Notes on Isaiah 3


  • Isaiah 3:1 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.

This seems to indicate a famine for Judah and Jerusalem.

  • Isaiah 3:2 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.

We see here oppression and disrespect. The old and elderly not honored. This lack good leadership and lack of respect for the elders and those in authority is actually a judgment because of the sin of Jerusalem and Judah. While it is wrong when this type of thing happens and we begin to lose respect for authority also disregarding the importance of the elders in leadership, that alone would be something that deserves judgment from God and it will. So lack of respect and good leadership in this case is judgment for their sins. We get the leaders we deserve.

They have no experienced wise rulers in the land. Judgment has come to all types: Judges, prophets, mighty men etc. There seemed to be confusion, oppression and violence.

  • Isaiah 3:6  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.

No one seems to want to rule because the ruin would be under their leadership. If a country is going to ruin, either someone wants to rule that wants to take advantage of the chaos in order to become a despot or dictator as we have seen in history, or someone would care enough about the people to want to help. Most would not want to have anything to do with leadership if a country was going to ruin.

  • Isaiah 3:8 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.

Verse 8 tells us the reason for all this ruin and calamity. The reason is that their tongues and doings are against the Lord to provoke the eyes of His glory. No glory, worship and honor is given to the Lord. Neglect of spiritual things and concern for the visible material things is present. They forgot the God who parted the Red Sea on their behalf, they forgot the God who delivered them from their enemies many times. They chose to follow other nations and the gods of other nations rather than serve the living true God.

Oh that we would honor and worship the Lord from the depths of our soul. Not just an outward show or formalism. True religion causes our actions to flow in the Love of God. How we should praise Him for His creation, that we should acknowledge Him in all our ways. Oh that we would seek His guidance and intervention into our lives. That we would receive His great gifts that He gives to those who will but believe His word and promises. The eye has not seen neither the ear heard what God has prepared for those that love Him. The deep spiritual peace and one on one relationship with the Lord God Himself is more than any material blessing we might desire. God seeks to become part of our lives, not leave us alone.

So why does God desire us to acknowledge Him alone instead of doing our own thing or worshipping false gods? Because doing our own thing and serving evil will eventually destroy us both in this life and in eternity. We lose our souls. God wants us to live eternally in joy, peace and perfect love.

  • Isaiah 3:9 The show 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.

This verse further describes their sin. They are sinning openly and are not even ashamed. This seems to be a day in which everyone is doing what is right in his or her own eyes. Nothing is wrong. The attitude is "I can do what I please and no one has the right to tell me what to do." Little did they realize that the freedom to sin, brings bondage instead. The world around us is getting like that today as well. We think this brings freedom but it brings misery. Lack of godly leadership, lack or respect for God, lack of moral restraints, and lack of true holiness will bring us into bondage of sin. We will never live in peace and safety.

  • Isaiah 3:10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

We reap what we sow. If we sow righteousness, we reap the same.

  • Isaiah 3:11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

If we sow evil, we reap evil.

  • Isaiah 3:12 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.

This verse may offend the feminists somewhat but it seems that it was a curse for women and children to be in charge of the government. Apparently this suggests that the men had become so corrupt that they were unfit to rule and as a result those who were inexperienced and without wisdom begun to rule. There can be men as well that have not experience or wisdom.

There have been good women in the past who have ruled but obviously this is referring to women who have no wisdom or experience. These are women who know not God neither follow His ways. It is only in modern times that women have become educated and capable of doing things they were not capable of doing in the past except for a few exceptions that we see recorded in the bible or from history but for the most part women and young people had no experience to rule properly and for any country to have that kind of leadership was a country reaping what it sowed as a result of departing from the true God that is the giver of good leadership.

Godly leadership is a blessing and will benefit a country. I mean true godly leadership though, not a harsh dictator that uses forced conversions to a religion. Deborah in the book of Judges was an example of good leadership. The harsh leadership of Mary who was once a queen of England was an example of bad female leadership.

  • Isaiah 3:13 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.

Although this refers mostly to Israel and Judah, the Lord sees all the unfairness, lack of compassion and neglect of the poor and widows and will bring judgment. Sometimes a nation may think God will never do anything about their evil oppression toward the innocent but their Day of Judgment comes without fail. Where is Hitler, Stalin and Nero today? They thought that they would rule forever. However, we must remember that bad leadership is a judgment as a result of people who want nothing to do with God and righteous leadership.

  • Isaiah 3:15  What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Even though bad leadership comes as a result of backsliding and rejecting God, still God will judge bad leaders especially if they are cruel and neglect the poor, widows and orphans.

  • Isaiah 3:16 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:

They were found to be proud, haughty, and well dressed. They had abundant jewelry and pomp. They considered themselves above the poor and had no compassion on those in need. This doesn't mean that jewelry and nice clothing are wrong necessarily but to have many good things, being proud and haughty without any compassion on the poor and suffering, brings judgment.

  • Isaiah 3:17 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 veils.

The rich and proud should take heed that they not become haughty and neglect those who are poor. This too seems to indicate the rich who may remember the poor but forgets God. The proud, haughty who feed themselves and live comfortably, taking no thought for the poor and suffering, taking no thought for the Lord who created them and some even go so far as to worship other gods. Judgment comes in the form of famine, poverty, disasters and captivity by other nations.

  • Isaiah 3:24 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.

This is indeed a prophecy of judgment for those that rebelled against God. Verse 8 is the reason for the tragedies in the rest of the chapter. This is the reason for the hand of God coming against Jerusalem. We ought to take heed to these prophecies and not take them lightly with the attitude, "This was in the past in those days, not today". Instead we should learn from the mistakes of those in the past. Why were they judged and why did judgment come upon them?

Their tongue was against the Lord. Their deeds and activities were against the Lord to provoke the eyes of His glory. They were proud and haughty, refusing to recognize their sin and repent.

Lack of respect for the older ones and elders is also serious. I see this even from some in the church. It seems like everything is geared toward the youth. I know we should consider the youth and provide for them, but we must allow the youth to learn from the experience of the elders who live in godliness. When we cut off the elderly from teaching, we rob ourselves of their wisdom and experience of years walking with the Lord.

Isaiah 4

Isaiah Index