Chapter 3 ends with the proud, seductive daughters of Zions being taken and abused as slaves in this time of terror and desolation. Chapter 4 opens with women so desperate for a husband, they agree to support themselves.
The note in my Ryrie Study Bible says they want the husband to avoid the reproach of being childless; but that's not clear in the text to me.
Oddly, 4:1 seems like it should be with the rest of the chapter 3 text about the women. Starting in 4:2, the subject changes sharply.
The Ryrie Study Bible has this section labeled "The Millennial kingdom", so I guess that means this is the time when Jesus reigns for 1000 years. I haven't seen the text to support that yet, but thought I would leave that note here.
Wow. verse 2 is just packed. You could analyze this verse for eternity.
- With all of this horrible mess going on, there will be a beautiful and glorious Branch of the Lord.
- His fruit (the fruit of His Vine) will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. Israel was promised to be the source of the Savior of the Earth. From them every tribe and tongue would be saved. But Israel could never get around to being that messenger. But a Branch is coming (from them) who will Save the world. And they will get to be a part of it, with pride.
- The Ryrie Study Bible says that "The Branch of the Lord" is the Messiah and the same terms are found in Jeremiah and Zachariah.
- The Warren Wiersbe Commentary on Isaiah, Be Comforted, points out that the Branch is a symbol of a shoot from the (seemingly dead) branch of David.
Verse 3 states that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called "holy". It restates that everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.
Verses 4-5 begin the description of life in Jerusalem when the Branch comes. The Lord will wash away the filthy daughters of Zion. Ouch. What a sad summary of so many women who lived at that time, and I assume, the same could be said for those who live now and don't understand how they comport themselves is not sassy or sexy, but filthy.
Verse 4 goes on to say that the Lord will use judgement and burning to purge the bloodshed from Jerusalem. Revelations is brutal, but the king is going to reclaim His land. He promised that He would never again just wipe out everyone; but He will, this time, make a way for ever last believer to join Him as he purges His royal city for His return.
In its place, the Lord will create a city that is covered from the burning heat of the desert by a cloud; and a flaming fire for safety and warmth in the night.
... for over all the glory will be a canopy.Isaiah 4:5b
I just have to believe this is a call back to the cloud/pillar of fire that lead them from Egypt to the Promise Land. Maybe that's why it's considered the 1000 year reign and not eternity; because there would be no need for these things in heaven?
Verse 6 goes on to offer further explanation of the canopy. It's shelter and shade from the heat by day and refuge and protection from storms and rain.
Warren Wiersbe's commentary makes the very essential point that not only are the cloud and the fire the same as what we saw as God brought them out of slavery and into the Promise Land, they are God Himself. His glory among them! Not just in the Temple, but over all of Jerusalem. God with us. Hallelujah!!
That's it. Chapter 4 is quite short. That's good. It's a good launching pad to get me back into this personal study between the studying required for leading the ladies' bible studies.
It's such a stark contrast. A couple of long chapters describing the crimes and punishments of the people and then a short beautiful respite to see where those will live who find Him in this dark place and cling to Him for salvation.
It sounds like Chapter 5 is the last in the extended opening discourse and then we'll move on to the iconic chapter 6.
I guess I would end this post with the reminder that nothing is lost on the Lord. Evildoers will be punished and He will cleanse the land for His people. His people have done evil also, but turned to Him in His calling and were saved. If you haven't turned to Him. Do it now. Today is the day of salvation. Amen.