seven brides for one brother

February 2015 (5)

Isaiah 4:1-6

1 And seven women will clutch onto one man on that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread, and we will wear our own clothing; only let your name be called upon us. Remove our disgrace!” 2 On that day the branch of Yahveh will become beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of what remains of Israel. 3 And this will happen: He who is left in Zion and he who remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone prescribed for life in Jerusalem, 4 when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the blood of Jerusalem from her midst by a breath of judgment and by a breath of burning. 5 Then Yahveh will create over all of the mountain of Zion and over her assembly a cloud by day and smoke and the brightness of flaming fire at night. Indeed, over everything glorious he will create a canopy, 6 and it will be a shelter for shade from heat by day, and a refuge and a hiding place from rainstorm and from rain.

seven brides for one brother

Isaiah had predicted a great judgment that would fall on Jerusalem. But in this short chapter, he provides a glimpse of God’s protecting grace in the midst of that firestorm. The imagery shows that even while the burning heat and the engulfing rain are still doing their destruction, the glorious thing which remains will be preserved miraculously by a canopy of cloud and smoke and fire. This harkens back to God’s guiding column of cloud and fire in the wilderness on the way to the promised land. That column had also once served as a barrier, protecting the Israelites from the charging Egyptians.[1] The LORD is promising protection for the righteous that survive, even while he is predicting destruction of those who will not. There will be a terrible judgment, and it will deplete the male population such that seven women will pursue one man, seeking a polygamous relationship because there are so few men left. They will have become widowed presumably due to war.

Both the horror and the comfort of this text are from God. He sends the firestorm, and only he will send the protection for those who make it through it. Such is the case in the world we live in as well. Our God is the author of hell, and the one who promises escaping it in eternal life.

LORD, rescue us with your delivering power, and make us the glorious thing that remains, protected from your righteous judgment to come.

{for another interesting take on this passage, see http://growinggodlyseed.com/eating-bread/}


[1] Exodus 14:19-20.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a Christian missionary and church elder.
This entry was posted in destruction in hell, glory, holiness, protection and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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