath whom the law is kept, as it was literally within the ark, and man is covered from the storm. The redeemed Israel shall also be, by union with Him, "a tabernacle" for God's glory, which, unlike, that in the wilderness, "shall not be taken down " (Isaiah 33:20).

Remarks: In contrast to the consuming judgments about to fall on the reprobate stand the sparing, preserving, and ultimately sanctifying mercies which are in store for the elect remnant, "the escaped of Israel." Messiah, as "the Branch of the Lord," in that day shall be to them "beauty and glory." The means of sanctification are the same in the Church as in the literal Israel. The "fountain opened for uncleanness," the blood of Jesus Christ, "washes away the filth" and guilt all believers, and the Holy Spirit, by chastening "judgments," convicts of sin, and by the fire of trials purifies and refines them. It is infinitely better now to pass through purifying fires than hereafter to be doomed with the wicked to the destroying fire forever.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.