You really can't understand Isaiah chapter 4 unless you first study chapter 3. Chapter 4 is actually a continuation of chapter 3 and a conclusion of the thoughts that Isaiah has been conveying regarding the actions and attitude of the women of Israel.
He tells them that not only will they be devastated and sitting in the dirt, but because so many of the eligible bachelors will be lost in the seige on Jerusalem (3:25), there will be no one for the young women to marry. "For seven women will take hold of one man in that day, saying, "we will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach! " (Isa. 4:1) Isaiah was explaining that there was to be such a shortage of young men to marry, the young women would have to resort to drastic measures to get a husband and hopefully get a child. In their culture there was great shame in never getting married and it was an even greater disgrace to not have born children.
In verses 2 and 3, Isaiah starts to speak of the time of the millennium when Jerusalem will be restored and "the Branch of the Lord will be glorious and the fruit of the earth." In Jeremiah 23:5, the "Branch" is also discussed. He, the "Branch," is the "Lord of righteousness" which is of course, Jesus.
Verse 3, is another piece to the puzzle of understanding the millennium. It says that anyone who is left in Jerusalem (after the upheaval and after the arrival of the Lord) will be called holy (and then more clarification) "everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem." This brings up the very interesting topic of the "books"
According to Rev. 20:12, at the time of the great white throne judgement, the people will be judged by what was written of their deeds in a set of books. These books are separate from the Lambs book of Life. This checking of the books for good deeds is secondary to checking for the person's name in the book of life. Rev.20:15 says that anyone whose name that is not found in the lambs book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire.
Also, there is a very interesting passage in Exodus 32:32-33 where Moses had returned to speak to the Lord after the children of Israel had made the golden calf. Moses tells the Lord that, if He won't forgive the people, that he wants the Lord to "blot him out of the book " that the Lord had written. The Lord says; "whoever sins against Me, I will blot him out of My book"
In Rev. 3:5, Jesus is talking to the church at Sardis. He expresses in the earlier verses that He is not very happy with the church in Sardis as a whole, but that there is a remnant of people who are truly pleasing Him. He says of these people; "He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life and I will confess his name before my father..."
And, what about this? Psalm 139:16 "Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were not one of them." I find this verse very interesting.It seems that there is a book which keeps the ordained days of each person from the time that they are in the womb until they are taken from this world in death. Incredible.
So, to sum up the book idea. There is possibly a "book of days" which has recorded in it, the days of life in mortal bodies, for all humans. A book of deeds" where every deed, good or bad, and every word is recorded, and the Lambs book of life which has the names of the humans who have chosen to be "born again " (John 3). I believe these accounts of the books are literal. We will see these records some day.
In verse 4:4, we return to the theme of this chapter. Isaiah is still addressing the problem with the way the women have been living.There can be no purity in Jerusalem until the "filth of the daughters of Zion" has been washed away. Amazing, He called the way they had been living "filth". The description he gives of their behavior in chapter 3 is very like the behavior of women in our society today.
He goes on to finish the verse by saying the bloodshed of Jerusalem, also must be purged with the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning.
If we follow the theme of this chapter, we have to conclude that the bloodshed pertains to the women, just as the rest of the text implies. Erdmans suggests that the bloodshed has to do with the sacrificing of the infants to Molech. Ahaz "burnt his children in the fire after the abomination of the heathen" (2chron. 28:3) Mannassah did also (2chron. 33:6) and Solomon himself built the temple of Molech (1kings 11:7-8), which probably began the practice. It quickly spread from his foreign wives to the
daughters of Israel.
This practice of
sacrificing the infants was probably on going and widespread far before
Isaiah's time even though God had made it clear that this was abhorrent
Then, when the sin is purged, never to return,verses 4:5-6 say ;"then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night (look at Ex. 40:38); for over all the glory will be a "canopy" (Chuppah, Strong's reference # 2646) And there will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain".
Every detail, in the word of God is designed to touch us deeply and personally. It is no mistake that after talking to the women of Israel of judgement and displeasure at their choices, the Lord gives a promise of a time when all sin will be washed away. The word "canopy" in this verse is the same word used for the bridal canopy which was used in that day and is still used today when a Jewish couple marries. It is called the "Chuppah". It is the same word used in Psalm 19:5, and Joel 2:16.
As Isaiah finishes his admonishment addressed to the women, he finishes with an encouragement and a promise that would have been the fulfillment of a life dream for the Jewish women of that day (and maybe of most women today )to meet and marry the perfect man. Remember earlier in this chapter, Isaiah told them that the devastation
from their sin would be so great that they would have no one to marry. Now he says that if
they were to repent and be purged of their sin, they would be met by the presence of God under the chuppah. They would have known what this meant. God was to be their protector, their provider and their bridegroom. God would be the fulfillment of all of their hopes and dreams.
He is going to be all of that and more to us too.
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Rev.19:7-8
This passage is a rare jewel.
Such a small chapter and yet it contains such love expressed by the Lord specifically towards women. He speaks directly to our hearts in this chapter.
Remember; it will not be just an umbrella to cover us during the millennium , it will be a Chuppah.
Read, Read Read ladies! His word is so worth your time!!!
start reading Isaiah chapter 5.
Sorry this chapter took me so long. My oldest daughter had a new baby and I got to play Nana to my older grand daughters!
God bless all of you ladies! I'm praying for all of you