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Isaiah 4:1

    Isaiah 4:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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 your name, to take away our reproach.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name; take thou away our reproach.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And in that day seven women will put their hands on one man, saying, There will be no need for you to give us food or clothing, only let us go under your name, so that our shame may be taken away.

    Webster's Revision

    And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name; take thou away our reproach.

    World English Bible

    Seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, "We will eat our own bread, and wear our own clothing: only let us be called by your name. Take away our reproach."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saving, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name; take thou away our reproach.

    Definitions for Isaiah 4:1

    Let - To hinder or obstruct.
    Reproach - Disgrace; shame.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 4:1

    And seven women - The division of the chapters has interrupted the prophet's discourse, and broken it off almost in the midst of the sentence. "The numbers slain in battle shall be so great, that seven women shall be left to one man." The prophet has described the greatness of this distress by images and adjuncts the most expressive and forcible. The young women, contrary to their natural modesty, shall become suitors to the men: they will take hold of them, and use the most pressing importunity to be married. In spite of the natural suggestions of jealousy, they will be content with a share only of the rights of marriage in common with several others; and that on hard conditions, renouncing the legal demands of the wife on the husband, (see Exodus 21:10), and begging only the name and credit of wedlock, and to be freed from the reproach of celibacy. See Isaiah 54:4, Isaiah 54:5. Like Marcia, on a different occasion, and in other circumstances: -

    Da tantum nomen inane

    Connubii: liceat tumulo scripsisse, Catonis Marcia.

    Lucan, 2:342.

    "This happened," says Kimchi, "in the days of Ahaz, when Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judea one hundred and twenty thousand men in one day; see 2 Chronicles 18:6. The widows which were left were so numerous that the prophet said, 'They are multiplied beyond the sand of the sea,'" Jeremiah 15:8.

    In that day - These words are omitted in the Septuagint, and MSS.

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 4:1

    In that day - The time of calamity referred to in the close of the previous chapter. This is a continuation of that prophecy, and there was no reason why these six verses should have been made a separate chapter. That the passage refers to the Messiah, is apparent from what has been stated in the note at the commencement of the prophecy Isaiah 2:1-4, and from the expressions which occur in the chapter itself; see the notes at Isaiah 4:2, Isaiah 4:5-6.

    Seven women - The number "seven" is used often to denote a "large" though "indefinite" number; Leviticus 26:28; Proverbs 24:16; Zechariah 3:9. It means that so great should be the calamity, so many "men" would fall in battle, that many women would, contrary to their natural modesty, become suitors to a single man, to obtain him as a husband and protector.

    Shall take hold - Shall apply to. The expression, 'shall take hold,' denotes the "earnestness" of their application.

    We will eat our own bread ... - We do not ask this in order to be maintained. We will forego that which the law Exodus 21:10 enjoins as the duty of the husband in case he has more than one wife.

    Only let us be called by thy name - Let us be regarded as "thy wives." The wife then, as now, assumed the name of the husband. A remarkably similar expression occurs in Lucan (B. ii. 342). Marcia there presents a similar request to Cato:

    Da tantum nomen inane

    Connubii; liceat tumulo scripsisse, Catonis Marcia.

    'Indulge me only with the empty title of wife.

    Let there only be inscribed on my tomb, "Marcia, wife of Cato."'

    To take away my reproach - The reproach of being unmarried; compare Genesis 30:23; 1 Samuel 1:6.

    Wesley's Notes on Isaiah 4:1

    4:1 In that day - In that calamitous time. Seven - Many. A certain number for an uncertain. One man - Because few men shall survive that dreadful stroke. Only - Own us for thy wives. Our reproach - Virginity was esteemed a reproach; children, the usual fruit of marriage, being both an honour to their parents, and a blessing of God, especially to that people, from some of whose loins the Messiah was to spring.