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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Isaiah 4

 

 

Verse 1

Isaiah 4:1 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.

Ver. 1. And in that day,] sc., That day of desolation. [Isaiah 3:26]

Seven women,] i.e., Many women. See the like Zechariah 8:23. The women had been grievously threatened, [Isaiah 3:16-24] the men also for their sakes, [Isaiah 3:25-26] and yet the prophet hath not done with them. So heinous is sin in either sex.

Shall take hold of one man.] Who themselves were wont to be sued unto by many men; and perhaps were not content with their own husbands when they had them alive, but were sick of a pleurisy.

We will eat our own bread, &c.] Whereas the husband giveth to his wife food, raiment, and due benevolence: these would crave the last only, which yet they could not do neither in this sort but by laying aside woman-like modesty.

Only let us be called by thy name.] As wives used to be by their husbands’ names, both among the Jews and other nations, as Mary Cleophas, Mary Zebedee, &c. Solomon’s wife was after his name called Shulamite; [Song of Solomon 6:13] and the Roman ladies were wont to say to their husbands, Ubi tu Caius, ibi ego Caia. Where you are Gaius there I am Gaia.

To take away our reproach.] Of want of husbands and children. See Psalms 78:63, 11:36-37, Jeremiah 30:17.


Verse 2

Isaiah 4:2 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.

Ver. 2. In that day the branch of the Lord.] Here the prophet draweth to a close of this excellent sermon, and he concludeth it as he began, with a gracious promise of the coming and kingdom of Christ, and of the felicity of his subjects, which consisteth, first, In their sanctity; [Isaiah 4:3-4] secondly, In their security. [Isaiah 4:5-6] This is more amply set forth in Isaiah 11:1-16

The branch of the Lord.] The Lord Christ, the consolation and expectation of Israel, called elsewhere the bud or "branch." [Isaiah 11:1 Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12] {See Trapp on "Isaiah 11:1"} {See Trapp on "Zechariah 3:8"} {See Trapp on "Zechariah 6:12"} "The dayspring from on high," [Luke 1:78] is by Beza rendered the branch from on high, and the branch of righteousness. [Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15] The Jewish doctors also understand it of the Messiah; Istud germen quod de virga Iesse virore virgineo pullulavit, saith Bernard. The branch of the Lord he is called, saith Oecolampadius, because, being true God, he hath God to his Father in heaven; and the "fruit of the earth," because, being also true man, he had the Virgin to his mother on earth. Ecce habet incarnationis mysterium. Lo, here we have, saith he, the great mystery of "God manifested in the flesh." Others by the "fruit of the earth" here do understand the body of the Church, which is as the plant that groweth out of that branch.

Shall be beautiful and glorious, excellent and comely.] Heb., "Beauty and glory," "excellence and comeliness," or gayness and goodliness, all in the abstract, and yet all too little. All this Christ is and more to his elect, who are here set forth by many titles, as "the escaped of Israel," (a) the "residue in Zion," the "remnant in Jerusalem," the "written among the living there," &c. Saepe autem ad paupertatem aut paucitatem redigitur ecclesia. Howbeit known to the Lord are all his, as well as if he had their names set down in a book.


Verse 3

Isaiah 4:3 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:

Ver. 3. He that is left in Zion.] See Isaiah 4:2.

Shall be called holy.] Heb., Holy shall be said to him or of him: he shall have the name and note of a saint, the comfort and the credit of it. Christ’s holiness shall be both imputed and imparted unto them: he shall both expiate their sins and heal their natures, pay their debts, and give them a stock of grace and holiness, so that men shall call them a "holy people." [Isaiah 62:12]

Even every one that is written among the living.] Written in God’s book of life, which is matter of greater joy than to have the devils subdued unto us; [Luke 10:17] for a man may cast out devils, and yet be himself cast to the devil; [Matthew 7:22-23] but in God’s book of life there are no blots, no crossings out, but "as many as are ordained to eternal life believe," and the same are "kept as in a garrison by the power of God through faith unto salvation." [1 Peter 1:4] The prophet seemeth here to allude to that custom in Jerusalem of enrolling the names of all the citizens. [Psalms 87:6] Christ Jesus is the Master of the Rolls in heaven, [Revelation 13:8] wherein none are recorded but such as are designed "to glory and virtue." [1 Peter 1:2 2 Thessalonians 2:13] All others are said to be "dead in trespasses and sins," [Ephesians 2:1] and to be "written in the earth." [Jeremiah 17:13] Those priests that could not produce their genealogy were cashiered by the Tirshatha: [Ezra 2:63] so shall those one day be by Christ whose names are not found written among the living in Jerusalem.


