4:5 Then the Lord will create
over all of Mount Zion 1
and over its convocations
a cloud and smoke by day
and a bright flame of fire by night; 2
indeed a canopy will accompany the Lord’s glorious presence. 3
4:6 By day it will be a shelter to provide shade from the heat,
as well as safety and protection from the heavy downpour. 4
1 tn Heb “over all the place, Mount Zion.” Cf. NLT “Jerusalem”; CEV “the whole city.”
2 tn Heb “a cloud by day, and smoke, and brightness of fire, a flame by night.” Though the accents in the Hebrew text suggest otherwise, it might be preferable to take “smoke” with what follows, since one would expect smoke to accompany fire.
sn The imagery of the cloud by day and fire by night recalls the days of Moses, when a cloud and fire were tangible reminders that the Lord was guiding and protecting his people (Exod 13:21-22; 14:19, 24). In the future age envisioned in Isa 4, the Lord’s protective presence will be a reality.
3 tn Heb “indeed (or “for”) over all the glory, a canopy.” This may allude to Exod 40:34-35, where a cloud overshadows the meeting tent as it is filled with God’s glory.
4 tn Heb “a shelter it will be for shade by day from heat, and for a place of refuge and for a hiding place from cloudburst and rain.” Since both of the last nouns of this verse can mean rain, they can either refer to the rain storm and the rain as distinct items or together refer to a heavy downpour. Regardless, they do not represent unrelated phenomena.