This short chapter (of 6 verses) brings before us the coming Millennial reign of Christ.  Verse 1 actually fits in the context of chapter 3:16-24 where God rebukes the many proud and wealthy women of Jerusalem for their pride and expensive clothing and how they would be stripped of their beauty and fashion by God’s judgment. This literally took place when Jerusalem was invaded by the Babylonians. In 4:1 we read, “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, to take away our reproach’” (NKJV). This speaks of how so many men would lose their lives that “seven women would propose to one man,” each hoping he would marry them so they could escape the terrible reproach that has come upon them. Starting with verse 2, we are carried to the glorious day when Christ comes in power and glory and establishes His kingdom: “In THAT DAY the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.” Jesus is called the “Branch of the Lord” because He “sprouted” from the line of King David as we see in Jeremiah 33:15, “In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.” Jesus has a “right to the throne” because He was “born in the Royal line of David” (see Matthew 1:1 and Romans 1:3). When He sits on His Throne there will be glorious results for Jewish believers in Jerusalem in “that day” and we will look at some of their blessings in verses 3-6.

Verses 3-4: “And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called HOLY—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirt of burning.”  All Jews who are alive in Jerusalem when the Lord returns will be called “holy.” The Apostle Paul spoke of this blessing for repentant and believing Jews in Romans 11:26-27, “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’” The words “all Israel” refers to Jews who repented of their sins and survived the seven-year tribulation; they are “God’s elect” who will be saved from their enemies by their blessed Messiah (see Matthew 24:29-31). Yet there will be many Jews who did not repent or survive the Tribulation; their “filth” will be washed away “by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.” These are unbelieving Jews who are killed in the judgments of God. They are removed from the earth because they would not accept the Lord Jesus as their Messiah/King. This “cleansing of the nation by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning” was prophesied by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:12, “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly CLEAN out His threshing flood, and gather the wheat into the barn; but He will BURN UP THE CHAFF WITH UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.” The Lord Jesus also described this judgment in Matthew 13:41-42, “The Son of Man will send out His angels and they will gather OUT OF HIS KINGDOM ALL THINGS THAT OFFEND, and those who practice lawlessness, and will CAST THEM INTO THE FURNACE OF FIRE. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Verses 5-6: “Then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuges, and for a shelter from storm and rain.” The blessing being described here for the elect, the “redeemed of Israel,” is having the GLORY OF GOD’S PRESENCE with them. You may recall God’s glory was visible to Israel during their Exodus from Egypt in a “cloud by day and fire by night” (see Exodus 13:21-22; 40:34-38). So, God’s glory will be visible once again to “redeemed Israel” in THAT DAY when the “Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” (read Malachi 4:1-2).  (DO)  (511.1)