Matthew Poole's Commentary
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.In the extremity of evils, Christ’s glorious kingdom should appear to those who are left alive, Isaiah 4:1,2. They shall be holy, Isaiah 4:3; purged, Isaiah 4:4. A glory and defence upon them, Isaiah 4:5. A sanctuary from evils, Isaiah 4:6.
In that day, of which he hath hitherto been speaking, Isaiah 2 Isa 3, and still continueth to speak. In that calamitous time.
Seven; many. A certain number for an uncertain. Shall take hold; shall sue to him, and even lay hands upon him, contrary to their custom, and their natural modesty.
Of one man; because few men shall survive that dreadful stroke. They who before were not contented with their own husbands, are now glad of a seventh part of a husband.
We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; we will ease thee of that charge, which otherwise would fall upon thee by God’s law, Exodus 21:10.
Let us be called by thy name; own us for thy wives.
Reproach: virginity was esteemed a reproach, especially among that people, because it was a token of contempt from men, and of the curse of God; children, the usual fruit of marriage, being both an honour to their parents before men, and a great blessing of God, especially to that people, from some of whose loins the Messiah was to spring.
In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.In that day; about and after that time; when the Lord shall have washed away (as this time is particularly expressed, Isaiah 4:4)
the filth of Zion by those dreadful judgments now described. The branch of the Lord; either,
1. The church and people of Israel, oft called God’s vine or vineyard, as we saw before, and the branch of God’s planting, Isaiah 60:21. Or,
2. The Messiah, who is commonly defined in Scripture by this title, the Branch, Isaiah 11:1 Jeremiah 23:5 33:15 Zechariah 3:8, whose name is expressly said to be the Branch, Zechariah 6:12, of whom not only Christians, but even the Hebrew doctors, understand it. For after the foregoing miseries were brought upon the Jews, by the remainders of the Grecian empire, of which Daniel prophesies of exactly and particularly, and afterwards by the Roman empire, the Messiah was born; and after that utter destruction brought upon the Jewish city, and temple, and nation by Titus, the kingdom of the Messiah became
beautiful and glorious, as it here follows.
The fruit of the earth shall be excellent; the land which for the sins of the people was made barren, upon their repentance and return to Christ, shall recover its former fertility. Under this one mercy he seems to understand all temporal blessings, which, together with spiritual and eternal, God shall confer upon them; and withal to intimate the fruitfulness of the people (the earth or land being oft put for its inhabitants,) in knowledge, and grace, and all good works.
That are escaped; that shall survive all the forementioned calamities.
And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:Shall be called holy, i.e. shall be really holy, as is said, Isaiah 60:21. To be called is oft put for to be, as Genesis 21:12 Isaiah 1:26 44:5.
Every one that is written among the living: so this is a restriction of the foregoing indefinite proposition. Not all that are left, but a great number of them, shall be holy, even all that are written, &c., i.e. all the elect, who are frequently described by this character, that they are written in God’s or the Lamb’s book, or in the book of life, or of the living, Psalm 69:28 Daniel 12:1 Philippians 4:3 Revelation 3:5 13:8 17:8, &c. But this last clause of the verse is by some learned interpreters rendered thus, all that are in Jerusalem (i.e. a very great number of them, as such general expressions are frequently used, or the generality of them) shall be written unto life, i.e. shall be such as are elected unto salvation through sanctification; which may deserve consideration. So he notes the singular privilege of this people at this time above the former ages, in which many were called, but few were chosen.
In Jerusalem; of the people living in or belonging to Jerusalem.
When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion: this shall be accomplished when God hath thoroughly cleansed the Jewish nation from their sins. The blood; the blood-guiltness, and especially that of killing the Lord of life, their own Messiah.
By the Spirit of judgment, and by the Spirit of burning: this is opposed to the former legal way of purification, which was by water. By
the Spirit he seems to understand the Holy Spirit of God, to which this washing and purging work is commonly ascribed, as 1 Corinthians 6:11, and elsewhere; which Spirit did accompany the preaching of the gospel, and did this work in part in some of the Jews, and will do it more fully in the body of the nation. And this Spirit may well be called a Spirit of judgment, because it executes judgment in the church, and in the consciences of men, separating the precious from the vile, convincing men of sin, and righteousness, and judgment, John 16:8-11, manifesting the secrets of men’s hearts in the preaching of the word, 1 Corinthians 14:25; accusing, and terrifying, and punishing some, witnessing for and with others, and filling them with peace and joy in believing; hardening some, and softening and subduing others to God, as this Spirit is particularly promised to do to the Jews, Zechariah 12:10. And the same Spirit may be fitly called the Spirit of burning, as he is compared to fire, Matthew 3:11, because he doth burn up and consume the dross which is in the church, and in the minds and hearts of men, and inflames the souls of believers with love to God, and zeal for his glory.
And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.Will create; will in a marvellous manner produce, as it were by a new work of creation.
A cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flashing fire by night; a pillar of cloud and fire, like that wherewith the Lord directed, and protected, and honoured the israelites, when they came out of Egypt; whereby he implies that God would be their protector and their glory.
Upon all the glory; upon all that church and people, which God will make so glorious, not only in his own eyes, but even in the eyes of the world; upon all holy assemblies of sincere Christians.
And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.There shall be a tabernacle; or, he, i.e. the Lord, shall be a tabernacle, or a tent, to defend them from the violent heat of the sun, and other injuries of the weather, which was the use and benefit of tents.