Let’s read that interesting verse: “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, ‘We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name’” (NKJV). We will need to look back at previous verses to get the “big picture” but standing alone this verse simply means that there will be such a shortage of men that seven women will propose to one man, hoping to marry him and thus to “be called by his name.”

The words “And in that day” refer to a very solemn judgment that would fall upon Jerusalem’s women and men. Let’s read Isaiah 3:16-24 to see God’s judgment upon the women. “Moreover, the LORD says: ‘Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet, Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will uncover the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will uncover their secret parts.’ IN THAT DAY the Lord will take away the finery: the jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the veils; the headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; the perfume boxes, the charms, and the rings; the nose jewels, the festal apparel, and the mantles; the outer garments, the purses, and the mirrors; the fine linen, the turbans, and the robes. And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a STENCH; Instead of a sash, a ROPE; Instead of well-set hair, BALDNESS; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of SACKCLOTH; and BRANDING instead of beauty.”

The Lord had Isaiah give a very graphic “BEFORE and AFTER” description of the women of Jerusalem. Because they had become so ungodly and proud (seen in their gawdy apparel, jewelry, cosmetics and their very mannerisms), God would strip them of everything. Instead of “women of fashion and elegance” they would look and smell like homeless and poverty-stricken vagabonds.

Now let’s read verses 25-26 to see God’s judgment upon the men. “Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war. Her gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit on the ground.” God would “strip the city of most of its men” by allowing those who would invade the city (the Babylonians) to kill them with the sword. Jerusalem’s destruction and loss of men (verse 25) would result in the “daughters of Jerusalem” MOURNING (verse 26) and, as we saw (in 4:1), COMPETING with other women to find a husband who could provide her with security and to remove the reproach of being “stripped of all her outward glory,” as well as the reproach that comes with being ALONE and CHILDLESS.

Before we end our meditation, prophecies often have a “fulfillment in the near future” and also a “fulfillment in the distant future.” Mention was made of the Babylonian invasion, and this was fulfilled to the letter when Nebuchadnezzar’s armies invaded Jerusalem. They decimated the city by “ravaging the women” and “killing the male soldiers.” I believe Isaiah’s prophecy also foreshadows what happened to Jerusalem in 70 A. D. when the Roman armies besieged the city and razed it to the ground. The Lord Jesus spoke of this in Luke 21:20-24, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near…woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword…and Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Yet his prophecy especially looks on to the Great Tribulation when once again God will judge the nation for their idolatry and the worship of the Antichrist (see Matthew 24:15-22). The prophet Zechariah describes THAT DAY as follows: “Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the house rifled, and THE WOMEN RAVISHED. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zechariah 14:1-3). Yet if your read the rest of that chapter (which I would encourage you to do) you will see that “that day” will end very differently then the previous invasions by Gentile armies, for “in that day” the Lord Jesus will return to earth as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” to destroy Israel’s enemies, restore His repentant people to their former glory (and even greater glory!), and make Jerusalem the capitol of the whole earth where all the Gentiles shall come “to worship the King, the LORD of hosts” (see verse 17).  (DO)  (491.1)