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This Super Bowl week offers the opportunity for a lot of boasting. I am sure that the media coverage will capture some of the typical trash talking of the players on both teams. As much as I love my Ravens, some players can be immature idiots in mouthing off in boastful fashion. To the Ravens credit, many of their players sincerely have a spiritual focus where they are quick to give the Lord the credit for His work in their lives. But for most of the world of power and fame, people are quick to pridefully boast in their accomplishments. Like King Nebuchadnezzar of old, they look around and marvel at what I have been able to build or accumulate or possess. It is a humbling process as we saw in chapter 3 when the Lord sweeps away all support systems and exposes our trust in human flesh as empty and vain. He spoke of the judgment He would bring on the lofty male leaders and the arrogant, aristocratic women. It was not a pretty picture.

Today we emerge from the gloomy aspects of the future Day of the Lord to enter back into the glorious sunshine of the Messianic Kingdom. Isaiah keeps bouncing back and forth with those contrasting images. In that day God’s people will finally make their boast in their Messiah. The futility of human leaders will have been erased and Messiah will sprout up as God’s solution to a reign of peace and righteousness on the earth. Remember the two bookends to this section of Isaiah. 2:1-4 – now bracketed with 4:2-6




A. Magnificence of the Messiah – Messiah’s Divine Connection

“In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious,”

The arrogant, aristocratic women of Israel who tried to establish their own beauty but were stripped and humiliated by God’s judgment are here contrasted with the pure beauty and glory of God’s Messiah.

1. The Timeframe for Future Hope – “in that day” – eschatological reference

Preceptaustin: In that day equates with that aspect of the Day of the LORD which includes the one thousand year reign of Christ or the Millennium. As discussed earlier, the Day of the LORD is not a single day but an extended period of time that ends with the passing away of the present heavens and earth (after the Millennium which will take place on the present earth), for Peter says that… the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

2. The Title of the Ultimate Ruler – “the Branch of the Lord”

Motyer: The Branch of the Lord is always elsewhere a title pointing to the Messiah in his kingly and priestly offices (Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 3:8; 6:12).

Beall: 2 Sam 23:3-5 states that the “Rock of Israel” tells David that “a ruler over men will be just, a ruler in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises. . . . Is not my house thus with God? For He has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For all of my salvation and all my desire, will He not cause it to grow (x;ymic.y:, “cause to sprout forth”)?” The noun xm;c, is from this same verb, xm;c’, found in 2 Sam 23:5. The reference in 2 Sam 23:5 to the Messiah may indeed be cryptic, but it is developed here in 4:2 by Isaiah. That the term should be taken messianically in Isaiah is made clear by comparison of 4:2 with Isa 28:5-6a: “In that day the Lord of hosts\ will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, for a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment. . . .”

Young: Heb 7:14 may contain the same thought: “Our Lord sprang forth [avnate,talken, from avnate,llw, “to spring forth”] from Judah”

If you take this as Messianic reference the problem becomes how to interpret the next phrase in parallel fashion. Cf. the Vine in John 15

3. The Tribute to Messiah’s Perfections – “will be beautiful and glorious,”

Van Parunak: “beauty” cebiy describes the attractiveness of jewelry (Ezek 7:20), or of a city or nation (Dan 11:16, 41, 45). Notably, David uses it to describe the majesty of fallen Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam 1:19).

Messiah has not always been recognized by the Jews as beautiful and glorious; Is. 52:13ff

Refers to a process … will become beautiful and glorious (imagery of bride and bridegroom)

We are fulfilling our role as God’s created beings when we recognize His precious Son as fully God and fully Man = the one Mediator between God and Man; the one who has redeemed us from our sin and death and separation from God so that we now recognize and worship Him as beautiful and glorious

We need to spend time meditating on Him; to take that precious bottle of perfume and break it over His head and feet and bow down in humble worship; to truly appreciate Him for all of His perfections; look at how the angels devote themselves to such activity

The world wants to paint Christ as ugly and impotent

The testimony of the heavenly Father: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”

B. Pride of the Believing Remnant – Messiah’s Human Connection

“and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.”

