Isaiah 3

Judgment on Jerusalem and Judah

1 See now, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water,
2 the hero and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder,
3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
4 “I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them.”
5 People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored.
6 A man will seize one of his brothers in his father’s house, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!”
7 But in that day he will cry out, “I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people.”
8 Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.
9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.
10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done.
12 Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.
13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.
14 The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
16 The LORD says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
17 Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald.”
18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces,
19 the earrings and bracelets and veils,
20 the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms,
21 the signet rings and nose rings,
22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses
23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.
25 Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle.
26 The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground.

Isaiah 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

The calamities about to come upon the land. (1-9) The wickedness of the people. (10-15) The distress of the proud, luxurious women of Zion. (16-26)

Verses 1-9 God was about to deprive Judah of every stay and support. The city and the land were to be made desolate, because their words and works had been rebellious against the Lord; even at his holy temple. If men do not stay themselves upon God, he will soon remove all other supports, and then they must sink. Christ is the Bread of life and the Water of life; if he be our Stay, we shall find that is a good part not to be taken away, Joh. 6:27 . Here note, 1. That the condition of sinners is exceedingly woful. 2. It is the soul that is damaged by sin. 3. Whatever evil befals sinners, be sure that they bring it on themselves.

Verses 10-15 The rule was certain; however there might be national prosperity or trouble, it would be well with the righteous and ill with the wicked. Blessed be God, there is abundant encouragement to the righteous to trust in him, and for sinners to repent and return to him. It was time for the Lord to show his might. He will call men to a strict account for all the wealth and power intrusted to and abused by them. If it is sinful to disregard the necessities of the poor, how odious and wicked a part do they act, who bring men into poverty, and then oppress them!

Verses 16-26 The prophet reproves and warns the daughters of Zion of the sufferings coming upon them. Let them know that God notices the folly and vanity of proud women, even of their dress. The punishments threatened answered the sin. Loathsome diseases often are the just punishment of pride. It is not material to ask what sort of ornaments they wore; many of these things, if they had not been in fashion, would have been ridiculed then as now. Their fashions differed much from those of our times, but human nature is the same. Wasting time and money, to the neglect of piety, charity, and even of justice, displease the Lord. Many professors at the present day, seem to think there is no harm in worldly finery; but were it not a great evil, would the Holy Spirit have taught the prophet to expose it so fully? The Jews being overcome, Jerusalem would be levelled with the ground; which is represented under the idea of a desolate female seated upon the earth. And when the Romans had destroyed Jerusalem, they struck a medal, on which was represented a woman sitting on the ground in a posture of grief. If sin be harboured within the walls, lamentation and mourning are near the gates.

