4 On that day, seven women will beg the same man:
Women: Please, take away our shame. We will support ourselves—eat our own bread, make our own clothes—just let us be called by your name.
The prophet warns of a time when only a few of God’s people will be left. The shredded fabric of families will leave the most vulnerable exposed and desperate. Women, who in this ancient Israelite society depend on relationships to men for social and financial security, will resort to doing whatever they can to survive beyond the deaths of their fathers, brothers, and husbands. Although the framework of their culture will seem to have crumbled, the story will move forward as the God of Israel remembers His own. There will always be a remnant of those who follow the Lord. Utter despair gives way to hope.
2 Then, oh then, a tiny shoot cultivated and nurtured by the Eternal will emerge new and green, promising beauty and glory. Everything that comes from the earth will offer itself, lovely and magnificent, to those who escaped Israel’s demise. 3 Those who survived in precious Zion, all who remain in that special city, Jerusalem, will be called holy. They are destined to be alive, these remaining few, in Jerusalem. 4 Then the Lord will wash away the filth that clung to the daughters of Zion and clean up the blood that stained Jerusalem’s streets with a spirit of justice and the breath of fire. 5 And the Eternal will create wonders over the whole of Mount Zion and those who gather there—cloud and smoke to dim the day, bright shining fire to light the night, all billowing over Zion’s glory like a satin canopy. 6 And it will be a resting place, protected from the heat of the day, a place of shelter and retreat amid storms and rain.