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!": (Is 2:11,17; 10:20; 17:7; Lk 21:22) (Eat -
2Th 3:12) (Take away reproach - Ge 30:23; 1Sa 1:6; Lk 1:25)
explains Isaiah 3:26.
Seven women...one man - A
bad ratio for women! Men will be in short supply.
The KJV Commentary feels
that this verse "serves as a summary of the preceding chapter"
and most other commentators also include it in their comments on Isaiah 3
(Remember that the chapter breaks are "man made" and not inspired, so
from time to time the chapters are somewhat poorly divided)
Vine comments that Isaiah
and the next chapter (Isaiah
5:1-30) are an expansion of...the judgments of the Day of the Lord, and the subsequent
Millennial blessedness of Israel and their land.
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Wars will slaughter so many men
that in that day (ultimately the tribulation days), women will be
willing to be self-supporting if only they can be married and escape
the reproach of being childless.
Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody
The male population would be so
devastated in the coming invasions of Assyria and Babylonia that women
would be seven times as numerous as the remaining men.
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
John Walvoord writes that...
The judgment of God killed so many
men that Isaiah predicted, “In that day seven women will take hold of
one man and say, ‘We will eat our own food and provide our own
clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!’
” (Is 4:1; 2Chr 36:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21) This was fulfilled in
the Babylonian Captivity. (Walvoord, J. F. The Prophecy Knowledge
Handbook. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)
The fourth chapter, though very
brief, depicts conditions which were to prevail, not only in the days
following the threatened Babylonian captivity, but also in the dark
days of the great tribulation; for Isaiah looked far beyond his own
age to days yet to come.
Note that Morris and
Walvoord see a near
fulfillment and Ryrie, Vine and Ironside see a far future fulfillment of Isaiah's
prophecy. The context of these passages would support both
interpretations of these
The respected commentator Warren
Wiersbe resolves these different comments noting first that the
Day of the LORD (Isa 2:6-3:26)...
is that period of time when God
will send judgment to the nations and purify Israel in preparation for
the coming of His King to reign in Jerusalem. The Day of the
Lord...will be a time of terrible suffering; the environment will be
devastated, and millions of people will die. (Note the repetition of
the phrase “in that day”: Isa 2:17, 20; 3:7, 18; 4:1, 2)
To the prophets, “the Day of the
Lord” was foreshadowed by events in their own day. In the Book of
Isaiah, Assyria’s conquest of the Northern Kingdom and invasion of
Judah, and the Babylonian Captivity of Judah both picture the coming
“Day of the Lord.”
(Wiersbe, W. W. Be Comforted. An Old Testament Study. Wheaton, Ill.:
Victor Books) (Bolding and color added for emphasis)
Tom Constable agrees with
Wiersbe writing that...
All this will happen on “that
day” (Isa 3:7, 18; 4:1), namely, when God judges His people for
trusting in other human beings and themselves rather than Him. Many of
the judgments prophesied in this section took place during the
Babylonian Captivity, and during the Assyrian
Captivity of the Northern Kingdom, but “that day” also
anticipates Tribulation times. (Isaiah
- Expository Notes)
In that day - Time phrase
This day refers to the
Day of the Lord
related discussion in 1Thes notes although there is some overlap in
these descriptions) a
time phrase found in the Old and New Testaments and sometimes is
referred to simply as "the day" or "that day" (e.g., Is
2:17,2:20, 3:18, 4:1, 4:2) . The Day of the LORD (Specific
phrase occurs 16x in OT -
Amos 5:18, 20; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11;
3:14; Obad 1:15; Zeph 1:7, 14; Is 2:12; 13:6, 9; Je 25:33; Ezek 7:10;
13:6; 30:3 ) stands in stark
contrast to the "day of man", typified by this present evil age (Gal
1:4) during which God permits (but does not condone) rebellious,
sinful mankind from going their own way, planning their own plans, and
in short, living as if God did not exist (this is the essence of
ungodliness) and independent of His power and rule (their so-called
"independence" being a deception of their vain imagination, for they
fail to understand that even every rebellious breath they take is a
gift of God's grace!)
THE DAY OF THE LORD
Earth & Heaven
70th Week of Daniel
Day of Lord
Day of the Lord begins >
Day of Lord begins
Reign of Christ
THE DAY OF THE LORD
When does the Day of the Lord
Click for discussion
Why the Day of the Lord is
not a single day?
Click for discussion
What will the Day of the Lord
Click for discussion
What should be Israel's (and
the NT believer's) response to the Day of the Lord?
Click for discussion
How does the DOL compare with
the Day of Christ and the Day of God?
Click for discussion
Mayhue has a nice summary of
the teaching on the Day of the Lord in Isaiah...
