Isaiah 3:6-7 Leadership Vacuum

Isaiah 3:6-7 When a man lays hold of his brother in his father’s house, saying, “You have a cloak, you shall be our ruler, and these ruins will be under your charge,” He will protest on that day, saying, “I will not be your healer, for in my house there is neither bread nor cloak; you should not appoint me ruler of the people.”

The brother who is a medical professional is captured against his will. The aggressive brother “lays hold” of his brother. The concept is a simple action verb: to catch, handle, lay hold, take hold of, seize, wield, arrest, or catch. Notice the medical brother is under “protest”. He did not want to be there.

There were two kinds of cloaks during Isaiah’s day. Practically, one was a matter of warmth. The cloak was worn on the outside of garments. It was made of thick wool around the body, seaming it at the shoulders, and providing slits for the arms to go through. For many people the cloak was their only form of protection. If a cloak was taken in pledge for a loan, it had to be returned to the owner before nightfall for sleeping purposes (Exodus 22:26-27). For this reason a Jewish court of law would never award a cloak (New Manners and Customs of Bible Times).

The brother who has a medical background is assumed to be rich as indicated by the cloak. The fact that he has clothing is an indication of comparative wealth (Wycliffe Bible Commentary). The second form of cloak was like a loose dressing-gown with wide sleeves. Luxury cloaks were made of silk. A wealthy person would never think of going out of doors without one (New Manners and Customs of Bible Times).

The word “ruins” implies a mess. It is the Hebrew word makshelah. As defined by Strong’s, it means an overthrown mass, stumbling-block, something overthrown, decay, or ruin thing overthrown (figurative of kingdom). This word indicates the admission of a possible government coup. The youth have revolted against the establishment government.

Human nature is on display. The youth are in charge and it is not working the way they anticipated. Their solution, appoint the rich and blame them. Nice attitude! They are not interested in solving problems. They wanted a change and they got it. Blame the rich…

There is a clear vacuum of leadership. The previously wealthy medical professional wants no part of leadership. “…you should not appoint me ruler of the people.”  There is no wealth or food as indicated by the absence of cloak or bread. No one is willing to take responsibility for the national situation.

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