Borgman: “the fruit of the land” – the land of Palestine that God put His hand on; the Lord will cause the sprout to come forth from the land of Israel; John 4 – salvation is from the Jew; emphasizes His humanity – even His Jewishness;

Look at the contrast with the ostentatious and worldly adornment of the arrogant aristocratic women in chapter 3

Rom. 1:3-4 “concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord”

Rev. 22:16 – “I am the root and the descendant of David”

Motyer: Glory had been their destruction (2:10) and Pride (2:12; a related word) their ruin. Now the divine glory dwells among them, they rightly pride themselves in him and he imparts a true dignity to them.

Adornment — “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh;”

Cause for boasting — 1 Cor. 1:30-31 “let him who boasts, boast in the Lord”; not a carnal boasting — Need some Christian Swagger


A. Calling of Holiness

“And it will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy– everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.”

A remnant will make it into the Millennial Age; but with completely transformed character so that they are holy like the Lord Himself

Rom. 11:1-27 important passage about Israel existing as a remnant and ultimately all Israel being saved at a point in time yet future

MacArthur: a small nucleus of God’s people, preserved by His sovereign grace, form this righteous remnant in the midst of national apostasy (Cf. Isa 1:9-note). There were always the obedient few (referring to believing OT Jews) who preserved, obeyed, and passed on God’s law. There will always be a remnant because God will never forsake the Abrahamic Covenant (cf. Mic 2:12,13; Ro 9:27-note; Ro 11:5-note)

Dan 12:1; Rev 20:12

Preceptaustin: Holy Remnant — (Is 1:27; 52:1; 60:21; Ezekiel 36:24, 25, 26, 27, 28; 43:12; Zechariah 14:20,21; Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; Hebrews 12:14; 1Peter 2:9)

Borgman: These survivors (remnant) did not hang in there by chance; “holy” is first word in sentence = emphasized; separate from that which brought about the judgment in the first place; not left over by accident; these are the elect; their names had been recorded in the book; Ephes 1 – election is always unto holiness; God washes away the inward and outward sins; not talking about God reforming people; the removal of the filth;

Motyer: the Lord’s book is referred to throughout Scripture (e.g. Ex. 32:32-33). To have survived the calamity is no accident but arises form an elective decision of the Lord, a divine purpose expressed in the inscribing of the name in the book of life. Behind personal experience lies the predestinating mind of God.

Van Parunak: Isaiah uses “holy” more than any other prophet; uses it consistently – 1 time applied to the Sabbath; 36 times it describes the Lord – mostly as the Holy One of Israel; this is his only usage where it applies to the people; God takes His own name and attaches it to His own people; the Lord has set aside those who are His own and preserved them from the judgment; Ezek. 9 – preparation for judgment; inscribed for life and then the judgment fell. . .

When the remnant turns their eyes in worshipful appreciation to the one who is the Branch of the Lord and the Fruit of the Land, they receive this divine title “Holy.”

Compare the promise of the Lord to the Church of Philadelphia (Rev 3:12),

“I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”

The pampered ladies of 3:16-4:1 had been reduced to seeking a man, any man, and beseeching him, only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach (4:1).

But those in view here receive a far loftier name, that of the Lord God. (The link with 4:1 suggests a marriage theme, which is picked up in the “defense” of 4:5.)