Cross References 65

  • 1. S Psalms 18:18
  • 2. S Leviticus 26:26; Amos 4:6
  • 3. Isaiah 5:13; Isaiah 65:13; Ezekiel 4:16
  • 4. Ezekiel 17:13
  • 5. Deuteronomy 18:10
  • 6. 2 Kings 24:14; Isaiah 9:14-15
  • 7. S 2 Kings 1:9
  • 8. S Job 22:8
  • 9. 2 Kings 24:14
  • 10. S Ecclesiastes 10:11; Jeremiah 8:17
  • 11. ver 12; Ecc 10:16 "fn"
  • 12. Psalms 28:3; Isaiah 9:19; Jeremiah 9:8; Micah 7:2,6
  • 13. S Isaiah 2:11
  • 14. Jeremiah 30:12; Ezekiel 34:4; Hosea 5:13
  • 15. Joel 1:16
  • 16. Isaiah 24:2
  • 17. Isaiah 1:7
  • 18. Isaiah 9:15,17; Isaiah 28:15; Isaiah 30:9; Isaiah 59:3,13
  • 19. 2 Chronicles 33:6
  • 20. S Job 1:11; Psalms 73:9,11; Isaiah 65:7
  • 21. Numbers 32:23; Isaiah 59:12; Jeremiah 14:7; Hosea 5:5
  • 22. S Genesis 13:13
  • 23. S 2 Chronicles 34:24; S Proverbs 8:36; Romans 6:23
  • 24. S Deuteronomy 5:33; S Deuteronomy 12:28; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalms 37:17; Jeremiah 22:15
  • 25. S Genesis 15:1; S Psalms 128:2
  • 26. S Job 9:13; Isaiah 57:20
  • 27. Deuteronomy 28:15-68
  • 28. S 2 Chronicles 6:23
  • 29. Jeremiah 21:14; Lamentations 5:16; Ezekiel 24:14
  • 30. S ver 4
  • 31. Isaiah 9:16; Isaiah 19:14; Isaiah 28:7; Isaiah 29:9; Jeremiah 23:13; Jeremiah 25:16; Micah 3:5
  • 32. S Job 10:2
  • 33. S Psalms 82:1; S Isaiah 2:4; Micah 6:2
  • 34. S 1 Samuel 12:7; S Job 22:4
  • 35. S Job 24:9; James 2:6
  • 36. Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 25:4
  • 37. S Psalms 94:5
  • 38. S Job 24:14
  • 39. Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 26:6; Isaiah 29:19; Isaiah 32:6; Isaiah 51:23
  • 40. Isaiah 5:7
  • 41. S Song of Songs 3:11
  • 42. S Job 15:25
  • 43. ver 24; Ezekiel 27:31; Amos 8:10
  • 44. S Isaiah 2:11
  • 45. Genesis 41:42; S Judges 8:21
  • 46. S Genesis 24:47
  • 47. Ezekiel 16:11-12
  • 48. Exodus 39:28; Ezekiel 24:17,23; Ezekiel 44:18
  • 49. S Genesis 24:22
  • 50. Ruth 3:15
  • 51. Ezekiel 16:10; Ezekiel 23:26
  • 52. S Exodus 29:6; Song of Songs 3:11; Isaiah 61:3; Isaiah 62:3
  • 53. S Esther 2:12
  • 54. Isaiah 4:4
  • 55. Proverbs 31:24
  • 56. S ver 17; S Leviticus 13:40; S Job 1:20; Isaiah 22:12
  • 57. S Genesis 37:34; Job 16:15; Isaiah 20:2; Jeremiah 4:8; Lamentations 2:10; Ezekiel 27:30-31; John 3:5-8
  • 58. 1 Peter 3:3
  • 59. S 2 Samuel 10:4; Isaiah 20:4
  • 60. S Isaiah 1:20
  • 61. Jeremiah 15:8
  • 62. Isaiah 14:31; Isaiah 24:12; Isaiah 45:2
  • 63. S Psalms 137:1; Isaiah 24:4,7; Isaiah 29:2; Isaiah 33:9; Jeremiah 4:28; Jeremiah 14:2
  • 64. S Leviticus 26:31
  • 65. S Job 2:13; Lamentations 4:5; Lamentations 2:10

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the Jews are threatened with various calamities, on account of their sins, which would issue in their entire ruin and destruction. They are threatened with a famine, Isa 3:1 with a removal of useful men in church and state, and in common life, Isa 3:2,3 with ignorant and effeminate governors; the consequences of which would be oppression and insolence, Isa 3:4,5 yea, that such would be their state and condition, that men, though naturally ambitious of honour, would refuse to have the government of them, Isa 3:6,7 the reasons of these calamities, and of this ruin and fall of them, are their evil words and actions against the Lord, which were highly provoking to him; and their impudence in sinning like Sodom, which was to their own harm, Isa 3:8,9 yet, in the midst of all this, it is the will of God that the righteous should be told it shall be well with them, with the reason of it; when it shall be ill with the wicked, as a just recompence of reward, Isa 3:10,11 the errors and mistakes of the people are attributed to their childish and effeminate governors, Isa 3:12 wherefore the Lord determines to plead their cause, and contend with their elders and rulers, because they had spoiled and devoured the poor, Isa 3:13-15 and particularly the women are threatened, for their pride and luxury, to have their ornaments taken from them, which are particularly mentioned, Isa 3:16-24 and the chapter is concluded with a prophecy, that their mighty men should perish by the sword in war, and the city should be desolate, Isa 3:25,26.

Isaiah 3 Commentaries

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