Isaiah 3

Whatever evil befalls sinners, it is of their own procuring.
Those who provoke God make Him their enemy and bring sure misery upon themselves.
The greatest of men cannot secure themselves from the sentence of the judgment day.

1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

2 The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,

3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.

4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:

7 In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.

8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

9 ¶ The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

12 ¶ As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

13 The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

14 The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

16 ¶ Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:

17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.

18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,

19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,

20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,

21 The rings, and nose jewels,

22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,

23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.

24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.

25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.

26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.

Isaiah 3:1-12 – ​An Exhortation to Humility and Reverence

   In sarcastic phrase the prophet depicts a despairing nation choosing for ruler the first man that came along with a decent coat on his back, Isaiah 3:6; but in vain. We can almost hear the sob of the prophet’s soul in Isaiah 3:8-9, and recall the tears of a greater than Isaiah, Who wept over this same Jerusalem eight hundred years afterward. Patriotism is one of the purest passions that can burn in the heart of man! “Lives there a man, with soul so dead, that never to himself has said, This is my own, my native land!”

Isaiah 3:7—I will not be an healer:… make me not a ruler of the people.

​   Generally men aspire to be rulers; the emolument and honor of the position are infinitely attractive. But the prophet supposes a case in which the people gather round one who has saved a little more than the others from the general wreck, and entreat him to assume the responsibility of directing public affairs. But he refuses, not wishing to be involved in the disasters that have swept the fatherland. Isaiah cites this as the most complete evidence of the desperate situation brought about by wrongdoing.
   It is the mark of great deterioration in a religious community when none are forthcoming to take responsibility, none who have power to lead. It is a grave sentence, “give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them” (Isaiah 3:4). Never shrink from assuming any responsibility to which God and the Church evidently call you. It is an easier life to remain among the stunted undergrowth; but if God calls you to be a forest tree, with fast spreading branches, humbly accept the opportunity, and fill up its full measure. His grace is sufficient. Better to fail in a great endeavor than to live safely having evaded the Divine call. Have you bread and clothing? account yourself God’s steward.
   What a striking contrast is suggested to the love of Jesus Christ! “He saw that there was no man,… therefore his arm brought salvation” (Isaiah 59:16). He knew that if He espoused the cause of our lost race, it would involve Him in the bitterest agony and woe. But He steadfastly set his face to the accomplishment of our redemption: He stood up to plead our cause: and He will not lay down his chosen work until He hath brought judgment unto victory.

Isaiah 3:13-26 – Vanity and Selfish Luxury Condemned

   This paragraph opens with the majestic figure of Jehovah Himself, who arises to judge the misrulers and plead the cause of the poor. The prophet enumerates the trinkets of the women of Israel, who had given themselves up to luxury and corruption. Woman is the priestess and prophetess of the home and religion, and when she forsakes the level of spiritual influence for that of physical adornment, the salt has lost its savor and the whole commonwealth suffers.