Isa 2:12 is the first mention of
DOL in Isaiah’s prophecy. This chapter emphasizes the future
establishment of God’s kingdom (Isa 2:2, 3, 4 ), the present sinful
state of Israel (Isa 2:5, 6, 7, 8, 9), and the future day of reckoning
(Isa 2:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 ).
The prophet appears to look
beyond the near to the far future in the judgment emphasis of Isa
2:10-22 , just as he had looked to the eschatological kingdom in Isa
There are several indicators of
millennial conditions in Isa 2:1-4 (cf. Rev 20:1-6). Mt. Zion will
be the world capital and all the nations will come to it (Isa 2:1, 2)
in order to seek God’s word (Isa 2:3). God will judge between the
nations and war will be no more (Is 2:4,5). This eschatological
emphasis in Isa 2:2, 3, 4 makes it reasonable to conclude that
eschatological judgment is in view in Is 2:10-22 , rather than to
God’s chastisement of Judah by Assyria and Babylon.
DOL is described by Isaiah as a time of universal humiliation for
all who are proud (Is 2:11, 12, 17). In contrast, the splendor of
God’s majesty (Is 2:10, 19, 21 ) will be displayed and the Lord alone
will be exalted in that day (Is 2:11, 17). Isaiah’s portrayals of DOL
here should be interpreted as referring to that time immediately
preceding the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth. It is a day
when God’s majesty will be outwardly manifested (Is 2:10, 19, 21), and
the population will be driven in terror to caves for protection (Is
2:21 , cf. Re 6:16, 17).
The timing and terminology of Is 2:21 are strikingly similar to the
description of the sixth seal in Re 6:16, 17. If these passages are
correlated, it can be concluded that the sixth seal is a part of DOL
and occurs at the end of the Tribulation. The correlation also
confirms that Isa 2:12 refers to the far future. As will be noted
later, Zec 14:1 and Mal 4:5 also emphasize only the far eschatological
implications of DOL.
Isaiah 13 is the next chapter to be considered. It is an oracle
concerning Babylon. Is 13:1-8 deals with God’s use of Babylon as his
instrument of indignation for the destruction of Israel (Is 13:5, 6 ).
This reminds one of Habakkuk’s dismay that God would do such a thing
(Hab 1:2, 3, 4). The DOL was near in the mind of Isaiah (Is 13:6),
although it would not come for over one hundred years. It would be a
day of destruction, terror, and pain (Is 13:8). There is little doubt
that this refers to the near eschatological event fulfilled by Babylon
from 605-586 B.C.
However, there is good reason to believe that Isa 13:9-16 speaks of
DOL implications for the far future. The near emphasis returns in Isa
13:17-22 where the end of Babylon is described. That the far future is
described in Isa 13:9-16 is shown by the cosmic disturbances (Isa
13:10, 13 ; cf. Matt 24:29; Rev 6:12, 13; Joel 2:31) and the universal
judgment of mankind (Isa 13:11 ; cf. Isa 2:11, 12 ). Ladd accurately
describes the interplay of the near and far views:
These two visitations, the near and the far, or, as we may for
convenience call them, the historical and the eschatological, are not
differentiated in time. In fact, sometimes the two blend together as
though they were one day. Isaiah 13 calls the day of the visitation of
Babylon the Day of the Lord. The Lord is mustering a host for battle
(Isa 13:4-6), he will stir up the Medes against Babylon (Isa 13:17).
Therefore, men are to “wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as
destruction from the Almighty it will come!” (Isa 13:6). This
historical Day of the Lord is painted against the backdrop of the
eschatological Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord will bring
disaster to the earth and a disruption of the heavenly order (Isa
13:9-13). Judgment will fall both upon the world of nature and upon
men (Isa 13:7) when God punishes the world for its evil and the wicked
for their iniquity (Isa 13:11). Here is a picture of universal
judgment. The Day of the Lord is the eschatological judgment of
mankind; but the two are seen as though they were one day, one
visitation of God.27
Isa 13:6, 9 is therefore similar to other passages previously noted
which portray the DOL in one context as both a near historical and a
far eschatological happening. (The
Prophet’s Watchword Day of the Lord -- By Richard L. Mayhue Grace
Theological Journal 6:2 Fall 1985)
Seven women will take hold of
one man - The male population will be so decimated by the calamity
for most have died in God's judgment on the land. (cp Isa 3:25)
Constable commenting on
the toll war takes on the male population reminds us...
For example, approximately one
million French, one million German, and half a million English male
soldiers died in World War I....Long gone is the hope to gain a man
through seduction of the eyes (cf. 3:16). Now even begging and
pleading would be ineffective. Women providing their own food and
clothing is the reverse of God’s intention in marriage (cf. Exod.
