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The branch of the Lord

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The New American Commentary: Isaiah 1–39 (5) God’s Glorious Holy Kingdom (4:2–6)

In spite of the severity of the warning in 2:6–4:1, Isaiah wanted to make it clear that the nation’s present pride will not defeat God’s ultimate plan to establish his glorious kingdom in the future.

“in that day” now is more fully developed. The judgment gives way to something glorious.
“in that day” now is more fully developed. The judgment gives way to something glorious.

This section itself (4:2–6) contains a note of judgment in v.4; but clearly the Day of the Lord, though basically judgmental, introduces also the salvation that is the sequel and consequence of God’s cleansing act.

THE OBSCURITY OF THE BRANCH OF THE LORD: WHO OR WHAT IS THE BRANCH OF THE LORD? (V. 2)

What are we to believe about the branch of the Lord?

The New American Commentary: Isaiah 1–39 (5) God’s Glorious Holy Kingdom (4:2–6)

Three questions need to be asked to decide which interpretation fits best in this context: (a) Are there earlier passages before the time of Isaiah that give a messianic meaning to the verb ṣemaḥ, “spring forth,” a word that is from the same root as the noun “branch?” (b) Does Isaiah or other later authors use this term (or related terms) to refer to the Messiah, thus providing a later biblical commentary on what the biblical authors thought “branch” means? And (c) does the messianic meaning “Branch of the LORD” or the agricultural meaning “fruit of the land” fit the context in Isaiah 4:2–6 better?

(1) Just a parallel statement to the “fruit” - about the land being replenished? If this is the case, then why is not “fruit” given this “of the Lord” phrase as is “branch”?
(1) Just a parallel statement to the “fruit” - about the land being replenished? If this is the case, then why is not “fruit” given this “of the Lord” phrase as is “branch”?
(2) Is the branch of the Lord just a word for the remnant that survives judgment? If this is the case, then why mentioned the remnant in the same verse?
(3) Is are both “branch” and “fruit” a reference to the “anointed One” who would come?
A first century Jewish interpretation [Targum] interprets this as the Messiah.
A Phoenician document from Cyprus around third century BC refers to an heir of the throne using this word
The word for “branch” is specifically used: See also

The word ṣemaḥ (“branch”) occurs in four verses (Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12) as a technical messianic designation.

The New American Commentary: Isaiah 1–39 (5) God’s Glorious Holy Kingdom (4:2–6)

A better solution is to conclude that the two clauses in 4:2 refer to two parallel acts of God that will transform Zion. God will (a) cause his messianic Branch to spring forth, and also (b) bring marvelous fertility to the produce of the field. This interpretation shows how God will reverse the situation in 2:6–4:1. He will (a) replace the proud leaders of his people and give them a new leader, the Branch of the Lord, and (b) replace the ruin, devastation, and shame of the destroyed land with lush crops that will have great fertility.

THE PEOPLE OF THE BRANCH OF THE LORD: WHAT WILL THE BRANCH OF THE LORD DO?

This branch of the Lord cannot be viewed simply as a descriptor of that future day, but He must be understood as the means through which Jehovah will accomplish all that ensues.
(1) He will claim a people exclusively (v. 3)
(2) He will claim these people by an exclusive work (v. 4)
wash away the filth [sacrificial terminology; human excrement;]
These are sinful people in need of washing
purged the blood of Jerusalem - by the spirit of judgment; by the spirit of burning [justice and burning; , ; ]
spirit - reference to the Holy Spirit - ;
thorough purging
the transformation of the inner man by the Spirit of God - ; ;
(3) He will claim these people by his exclusive, evident presence (v. 5)
his presence will be upon every dwelling place
“beauty
his presence will be upon every gathering place
his presence will be a canopy over all this splendor
Isiah
The New American Commentary: Isaiah 1–39 (5) God’s Glorious Holy Kingdom (4:2–6)

The divine presence demonstrates God’s acceptance and nearness to his holy people. The surprising difference is that God’s presence will not be limited to a temple building; it will be like a canopy over the whole of Zion (cf. 60:1–2; 62:2; Ezek 39:25–29), because all of Zion and its people will be holy

THE PURPOSE OF THE BRANCH OF THE LORD: WHY TALK ABOUT THE WORK OF THE BRANCH OF THE LORD?

Proposition:
When the people hear of all of this, they are called to make a choice: either trust and exalt this great God or continue to trust in men.

THE PROSPECT OF THE BRANCH OF THE LORD: HAS THE BRANCH OF THE LORD ALREADY COME?

What is the “already” from this passage?

Jerusalem was judged
The “messiah” did come
The Lord’s Kingdom has come in a spiritual sense - , , , , , [transition verse]
The Spirit:
spirit - reference to the Holy Spirit - ;
thorough purging
the transformation of the inner man by the Spirit of God - ; ;

What is the “not yet” from this passage?

Christ has not returned. Daniel’s stone cut without hands.
A worldwide rule has not be established.

The PRESENT-DAY SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WORK BY THE BRANCH OF THE LORD. WHAT’S THE CONTEMPORARY SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WORK OF THE BRANCH OF THE LORD?

What is the message for all from this passage?

The judgment of the Lord is a merciful act whereby the Lord brings about deliverance [application to Christian living] [primary example is Jesus Christ]
The work of the Messiah shows that the Lord deserves a people exclusive to Himself. -
Holiness is the work of the Messiah before it is an exercise in separated living. - [context is key]
We should also recognize that comfort, pleasure, and security are all by-products [of God’s presence], not ends in themselves. If we make those things primary, we will become idolaters, and we will lose those things even as we seize them. - Oswalt, J. N. (2003). Isaiah (p. 108). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
We should also recognize that comfort, pleasure, and security are all by-products, not ends in themselves. If we make those things primary, we will become idolaters, and we will lose those things even as we seize them.
What has already been accomplished in Christ assures us of what is yet to come by Christ.
Oswalt, J. N. (2003). Isaiah (p. 108). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
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