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Compare Translations for Isaiah 4:1

Commentaries For Isaiah 4

  • Chapter 4

    The havoc occasioned by war. (1) The times of the Messiah. (2-6)

    Verse 1 This first verse belongs to the third chapter. When the troubles should come upon the land, as the unmarried state was deemed reproachful among the Jews, these women would act contrary to common usage, and seek husbands for themselves.

    Verses 2-6 Not only the setting forth Christ's kingdom in the times of the apostles, but its enlargement by gathering the dispersed Jews into the church, is foretold. Christ is called the Branch of the Lord, being planted by his power, and flourishing to his praise. The gospel is the fruit of the Branch of the Lord; all the graces and comforts of the gospel spring from Christ. It is called the fruit of the earth, because it sprang up in this world, and was suited for the present state. It will be good evidence that we are distinguished from those merely called Israel, if we are brought to see all beauty in Christ, and holiness. As a type of this blessed day, Jerusalem should again flourish as a branch, and be blessed with the fruits of the earth. God will keep for himself a holy seed. When most of those that have a place and a name in Zion, and in Jerusalem, shall be cut off by their unbelief, some shall be left. Those only that are holy shall be left, when the Son of man shall gather out of his kingdom every thing which offends. By the judgment of God's providence, sinners were destroyed and consumed; but by the Spirit of grace they are reformed and converted. The Spirit herein acts as a Spirit of judgment, enlightening the mind, convincing the conscience; also as a Spirit of burning, quickening and strengthening the affections, and making men zealously affected in a good work. An ardent love to Christ and souls, and zeal against sin, will carry men on with resolution in endeavours to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Every affliction serves believers as a furnace, to purify them from dross; and the convincing, enlightening, and powerful influences of the Holy Spirit, gradually root out their lusts, and render them holy as He is holy. God will protect his church, and all that belong to it. Gospel truths and ordinances are the glory of the church. Grace in the soul is the glory of it; and those that have it are kept by the power of God. But only those who are weary will seek rest; only those who are convinced that a storm is approaching, will look for shelter. Affected with a deep sense of the Divine displeasure, to which we are exposed by sin, let us at once have recourse to Jesus Christ, and thankfully accept the refuge he affords.


    Isaiah 4:1-6 .

    that day--the calamitous period described in previous chapter.
    seven--indefinite number among the Jews. So many men would be slain, that there would be very many more women than men; for example, seven women, contrary to their natural bashfulness, would sue to (equivalent to "take hold of," Isaiah 3:6 ) one man to marry them.
    eat . . . own bread--foregoing the privileges, which the law ( Exodus 21:10 ) gives to wives, when a man has more than one.
    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 .

    2. 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 Isaiah 4:6 ).
    branch--the sprout of JEHOVAH. Messiah ( Jeremiah 23:5 , 33:15 , Zechariah 3:8 , 6:12 , Luke 1:78 , Margin). The parallel clause does not, as MAURER objects, 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 ). He is "of the earth" in His birth and death, while He is also "of the Lord" (Jehovah) ( 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 , 53:2 , Revelation 22:16 ).
    excellent--( Hebrews 1:4 , 8:6 ).
    comely--( Song of Solomon 5:15 Song of Solomon 5:16 , 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 Zechariah 13:9 , &c. Zechariah 14:2 , Ezekiel 39:23-29 , Joel 3:1-21 ).

    3. left in Zion--equivalent to the "escaped of Israel" ( Isaiah 4:2 ).
    shall be called--shall be ( Isaiah 9:6 ).
    holy--( Isaiah 52:1 , 60:21 , Revelation 21:27 ).
    written--in the book of life, antitypically ( Philippians 4:3 , Revelation 3:5 , 17:8 ). Primarily, in the register kept of Israel's families and tribes.
    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 ).

    4. When--that is, After.
    washed--( Zechariah 13:1 ).
    filth--moral ( Isaiah 1:21-25 ).
    daughters of Zion--same as in Isaiah 3:16 .
    purged--purified by judgments; destroying the ungodly, correcting and refining the godly.
    blood--( Isaiah 1:15 ).
    spirit--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.
    burning--( Matthew 3:11 Matthew 3:12 ). The same Holy Ghost, who sanctifies believers by the fire of affliction ( Malachi 3:2 Malachi 3:3 ), dooms unbelievers to the fire of perdition ( 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 ).

    5. 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 Isaiah 65:18 ).
    upon--The pillar of cloud stood over the tabernacle, as symbol of God's favor and presence ( Exodus 13:21 Exodus 13:22 , 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.
    upon all the glory--"upon the glorious whole"; namely, the Lord's people and sanctuary [MAURER]. May it not mean, "Upon whatever the glory (the Shekinah spoken of in the previous clause) shall rest, there shall be a defense." The symbol of His presence shall ensure also safety. So it was to Israel against the Egyptians at the Red Sea ( Exodus 14:19 Exodus 14:20 ). So it shall be to literal Jerusalem hereafter ( Zechariah 2:5 ). Also to the Church, the spiritual "Zion" ( Isaiah 32:18 , 33:15-17 , Hebrews 12:22 ).
    tabernacle--Christ's body ( John 1:14 ). "The Word 'tabernacled' (Greek for 'dwelt') among us" ( John 2:21 , Hebrews 8:2 ). 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 traveller's outfit. Such shall be God's wrath hereafter, from which the "escaped of Israel" shall be sheltered by Jesus Christ ( Isaiah 26:20 Isaiah 26:21 , 32:2 ).
    covert--answering to "defense" ( Isaiah 4:5 ). The Hebrew for defense in Isaiah 4:5 , is "covering"; the lid of the ark or mercy seat was named from the same Hebrew word, caphar; 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, 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 38:20 ).

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