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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible
Isaiah 4

 

 

Introduction

CHAP. IV.

In the extremity of evils, Christ's kingdom shall be a sanctuary.

Before Christ 760.


Verse 1

Isaiah 4:1. And in that day We have in this verse the consequence of the preceding evil. The prophet declares, that the war and captivity shall make such a prodigious scarcity in the male sex, that seven women shall be glad to apply to a single man for protection, preservation, and marriage: and importune him, though contrary to the natural modesty of their sex, to consent to take away their reproach; for not barrenness only, but a single state also, was reckoned opprobrious among the Jews. See Psalms 78:63. The emphasis and gradation of this verse are strong and remarkable. From the history of the times, and the Lamentations of Jeremiah, we learn, that the sword and the Babylonish captivity had very much thinned Judaea of men. See 2 Chronicles 36:17 and Vitringa.


Verse 2

Isaiah 4:2. In that day, &c.— The third part of this discourse begins here; in which is set forth the flourishing state of the remnant of the Jewish people after the times of the former calamity, under the care and providence of an illustrious person whom the prophet here calls the BRANCH of Jehovah. In this period we have, first, a prophecy of the Branch of Jehovah; and the fruit of the earth; to be seen in Sion as the king of the people congregated in his name. Secondly, the internal state of this remnant is described; that is, its singular quality or virtue of true internal spiritual holiness, with a certain sign of the time adjoined Isaiah 4:3-4. Thirdly, the internal state of this people is shewn, with respect to the providence, care, and defence, wherewith it should be favoured by the Lord: Isaiah 4:5-6. There can be no doubt that the Branch of the Lord means the Messiah. See Zechariah 6:12. Isaiah 28:5; Isaiah 60:21 and Vitringa.


Verse 3-4

Isaiah 4:3-4. And it shall come to pass The doctrine of this period is twofold; first, that God by the spirit of judgment will purify and cleanse his church; and, secondly, that those who remain written among the living, i.e. the people of the Messiah, shall become truly holy. See Philippians 4:3.


Verse 5-6

Isaiah 4:5-6. And the Lord will create, &c.— In this description of the external state and providential defence of the people of the Messiah, the metaphor is taken from the ancient symbol of the pillar of cloud and fire. Upon all the glory shall be a defence, means that the divine protection and defence shall be every where present, where God manifests himself by the extraordinary signs of his gracious presence. Every symbol of the divine grace and glory, such as was the cloud, brings with it the protection and defence of that place or assembly which is blessed with this prerogative. The event proves the truth of this interpretation. So long as God was in the temple, that place rejoiced in the benefit of the divine protection. When the voice was heard, "LET US DEPART HENCE," it was left to the desolation of its enemies. The same holds good in the Christian church. See Vitringa, and Josephus's history of the Jewish War, book 7: chap. 12.

REFLECTIONS.—In the midst of these terrible threatenings, a bright beam of hope dawns from the great and precious promises of the Messiah, whose kingdom and glory should then be exalted, when those who had rejected him received their righteous doom.

1. In that day of Jerusalem's desolations, shall the Branch of the Lord, the Messiah, that should shoot from the stem of Jesse, Zechariah 3:8. Jeremiah 23:5. Isaiah 11:1 be beautiful and glorious, laden with the precious fruits of pardon, grace, and glory, and, though springing in his humiliation as a root out of a dry ground, yet, in his exaltation, shining brighter than the sun, glorified of his saints, and admired of all that believe: and the fruit of the earth, Christ Jesus incarnate on the earth, shall be excellent and comely; though once a worm, and no man, his visage marred more than any, now become the chief of ten thousand, and altogether lovely; for them that are escaped of Israel, whose eyes are opened to behold his excellence, and receive him as their deliverer. Note; (1.) Though in the eyes of a carnal world there is no beauty in Jesus for which they should desire him, faith can descry excellencies which make him above all things precious; so that we can say, Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is nothing I desire upon earth in comparison of thee. (2.) In the Saviour all fulness dwells: do we want pardon, peace, grace, comfort? we may come to him, and freely take enough to supply the most enlarged desires of our souls.

2. When the Messiah comes, to him will the gathering of the people be. It shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, the gospel church, shall be called holy; shall be really made such by the powerful operations of the Spirit of holiness on their hearts and lives; even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: and this separation of his people for himself will then appear, 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 the Spirit of burning; which may signify the judgments that God would bring upon the wicked, till they were utterly consumed; or rather the purging thoroughly his church, in order to cleanse them from their remaining corruptions and defilements; and this the Lord would also farther effectually accomplish, by raising up ministers and magistrates, endued with a spirit of wisdom, and animated with holy zeal for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Note; (1.) Vain are their hopes of an interest in heaven, whose hearts continue earthly, sensual, devilish. (2.) When the Lord is pleased to work, he can easily find instruments, furnish them abundantly for their labour, and bless them with success.

3. The church of Christ, and every believer, will in the Lord enjoy protection, guidance, comfort, and security. As Israel's camp of old was preserved by God's pillar of the cloud and of fire, safely led through the howling wilderness, and hid from the scorching sun-beams; and as the tabernacle was defended by several coverings from the storm and tempest; so shall God's faithful people still enjoy as real, if not as sensible, tokens of his care in their passage through this wilderness: neither the storms of persecution, nor the blasts of temptation, nor the scorchings of affliction, shall be able to hurt them. He will defend their glory, the souls of his faithful ones, glorious in holiness; lead them safe through every trial, comfort them with a sense of his love, hide them in the day of wrath as under the shadow of a great rock in a weary land; and, after beholding the destruction of the ungodly, bring them safe to that blest tabernacle which he hath pitched in heaven for their everlasting abode.

 


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Bibliography Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 4:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/isaiah-4.html. 1801-1803.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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