Don’t you hate it when it turns out you are wrong about something? Me too.
I hate to print a retraction, because it reveals that I am human, and subject to the same faults and frailties as all other member of the human race.
In several of my posts, and in The Spirit of Prophecy, I had stated that Isaiah 3 begins in the ancient world, and ends at the Tribulation. I was wrong.
Isaiah 2 through 4 represent one vision the Lord gave to Isaiah, and it is one hundred percent about the End Times. The only thing ancient in the passage is the fact that it was written in ancient times.
My mistake was to repeat an idea I had seen in John F. Walvoord’s book “Every Prophecy in the Bible”. I had been somewhat disappointed in that book, because I could see that he had missed several prophecies, but I thought he was partially correct in his statements about Isaiah 3, that this was a prophecy that had been fulfilled in ancient times. I now believe that he is totally incorrect in his analysis of this prophecy.
The context for chapters 2 through 4 is set in the opening verses of chapter 2;
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. Isaiah 2:1-2
In case we didn’t get it, he later emphasizes that this will occur during The Day of the Lord;
12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
For Christians, he states events that Jesus Christ Himself equated with the Day of the Lord.
And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Isaiah 2:19
Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us Luke 23:30
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; Revelation 6:15
Isaiah 3 begins with the little word “For”, which connects the previous chapter with that which is to follow;
3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,
Following this is an indictment of Israel for their many sins. These sins are not those of ancient Israel, but of modern Israel. I think that what had confused Dr.Walvoord, and many other scholars, is the fact that the language used is the type of description one would find in the ancient world. The reason is that the prophet saw the vision through ancient eyes. He had to describe what he saw in terms that he was familiar with, but the indictment is totally modern, and even future.
The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. Isaiah 3:9
Why would I say that some of these indictments are yet future? Israel has not yet reached the level of depravity that will bring about God’s judgment upon them.
15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts. Isaiah 3:15
Occasionally churches in Israel are vandalized, but generally Christians are able to live unmolested. In fact, today Israel displays the most tolerance toward non-majority religions, anywhere in the Middle East, indeed they are more tolerant than most of the world! This is not describing a situation in the ancient world, nor in the modern world, but in the post-rapture world of the early part of the Tribulation period.
After the defeat of the Russo-Iranian coalition in the Gog-Magog war. After their supernatural win over the attacking armies, Israel will believe their religion is correct, and they will view God’s intervention on their behalf as evidence that this is so.
Some of them will view the rapture of the Church as further evidence that they were correct, and will use this as a pretext to persecute those Jews who place their faith in Yeshua ha Mashiach at that time. The wise ones will understand that the rapture of the Church has been because of His love, and will place their faith in the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua, or Jesus. They are the ones verse 15 refers to as those who are beaten.
In the midst of this situation God has words of comfort for His people;
10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
And a great warning for those who trust the Antichrist;
11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
Jesus said that those who see the Antichrist set up the “abomination of desolation” in the Temple should flee to the hills, without even going into their house to gather provisions. (Matt. 24:15-20) The believing third of Israel will obey Him at this time, and be saved. The unbelievers will remember Hannukah, and the defeat of the first Antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes, and will attempt to defeat the second Antichrist the same way. They will perish, but in the process they will provoke the world to attack on behalf of the Beast, in the war of Armageddon.
Isaiah 3 speaks of Armageddon this way;
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. 26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
Many of the believing women in Israel shall flee as Yeshua told them to, but their men will stay behind to teach the Antichrist a lesson. It is the “manly” thing to do. As a result of this war, when Yeshua (Jesus) returns, the women who followed His advice will find that the majority of their men will be dead, and there will be a ratio of seven women to one man, at the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ! This is what Isaiah 4:1 is talking about, and it is a direct result of the events of the previous chapter.
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
These women are not asking for illicit affairs, but for legitimate marriages. This is what it means to “be called by thy name”.
The “reproach” they feel is their inability to have children, because there are not enough men to go around. This word is used in the case of Rachel and Elizabeth for the exact same reason, the inability to have children, though in different circumstances. (Genesis 30:23, Luke 1:25) Can you imagine what it would be like to know you are going to live a thousand years on the earth, in the most wonderful time anyone has ever seen, and not to have anyone to share it with? That would be a reproach.
The answer to this dilemma is spelled out for us here, but most Christians discount it, because they have swallowed Roman Catholic morality. These families will marry in groups of seven women and one man, and look at the next verse. It tells us the political situation in the world at that time;
2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
The “Branch of the Lord” is none other than Jesus Christ, Yeshua ha Mashiach. He will be ruling the earth from Jerusalem at this time, and these people are 100% believers who have escaped the Antichrist, and have witnessed his demise at Christ’s hands! They would not come to these men to ask this question, without first clearing it with Jesus!
The chapter goes on to describe these people;
3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: 4 Whenthe Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
In chapter 3 the guilt of these people is described in verses 15-23. After this comes their judgment in verses 25-26, and now chapter 4 is describing the aftermath, and the great blessing for those who have turned to the Saviour. We have here a description of “holy polygamists” in Israel during Christ’s reign. This is not about the value of women, versus the value of men, it is about a loving and Holy God, and the concern He has for His creation.
The rest of chapter 4 continues with a description of the millennial reign. Every characteristic referred to here will only be fulfilled during the reign of Christ. Whereas, under Moses there was one pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day, for the whole nation, now it will be upon every dwelling place in Jerusalem! Every house!
5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. 6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
There is one important End Times passage that makes a direct reference to Isaiah 4:1. It is a passage that many have mistaken, and have ascribed all kinds of meanings to. It concerns the early signs of the Antichrist; he will take over the world in a very similar situation to the early stages of Christ’s millennial reign. There will be a major World War, and many of the nations involved will lose large numbers of their soldiers in that war. In fact the bible tells us that only one in six soldiers who take part in the Gog and Magog war will return to the nations they came from. The rest will die in the battle.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Ezekiel 39:1-4
It is in the aftermath of this battle that the Antichrist will arise, as a Saviour, and a bringer of peace. Some of his early characteristics are noted in Daniel 11:36-37
And the king (the Antichrist) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
The desire of women is exactly as expressed by the women in Isaiah 4:1; To have a husband and children. In fact you can see this desire by studying biblical women like Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel, Leah, Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar, Lot’s daughters, the Shunnamite woman, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Don’t worry if it doesn’t describe the women you know. The western culture has confused most people about their role in society.
The nations involved in the Gog and Magog war are all Muslim nations today, with the exception of Russia. Those nations, like Iran, Turkey, and Libya, have always allowed men to marry more than one woman, even long before Muhammad came along. When the Antichrist refuses to allow them to continue with their long-standing practice, the western world, including many professing Christians, will think he is a “man of God”. The Antichrist will be put in place by the very people who are supposed to be on the lookout for him! The sign that proves he is the Antichrist, will be the very thing that makes them think he is a “man of God”!
When you read Isaiah 2-4 in context it is easy to see that it is entirely an End Times passage, and it is one of the most significant End Times passages. It is the key to Daniel 11:37.
My mistake was to listen to the scholars, and not to check fully the whole passage. Had I done so, it would have made my case all that much stronger! In my defense, usually I read one chapter a day, and if I have a busy day I just might not remember the details of the passage I read the day before. This appears to be what happened, and since the major scholars had not realized that Isaiah 2 through 4 were one unit, and entirely concerning the End Times, I can at least claim that I did see the most important part of its End Times significance.