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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 4: A Chapter of Hope

      

For structure & preliminaries, see chapter 1

v.1 Continuation

v.2-6 The Branch of the Lord & Restoration of Zion

   

    

v.1 Continuation

 

v.1 (with most men gone, self-sufficient women will seek identity) In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, “We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!”

 

v.2-6 The Branch of the Lord & Restoration of Zion

 

v.2 (see the notes below. Yet there will be glorious survivors of the Lord's judgment) In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel.

v.3 (the surviving remnant in Jerusalem will be holy) Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.

v.4 (the Lord will have cleansed them of the sin that previously prevailed) The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.

v.5 (He will set His glorious presence over them as it had been during the Exodus [Ex 13:21]) Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy.

v.6  ( and he will shelter them and be a refuge for them ) It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. 

 

Note 1: The surprise about this chapter is not so much its shortness as the fact that it didn't start at what is seen as verse 2, the first verse being a continuation of the previous chapter. Having said that, it's position here is, in one sense, as a continuation.

    

Note 2: ‘the day of the Lord' 

•  announced, 2:12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store 

•  its effects, 2:17,20 The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day (and they will throw away their idols)

•  its infliction, 3:18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery

•  its poverty inflicted, 4:1 In that day seven women will take hold of one man

   

It is a day of judgment. The only query about it is whether it will be in the near future or it is the Final Judgment that scripture often speaks about. We should note that there is a feeling that in all this there is an implied ongoing existence of the people of God after the judgment.

    

Note 3: The ‘Branch of the Lord' seen in verse 2, that appears often in the prophetic scriptures (e.g. Isa 11:1, Jer 23:5, 33:15, Zech 3:8, 6:12) is either an individual (the Messiah) or, as some commentators suggest, the holy remnant if Israel, the nation, from within which the Messiah comes.

   

Note 4: The point of this chapter must surely be to insert hope. This is something that always happens in the Scriptures. Yes, there will be judgment, God will deal with the ungodly and the unrighteous, and as this specifically applies to Israel (Judah), the fear will be that this means the ultimate destruction of the nation. But that is never so, there are always references to ‘remnants' and, as we now find here, the Lord's declaration is that His intent is to ultimately bring good to the nation:

•  the end result will be beautiful and glorious (v.2)

•  a holy people will still inhabit Jerusalem (v.3)  

•  they will be a cleansed-of-sin people (v.4)

•  His protection and guidance will hang over them the whole time (v.5)

•  thus Jerusalem will be a shelter and protection for them (v.6)

   

Yes, we have gone along with the popular division of the book calling the first 39 chapters, “Words of Judgment” but we should always be on the lookout for these words of hope that occur in this division that explode in number in the second division so often titled “Words of Comfort”

  

   

Continue to Chapter 5