The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 4

We go on to Isaiah 4

In Isaiah 3 the women were walking in a spirit of harlotry. They were carnal and sensual. They wanted to call attention to their physical characteristics, and not to morality. In this chapter we see a change that comes about, in the lives of these daughters of Zion, because of judgment. The context of Chapter 4 is regarding Israel (Is 4:3)

v1: Seven: Numbers can, and frequently do, convey information which can help us to arrive at the proper interpretation of a given passage of Scripture. The number ‘seven’ is a number that speaks of holiness, rest, sanctification and the purposes of G-d (See Gen 2:3, Revelation 1 is a chapter full of the number 7. Seven spirts, seven lampstands etc remind us of holiness and sanctification – being set apart in order to fulfil the purposes of G-d).

  • One: This is a number that often refers to G-d, unity etc (see Deut 6:4). There is a hint in this verse that this is referring to a man of G-d (in Isaiah 4:2 we see a reference to Messiah – the Branch), someone who submits to Biblical instruction.
  • Seven women shall take hold of one man: This is an example of repentance. They are turning away from their own paths, desires etc and are embracing the purposes of G-d. When Israel sees the judgment of G-d, it is going to bring about repentance. 
  • Let us be called by your name: This speaks of a marital covenant. What G-d is saying here, through the prophet Isaiah, is that a day is coming when Israel will have a change in her spiritual condition. They will turn away from living in rebellion and they will embrace the purposes of G-d. They will want a different reputation, a different testimony. 

v2: In that day: This is a hermeneutical clue that this phrase ties this verse back to Isaiah 4:1. There is a connection between these verses. When translated, Isaiah 4:1 is often separated from the rest of the chapter, but it should not be. Isaiah 4:1 is a vital part of this 4th chapter and is not meant to be a standalone. 

  • Branch of the L-rd: This is one of the names of Messiah (Jer 23:5-6, Jer 33:14-18, Zech 3:8)
  • Beautiful and glorious: This is a description, a prophetic revealing, of the Kingdom of G-d. The words used here are words that are usually used to refer to the beauty and splendour of the land of Israel (e.g Dan 8:9). However, in this verse they are being used in relationship with Messiah. Proper hermeneutical methodology would cause us to draw the conclusion that there is a close relationship between Messiah and the land of Israel. What we can infer from that is that the character of Messiah (His beauty, His glory) is going to transform the land of Israel so that the land itself will manifest His character, His beauty, His glory.
  • Those of Israel who have escaped: See Joel 2:32
  • Escaped: They are survivors, refugees. 

v3: He who is left…he who remains: Before the wrath of G-d falls the church (who is not going to experience the wrath of G-d – 1 Thess 5:9) is going to be raptured – experience their blessed hope (Titus 2:13, 2 Thess 2:1-2, 1 Cor 15:51-52). The rapture and the second coming of Messiah are two separate events (they even have different signs that announce them). The believers, who are raptured before the second coming of Messiah, return with Messiah for His second coming (1 Thess 3:13). When the believers are raptured, unbelievers are left behind. A remnant, of these unbelievers, is going to come to faith in this period of time after the rapture, in this period when the wrath of G-d falls on the earth (from Revelation 8 onwards). 

  • He who remains in Jerusalem: This is not speaking symbolically about the church but is speaking about those people who are literally left over in Jerusalem – Jerusalem is a real city, in a real land and G-d still has a plan for it. 
  •  Holy: The minute we believe and are saved we are called ‘holy’(Heb 3:1, 1 Peter 2:9-10). It is interesting to note that this is taking place in the last days. People are coming to faith (Zech 13:1-2, Zech 13:8-9). Messiah’s work, in the last days (once the time of the Gentiles has ended and the church has been raptured – Luke 21:24) is to deliver Israel and show His faithfulness to the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7:8-16).  
  • Recorded: Written. Inscribed. People are only inscribed in the book of life by faith in the blood of the Lamb – through the redemptive work of Messiah Yeshua (Ex 32:32-33, Dan 12:1, Luke 10:20, Phil 4:3, Rev 20:15). 

4: Filth: Something very, very dirty. A word also related to human waste. 

  • Washed…purged (cleansed): G-d has promised to wash and purge the house of Israel (Zech 13:1, Ezekiel 36:33). We should anticipate that G-d is going to do this for the children of Israel, as He is a G-d who keeps His promises. 
  • Spirit: This word carries with it a sense of order. When Yeshua spoke creation into being in Genesis 1 (Col 1:15-18) it was the Spirit who moved to bring order from the chaos (Gen 1:2)
  • Spirit of judgment: It is judgment that is going to bring about the order of G-d. 
  • Spirit of burning: Burning destroys all those things that are unclean.  

v5: Dwelling place: Habitation. This is a word referring to an established place, a place which has a degree of strength and power attached to it. 

  • Assemblies: In Hebrew this is an important word that has to do with the calling of people together – a convocation. These people are going to be assembled based on G-d’s proclamation/instruction – what He has prophetically proclaimed and promised. 
  • A cloud and smoke by day: This is reminiscent of the exodus from Egypt. G-d sheltered the people with a cloud by day (Ex 13:21-22). 
  • Shining of a flaming fire: These words refer to a very bright light. This is imagery reminding us about what took place at Mount Sinai and the change that G-d was going to bring about (Ex 19:16-19). 
  • Covering: (Huppah): The Huppah is a marriage canopy under which a Jewish bride and groom stand during their wedding ceremony. Every Jewish wedding, by Jewish law, takes place under a Huppah. The choice of this word here reminds us of a marriage, it reminds us that the glory of G-d is going to be over them through a covenant that is being established. In Isaiah 4:1 read about seven women wanting to enter into a covenantal marriage with the man of G-d. Isaiah 4:2 speaks of this man as Messiah/Messiah. Now in this verse we see a marriage taking place, under the Huppah, between Messiah and the remnant (those that remain) of the children of Israel.  

v6: Tabernacle: Sukkah. At the Feast of Tabernacles these booths (tabernacles/shelters) are set up which the people live in over that period of time (Lev 23:33-43). These shelters were to remind the children of Israel that they were dependant on G-d and needed to trust in Him. 

  • Heat: Interestingly, this word in Hebrew is pronounced ‘mê·ḥō·reḇ’. Horeb is another word for Mount Sinai (Malachi 4:4). 
  • A shelter (literally:hiding place) from storm and rain: This is talking about the raining down of G-d’s judgment. The only way that this remnant can escape the coming storm of G-d’s judgment is by taking refuge, by entering into His hiding place, by going under His marriage canopy, entering into an eternal relationship with the Man of G-d – Messiah Yeshua (G-d with us, Immanuel). 

Note: This chapter reminds us of the faithfulness of G-d – how G-d is going to act in accordance with His prophetic truth. He is going to bring a change to Israel. He is a covenant keeping G-d, and He will fulfil the promises that He gave to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David. If G-d does not keep His Old Covenant promises, how could we be sure that He would keep His New Covenant promises? The promises of the covenant that G-d made with Israel are glorious, but the promises of the New Covenant are even greater because they’re made with the very blood of the Son of G-d. 

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