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Isaiah 4:2

Context
The Branch of the Lord

4:2 At that time 1 

the crops given by the Lord will bring admiration and honor; 2 

the produce of the land will be a source of pride and delight

to those who remain in Israel. 3 

1 tn Or “in that day” (KJV).

2 tn Heb “and the vegetation of the Lord will become beauty and honor.” Many English versions understand the phrase צֶמַח יְהוָה (tsemakh yÿhvah) as a messianic reference and render it, “the Branch of the Lord” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT, and others). Though צֶמַח (tsemakh) is used by later prophets of a royal descendant (Jer 23;5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12), those passages contain clear contextual indicators that a human ruler is in view and that the word is being used in a metaphorical way of offspring. However, in Isa 4:2 there are no such contextual indicators. To the contrary, in the parallel structure of the verse צֶמַח יְהוָה corresponds to “produce of the land,” a phrase that refers elsewhere exclusively to literal agricultural produce (see Num 13:20, 26; Deut 1:25). In the majority of its uses צֶמַח refers to literal crops or vegetation (in Ps 65:10 the Lord is the source of this vegetation). A reference to the Lord restoring crops would make excellent sense in Isa 4 and the prophets frequently included this theme in their visions of the future age (see Isa 30:23-24; 32:20; Jer 31:12; Ezek 34:26-29; and Amos 9:13-14).

3 tn Heb “and the fruit of the land will become pride and beauty for the remnant of Israel.”



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