Isaiah 3:25, 26
Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war.…
The destruction of the males in war is the cause of the extreme grief and helpless desolation of womanhood. The figure is intense when read in the light of the condition of unprotected woman in Eastern countries. "In the East of antiquity, as in many Eastern lands to this day, the position of an unmarried woman, whether maid or widow, was a very unhappy and perilous one. Only in the house of a husband could a woman be sure of respect and protection. Hence the Hebrews spoke of the husband's house as a woman's menu-chub, or 'rest'- her secure and happy asylum from servitude, neglect, license" (S. Cox). In the verses before us the effect of the slaughter of the males on the community is described. The chief places of concourse are full of desolate, wailing women; and the state or nation is then personified as a desolate widow seated on the ground, a sign both of mourning and degradation. For illustration of the figure, see Vespasian's coin. The device on it is a woman, disconsolate, in a sitting posture, leaning against a palm tree, and the legend is "Judaea capta." As a modern illustration take the calamity which came upon France through the series of revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. The conscription swept off the males; the age for soldiers, and standard height, were again and again reduced, until even the nation's youths were destroyed; and it has taken years to recover the national strength.
I. A NATION'S STRONG MEN ARE HER PRESENT JOY. They work well in the factory. They advise well in the council. They ensure healthy and strong populations.
II. A NATION'S STRONG MEN ARE HER DEFENSE. They ensure her respect abroad. They preserve her when attacked. They keep off disease by their vitality.
III. A NATION'S STRONG MEN ARE HER HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. They put strength into government, art, science, literature, labor. Health is energy. A nation's hope lies in this being the description of her sons - mens sana in corpore sano. Then what a national calamity war is! It takes a nation's manhood. We may well "seek peace and ensue it," for it keeps our manhood. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.