Verse 4

Isaiah 4:4 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.

Ver. 4. When the Lord shall have washed away the filth.] The ordure or excrement: (a) sin is the excrement of the soul, the superfluity or garbage of naughtiness, the devil’s vomit. From this abominable filth Christ hath "loved and washed his with his own blood, that he may make them kings and priests unto God and his Father." [Revelation 1:5] He not only washeth his people from their sins, but taketh away their swinish natures, whereby they would else return to their former wallowing in the mire as so many Borboritae.

Of the daughters of Zion.] Whose pride in apparel, wantonness, luxury, &c., those peccadilloes, as they are commonly counted, are here rightly called filth and blood by these penitentiaries, whose property is to aggravate and lay load upon their former evil practices, which now swell like toads in their eyes; neither can they find words bad enough to call them by.

By the spirit of judgment.] By pouring upon them the clean water of the Holy Spirit, whereby also they are enabled to make a right judgment of things that are excellent or that differ, and to judge themselves worthy to be destroyed for their many and mighty sins.

And by the spirit of burning.] So called because it burneth up our corruptions, carnis vitia et carcinomata; and, secondly, Because it inflameth our hearts with a zeal for God’s glory, making us all on a light fire, as Chrysostom saith that Peter was like a man made all of fire walking among stubble. And of one that desired to know what kind of man Basil was, it is said there was presented in a dream a pillar of fire with this motto, Talis est Basilius, Such a one is Basil.


Verse 5

Isaiah 4:5 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.

Ver. 5. And the Lord will create.] For the safeguard and security of his peculiar people thus purified unto himself, [Titus 2:14] and that they may serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all and every day of their lives. [Luke 1:74-75] God, rather than fail, will "create," as he did of old in Egypt and the wilderness, "a cloud by day, a flaming fire by night"; against heat, a "tabernacle"; against storm and rain, a "covert"; anything, everything that heart can wish or need require: dux erit et defensor, lux erit et consolator. He will be to all his "a sun and a shield; he will give grace and glory," &c. [Psalms 84:11 Song of Solomon 2:3]

Upon every dwelling place.] Upon every private house, and place of his people’s abode: their walls are continually before him. [Isaiah 49:16] He loveth to look upon their habitations, and will hedge them about. [Job 1:10]

And upon her assemblies.] Or, Meeting places for God’s services. Howbeit this is to be taken cum exceptione crucis: with the exception of the cross, the poor Protestants in France have not only been disturbed, but destroyed, at their church assemblies, by the Duke of Guise and other Popish persecutors. But the godly in such a case "glorify God in the very fire," and bear fruit in such a tempest by God’s defence and benediction.

A cloud and smoke.] Or, A smokey cloud, alluding to that cloudy pillar [Exodus 13:21; Exodus 14:19] which was a cloud by day and a fire by night to Israel: so is Christ a cooling refreshment to his own in the scorching day of temptation or trouble, and a comfortable lamp of light to direct and protect them through the wilderness of this world. The cloud was spread over them for a covering, [Psalms 105:39] and sometimes came between them and their enemies behind them; [Exodus 14:19] and this was done in Egypt, where was no rain: how then was there a cloud? God "created it."

For upon all the glory.] Israel is called "God’s glory"; [Isaiah 46:13] the "house of his glory"; [Isaiah 60:7] "a crown of glory"; [Isaiah 62:3] a "throne of glory"; [Jeremiah 14:21] God’s ornament; the beauty of his ornament, and that set in majesty; [Ezekiel 7:20] his royal "diadem"; [Isaiah 62:3] his "jewels," [Malachi 3:17] which he wears, as great men do their jewels, to make him glorious in the eyes of men; they are the signet on his right hand. [Isaiah 49:5]

Shall be a covering] As the cloud covered the tabernacle, and as the rams’ skins covered the ark from the violence of wind and weather; so will Christ the Church.


Verse 6

Isaiah 4:6 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.

Ver. 6. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow.] Or, He shall be. Christ is a shelter and a shadow to his, whenas all worldly comforts are but as so many burning glasses, to scorch the soul more.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 4:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-4.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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