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Print Version Main Index : Commentaries : JFB Commentary : Isaiah Index : Chapter 4

Isaiah, Chapter 4
Chapter 3 | Chapter 5
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Bible Version
Cross Reference
Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
Geneva Study Bible
View Isaiah 4 in the note window.

      Isa 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," Isa 3:6) one man to marry them.
      eat . . . own bread--foregoing the privileges, which the law (Ex 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 Isa 4:2 Isa 54:1,4 Lu 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 (Ex 28:2). Their sanctification is promised as the fruit of their being "written" in the book of life by sovereign love (Isa 4:3); the means of it are the "spirit of judgment" and that of "burning" (Isa 4:4). Their "defense" by the special presence of Jesus Christ is promised (Isa 4:5,6).
      branch--the sprout of JEHOVAH. Messiah (Jer 23:5 33:15 Zec 3:8 6:12 Lu 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 (Isa 27:6 Eze 34:23-27). He is "of the earth" in His birth and death, while He is also "of the Lord" (Jehovah) (Joh 12:24). His name, "the Branch," chiefly regards His descent from David, when the family was low and reduced (Lu 2:4,7,24); a sprout with more than David's glory, springing as from a decayed tree (Isa 11:1 53:2 Re 22:16).
      excellent--(Heb 1:4 8:6).
      comely--(So 5:15,16 Eze 16:14).
      escaped of Israel--the elect remnant (Ro 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 (Zec 12:2-10 13:8,9, &c. Zec 14:2 Eze 39:23-29 Joe 3:1-21).

      3. left in Zion--equivalent to the "escaped of Israel" (Isa 4:2).
      shall be called--shall be (Isa 9:6).
      holy--(Isa 52:1 60:21 Re 21:27).
      written--in the book of life, antitypically (Php 4:3 Re 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" (Da 12:1 Eze 13:9). To the elect of Israel, rather than the saved in general, the special reference is here (Joe 3:17).

      4. When--that is, After.
      washed--(Zec 13:1).
      filth--moral (Isa 1:21-25).
      daughters of Zion--same as in Isa 3:16.
      purged--purified by judgments; destroying the ungodly, correcting and refining the godly.
      blood--(Isa 1:15).
      spirit--Whatever God does in the universe, He does by His Spirit, "without the hand" of man (Job 34:20 Ps 104:30). Here He is represented using His power as Judge.
      burning--(Mt 3:11,12). The same Holy Ghost, who sanctifies believers by the fire of affliction (Mal 3:2,3), dooms unbelievers to the fire of perdition (1Co 3:13-15).

      5. create--The "new creation" needs as much God's creative omnipotence, as the material creation (2Co 4:6 Eph 2:10). So it shall be in the case of the Holy Jerusalem to come (Isa 65:17,18).
      upon--The pillar of cloud stood over the tabernacle, as symbol of God's favor and presence (Ex 13:21,22 Ps 91:1). Both on individual families ("every dwelling") and on the general sacred "assemblies" (Le 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 (Ex 14:19,20). So it shall be to literal Jerusalem hereafter (Zec 2:5). Also to the Church, the spiritual "Zion" (Isa 32:18 33:15-17 Heb 12:22).
      tabernacle--Christ's body (Joh 1:14). "The Word 'tabernacled' (Greek for 'dwelt') among us" (Joh 2:21 Heb 8:2). It is a "shadow from the heat" and "refuge from the storm" of divine wrath against man's sins (Isa 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 (Isa 26:20,21 32:2).
      covert--answering to "defense" (Isa 4:5). The Hebrew for defense in Isa 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 (Isa 38:20).

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