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Isaiah 4:4 Getting Rid of the Filth

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 4:4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning,

Adonai is the Hebrew for Lord in this verse. It means ruler, master, owner, or sovereign. It can be used of man or of deity. Adonai is plural. When in reference to God, it emphasizes His sovereignty and majestic greatness. Definition per Systematic Theology The Doctrine of God, Chester McCalley.

Filth or tsow’ah in the Hebrew is defined as filth, excrement, or dung. The root of this word is noted in Zechariah 3:3-4 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” In these two verses, some have translated these “filthy garments” as menstrual rags. Whether it is dung or menstrual rags, it is equated with sin or iniquity.

The filth is in reference to excesses of the women in Isaiah 3:18-24. God equates excessive materialism with moral decay. Frankly in today’s vocabulary, all that stuff is a bunch of crap. All of the materialism and bloodshed will be washed and rinsed away.

This judgment will take place as a result of a “spirit”. The word for spirit is ruwach in Hebrew. This is the word that can mean spirit or wind. There is debate as to whether this would be a physical wind or storm that would bring about destruction. Some think the washing away mentioned previously in the verse could be a violent storm with wind and rain. The other possibility is the Spirit of the Lord could bring about judgment. It is plausible that it could be both.

The grammar indicates that a judgment is taking place. The result is an intensive and intentional action to kindle, burn, consume, and remove guilt. There is no doubt the party being  judged is guilty.

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