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Isaiah 4:1-2 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Seven women will grab hold of
one man at that time.[a]
They will say, “We will provide[b] our own food,
we will provide[c] our own clothes;
but let us belong to you[d]
take away our shame!”[e]

The Branch of the Lord

At that time[f]
the crops given by the Lord will bring admiration and honor;[g]
the produce of the land will be a source of pride and delight
to those who remain in Israel.[h]

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 4:1 tn Or “in that day” (ASV).sn The seven-to-one ratio emphasizes the great disparity that will exist in the population due to the death of so many men in battle.
  2. Isaiah 4:1 tn Heb “eat” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “buy.”
  3. Isaiah 4:1 tn Heb “wear” (so NASB, NRSV); NCV “make.”sn In Jewish understanding a husband should provide food and cloth to his wife. These women are so desperate as to be willing to exempt the man from some of his traditional, fundamental duties as a husband.
  4. Isaiah 4:1 tn Heb “only let your name be called over us.”
  5. Isaiah 4:1 sn This refers to the humiliation of being unmarried and childless. The women’s words reflect the cultural standards of ancient Israel, where a woman’s primary duties were to be a wife and mother.
  6. Isaiah 4:2 tn Or “in that day” (KJV).
  7. Isaiah 4:2 tn Heb “and the vegetation of the Lord will become beauty and honor.” Many English versions understand the phrase צֶמַח יְהוָה (tsemakh yehvah) as a messianic reference and render it, “the Branch of the Lord” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT, and others). Though צֶמַח (tsemakh) is used by later prophets of a royal descendant (Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12), those passages contain clear contextual indicators that a human ruler is in view and that the word is being used in a metaphorical way of offspring. However, in Isa 4:2 there are no such contextual indicators. To the contrary, in the parallel structure of the verse צֶמַח יְהוָה corresponds to “produce of the land,” a phrase that refers elsewhere exclusively to literal agricultural produce (see Num 13:20, 26; Deut 1:25). In the majority of its uses צֶמַח refers to literal crops or vegetation (in Ps 65:10 the Lord is the source of this vegetation). A reference to the Lord restoring crops would make excellent sense in Isa 4 and the prophets frequently included this theme in their visions of the future age (see Isa 30:23-24; 32:20; Jer 31:12; Ezek 34:26-29; and Amos 9:13-14).
  8. Isaiah 4:2 tn Heb “and the fruit of the land will become pride and beauty for the remnant of Israel.”
New English Translation (NET)

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