Again, Peter may have this text in view: 2 Pet 1:4

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

B. Process of Cleansing and Judgment

1. Targets of This Judgment

a. Lofty Male Leaders

“When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion,”

Chiastic approach – taking up these two groups in reverse order to how they had been addressed in chapter 3

b. Arrogant, Aristocratic Women

“and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst,”

Van Parunak: He again treats the two categories, the powerful leaders and the pampered ladies: washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion,–The first reference is to the women, in the same terms as 3:16. “Filth” is literally “excrement,” and recalls the judgment of 3:24, where their delicate ornaments and perfume-bottles are replaced with disgusting filth. We noted there that this replacement was not so much vindictive judgment as a revelation of their true nature. Now we see that it is not the end of the process. After making manifest the ugliness of their sin, the Lord now removes it, and washes it away. Only when they have been thus cleansed can they exhibit the faith described in 4:2.

and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof—The clear reference of “daughters of Zion” to the women of 3:16-4:1 suggests that we should understand this clause to refer to the bloodshed that results from the removal of the leaders in 3:1-15, and that in fact reveals the true nature of the abuses that they approved while they were in office. As with the women, so with the men, this revelatory judgment is followed with purging.

Beall: Vv 4-6 show that the judgment of the Lord must come first–the filth of the daughters of Jerusalem must be purged through God’s judgment. The term used here is in stark contrast to the holiness of v. 3 which will be true of the remnant. As Young notes, in this verse Isaiah takes up two of the themes of chap. 3 in chiastic order: the violent deeds of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the “beauty” of the women which was really “filth” (p. 183). John Martin aptly comments that “only the sovereign work of the Lord, not human effort, will be able to cleanse the nation” (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 1041; cf. Zech 3:8-9; 13:1).

2. Instruments of This Judgment

“by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning,”

Some would see figurate use of this word ruah which can mean breath, wind, spirit; so would translate as “process” of judgment or “blast” of judgment”

Van Parunak: always refers to the divine spirit:

Isa 28:5-6 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem Of beauty, unto the residue of his people, 6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment,

Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Mic 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

It is God’s spirit who will take away their sin, thus completing the process of judgment. and by the spirit of burning.–This cleansing is described by burning. Cf. 6:6,7, where Isaiah, having realized his sin, is purged by coals brought from the altar.

Motyer: The Lord so acts as to meet alike the objective demands of absolute justice and the subjective demands of his own holy nature.


A. Creation of Protective Canopy

“then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy.”

Not fulfilled at the return from Babylonian Captivity; looks forward to the ultimate fulfillment in the Messianic kingdom

“Bara” – word for God’s unique creative activity – used in Gen. 1:1 – shows that what will happen here is the work of God Himself; not some reformation that man brings about

Grogan: a favorite later in Isaiah to denote realities brought into being by the Creator in his new and final purpose (cf. e.g., 41:20; 45:8; 48:7; 65:17-18).

Young: Isaiah uses language descriptive of the time of the wilderness wandering. This cloud of smoke had served as a protection for God’s people. . . The cloud was first a guide to the people. “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them in the way” (Exod. 13:21a). It was also a protection. “And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these; so that the one came not near the other all the night” (Exod. 14:20). It was also an approach to the Lord. “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation , and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exod. 40:34).

Grogan: The protective symbols would not move, as they did during the Exodus, for the future Mount Zion is journey’s end.

Oswalt: The canopy of cloud and fire, so terrifying to God’s enemies, will be a source of comfort to the remnant. The same fire which purged them is now their protection and hope.

Drastic changes to the earth’s environment?? – cf. changes that happened after the universal Flood

Word “canopy” used of the wedding ceremony (cf. context of 5:1) – canopy of God’s love and protection

Oswalt: Canopy (huppa )always denotes the “marriage chamber” (Ps. 19:5; Joel 2:16).

B. Function of Protective Canopy

“And there will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.”

Is. 43:2-3 similar imagery of protection “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Like a booth in the Feast of Booths – protect us from everything that nature or the world could throw at us

CONCLUSION: 3 Main Applications:

– We need to make our boast in our Redeemer who truly is beautiful and glorious and our all sufficient Mediator as the perfect God-Man

– We need to put on the Lord Jesus as our adornment so that our life and works faithfully represent the holiness of God and His abundant grace that has cleansed us from the filth and bloodshed of our wickedness.

– We need to rest in the Security of Messiah’s Protection from anything this world can throw at us