Isaiah 4:2-6 The Branch and the Catastrophe

“In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious.” [Isa 4:2 ESV] There are several other verses which refer to Christ as the Branch. Isaiah 11:1 mentions the Branch that shoots from the stump of Jesse. Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15 say the Branch, coming from the line of David, will reign as king and deal wisely and justly. Zechariah 3:8-9 claims the Branch will remove iniquity. Zechariah 6:12 says the Branch will build the temple, bear royal honor and sit on His throne – He will be king and priest. This is the time the Messiah will reign for a thousand years in Jerusalem.

The second verse of chapter four begins with the words, “In that day.” So does the first verse. In fact, there were two verses in the last chapter that began the same. Isaiah 3:7, in that day – Judah will be desperate for a king. Isaiah 3:18, in that day – Judah will be reduced to slavery. Isaiah 4:1, in that day – there will be a scarcity of men. Isaiah 4:2, in that day – the Messiah will return with glory.

Are all these days the same day? Three of these days speak of catastrophe upon Judah and the fourth day speaks of the glory of the Messiah. It is common in prophecies for the word from God to apply to more than one time, in that, one fulfillment is a foretaste of another fulfillment. For example, there are several passages in Isaiah that speak both to the first coming of Christ and the second. In our study of chapter three of Isaiah, we mentioned the destruction that came upon Judah when they were led captive to Babylon. This could have been a foretaste of future events when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. More than one million Jews were killed in that siege and the nation was dispersed for 2000 years. If the three days mentioned in chapter three and the first verse of chapter four refer to the latter event, then it is plausible the day mentioned in verse two is the same day.

So three “in that day” references foretell future doom and the fourth “in that day” foretells future glory for the Messiah. It can be construed these all refer to the same day. For in the day Jerusalem was finally sacked, the message of the Messiah went out to the entire world, planting the seed for the coming of the Messiah to reign on earth.

The third verse in this passage jumps to the Millennial Reign of Christ – the Branch – when the remnant of Israel will be called holy. Isaiah 27:9 refers to this time when the sin of Jacob will be removed. Jeremiah 31:33-34 says in those days God will write His law on their hearts and forgive their iniquities. Romans 11:26-27 refers also to the time when the wickedness of Jacob will be removed and their sins will be forgiven.

It is worthy of note, the Jeremiah passage does not mention the Jews returning to God by their own initiative. It is God who writes His law on their hearts. It is God who claims them as His people. The passage in Romans beginning in verse twenty-five does not mention Israel returning to God on their own initiative – there are no seekers. In fact, the Apostle Paul wrote there will be a partial hardening of Israel until the time of the Gentiles is completed. This means very few Jews will be saved during this time. But when the time comes, all Israel will be save because the Messiah will “banish ungodliness from Jacob” and write a new covenant and take away their sins. The Bible said this, not me – that God chose few to be saved during this period. This is supported by the end of the third verse of the passage in Isaiah, where it says the remnant in Jerusalem will be saved, “everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem.”

The Book of Life is mentioned in Revelation 13:8 and it says the Book was written, and the names written in the Book, before the creation of the world. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians, explaining God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world (Eph 1:4) and that same apostle wrote God hardened the hearts of Israel until the time of the Gentiles is complete (Rom 11:25). Isaiah said no one seeks after God (Isa 53:6; 64:6-7) and Paul affirms this (Rom 3:11). When the Messiah comes to reign, it will be the time of Zion’s glory and everyone of the Jews – or at least those in Jerusalem – are predestined to be saved and Isaiah says their names are already written in the Book of Life.

Isaiah wrote in the fifth verse, “the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night.” [ESV] This will be a literal reminder of God’s miraculous leading of the children of Israel in the desert for forty years. The Messiah will lead not only Jerusalem, but He will lead the nations.

The next part and the end of the chapter are very interesting. Isaiah wrote there would be a canopy over all the glory at Jerusalem and that there will be a booth, or shade, to protect from the heat and the storms and rain. At the creation of the world, there was a canopy protecting the earth from rain and there was no rain until the Great Flood. Until that time, the earth was watered by mists and dew (Gen 2). In the account of the Flood (Gen 6-8) the earth burst open and water sprang forth and the protection from the floodgates of heaven was removed. It was a time of great catastrophe. The catastrophe was so intense, the earth’s orbit was varied, the calendar changed as did the climate. In the Book of Revelation, we are told there will be great catastrophes to come and the climate will change again (Rev 6:12; 8:12). These passages imply the orbit of the earth may be affected again and this is supported by the words of Christ. In Matthew 24:22, referring to the sun’s scorching heat during the tribulation, He said the days will be cut short for the sake of the elect – otherwise everyone would die. To shorten the day, the rotation of the earth must change. The climate will be unbearable – yes there will be global warming but it will not be caused by man (Rev 16:8-9). When Christ reigns in Jerusalem, no more will the sun scorch the people (Rev 7:16) and Christ will wipe away every tear.

Isaiah is warning the people because they have rejected God. In that day, there will be three dooms – and then glory. The Messiah will reign and He has already chosen those in Jerusalem to be among the elect. Israel will rebel against God no more – for they will have God’s law written on their hearts. We, too, can choose to receive Christ or reject Him – but no one will come to faith unless their name is written in the Book of Life. This is not something to ignore – plead with God that your name is written in the Book – repent of your sins and follow Christ.

About the author: cominus

Cominus is the pen-name for Dean Isaacson. He was chairman of the Snohomish County Republican Central Committee (Washington) 1990 to 1992. He conducted legal research for the late Supreme Court Justice William C. Goodloe for several years and led Judicial Forum for many years. Now, he is a crazy kinda guy who spends most his time doing cold calls. He plays his harmonica in the truck because people don't want to listen to him practice - but his dog, Miles (black dachshund), loves to sing along. He is passionate about being passionate because everyone is really into passionate these days but tires easily and hides behind emails. His core belief is you will choose to serve God or you will serve the state - tyrants, as William Penn called it.

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