21:10). Likewise women taking men’s places and leading them, as Eve
led Adam (Gen. 3), illustrates a desperate situation. (Isaiah
- Expository Notes)
John MacArthur has an
interesting comment that God...
He will judge wicked women
indirectly by allowing a slaughtering of males, thereby producing a
shortage of husbands.
J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word
As so often happens in times of
prolonged warfare, the proportion of women to men would become very
great, so much so, that seven women should take hold of one man and
seek to claim him as an husband in order to take away their reproach.
Such polygamous28 suggestions followed the recent world wars, as many
We will eat our own bread
- The women who want the men won't even require them to support them.
They simply want a man for protection and companionship.
Called by your name -
To be called by another's name is a Hebrew idiom which speaks of
indicates ownership (cp 2Sa 12:28) and in context specifically refers
to their desire for marriage.
The NET Bible note adds
The language reflects the cultural
reality of ancient Israel, where women were legally the property of
In the book of Ruth we see that
marriage in ancient Israel was a means of rest and
security for women...
May the LORD grant that you may
find rest, each in the house of her husband." Then she kissed
them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. (Ru 1:9-note)
Comment: The concept of rest
referred to here is the security that is found in marriage. The root
signifies not only absence of movement but being settled in a
particular place with overtones of finality or when speaking fig of
victory, salvation (the ark which "rested" on Mount Ararat Ge 8:4).
Naomi describes marriage as a
place of rest. The term summarizes all the qualities of an ideal
marriage in which a godly woman can find strength, security, material
well-being and love. God
has intended that your marriage be a place, and source, of rest,
peace, and refreshment in your life. Is it?
God can make it so!
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said
to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security (Hebrew word is
related to the word for "rest" in the preceding verse) for you,
that it may be well with you? (Ru 3:1-note)
Keil and Delitzsch write that rest in Ruth 3:1
"signifies the condition of a peaceful life, a peaceful and
well-secured condition, "a secure life under the guardian care of a
Take away our
reproach - In Isaiah 54:4 "reproach" is associated with widowhood,
and in the present context refers to the scorn associated with the
unmarried state. In Ge 30:23 and Lk 1:25 the idea is reproach or
disgrace associated with barrenness.
Jamieson says that
reproach speaks of...
of being unwedded and childless;
especially felt among the Jews, who were looking for "the seed of the
woman," Jesus Christ, described in Isa 4:2 Isa 54:1, 4 Lk 1:25.
The NET Bible note adds
This refers to the humiliation of
being unmarried and childless. The women's words reflect the cultural
standards of ancient Israel, where a woman's primary duties were to be
a wife and mother.
Reproach - cherpah
- 72v - Gen 30:23; 34:14; Josh 5:9; 1 Sam 11:2; 17:26; 25:39; 2 Sam
13:13; Neh 1:3; 2:17; 4:4; 5:9; Job 16:10; 19:5; Ps 15:3; 22:6; 31:11;
39:8; 44:13; 69:7, 9f, 19f; 71:13; 74:22; 78:66; 79:4, 12; 89:41, 50;
109:25; 119:22, 39; Pr 6:33; 18:3; Isa 4:1; 25:8; 30:5; 47:3; 51:7;
54:4; Jer 6:10; 15:15; 20:8; 23:40; 24:9; 29:18; 31:19; 42:18; 44:8,
12; 49:13; 51:51; Lam 3:30, 61; 5:1; Ezek 5:14f; 16:57; 21:28; 22:4;
36:15, 30; Dan 9:16; 11:18; 12:2; Hos 12:14; Joel 2:17, 19; Mic 6:16;
Zeph 2:8; 3:18. NAS = contempt(1), disgrace(5), reproach(60),
reproaches(2), scorn(3), shame(1), taunting(1).
Keil and Delitzsch...
When war shall thus unsparingly
have swept away the men of Zion, a most unnatural effect will ensue,
namely, that women will go in search of husbands, and not men in
search of wives. The division of the chapters is a wrong one here, as
this verse is the closing verse of the prophecy against the women, and
the closing portion of the whole address does not begin till Isa 4:2.
The present pride of the daughters of Zion, every one of whom now
thought herself the greatest as the wife of such and such a man, and
for whom many men were now the suitors, would end in this unnatural
self-humiliation, that seven of them would offer themselves to the
same man, the first man who presented himself, and even renounce the
ordinary legal claim upon their husband for clothing and food (Ex
21:10). It would be quite sufficient for them to be allowed to bear
his name (“let thy name be named upon us:” the name is put upon the
thing named, as giving it its distinctness and character), if he would
only take away their reproach (namely, the reproach of being
unmarried, Isa 54:4, as in Gen 30:23, of being childless) by letting
them be called his wives. The number seven (seven women to one man)
may be explained on the ground that there is a bad seven as well as a
holy one (e.g., Matt 12:45).