New American Bible (Revised Edition)
1 Seven women will take hold of one man[a]
on that day, saying:
“We will eat our own food
and wear our own clothing;
Only let your name be given us,
put an end to our disgrace!”
2 [b]On that day,
The branch[c] of the Lord will be beauty and glory,
and the fruit of the land will be honor and splendor
for the survivors of Israel.
3 Everyone who remains in Zion,
everyone left in Jerusalem
Will be called holy:
everyone inscribed for life[d] in Jerusalem.(A)
4 When the Lord washes away
the filth of the daughters of Zion,
And purges Jerusalem’s blood from her midst
with a blast of judgment, a searing blast,(B)
5 Then will the Lord create,
over the whole site of Mount Zion
and over her place of assembly,
A smoking cloud by day
and a light of flaming fire by night.(C)
6 For over all, his glory will be shelter and protection:
shade from the parching heat of day,
refuge and cover from storm and rain.(D)
- 4:1 Seven women…one man: deportation (cf. note on 3:1–12) would result in a disproportion of the sexes and leave the female population without enough male partners. The women are willing to marry, not for support, but to avoid disgrace.
- 4:2–6 Usually judged a later addition to the oracles of Isaiah. It relieves the threatening tone of the surrounding chaps. 3 and 5.
- 4:2 Branch: the term (Heb. semah) that is sometimes used of the ideal Davidic king of the future (cf. Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zec 3:8; 6:12). However, the parallel “fruit of the land” does not favor that usage here.
- 4:3 Inscribed for life: in God’s list of the elect; cf. Ex 32:32.