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(KJV) Isaiah 4:1

1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

This verse seems to be the conclusion of chapter three rather than the beginning of a new chapter.

In chapter three Judah is warned of an impending attack(Isaiah 3:1-3)

The haughty women of Judah are also warned(Isaiah 3:17-21) that their jewelry.necklaces,rings & fine clothing will be taken away.

Their men will fall by the sword(Isaiah 3:25)

This will culminate in seven women clamoring for one man.

Shouldn't this verse be a conclusion of chapter three?

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  • This verse seems to be the conclusion of chapter three rather than the beginning of a new chapter. - The same can be said of Genesis 2:1-3 with respect to that book's first chapter, etc.
    – Lucian
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 19:29

3 Answers 3

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The answer to OP's query was not as simple as I first thought it would be. Very useful finds on this search. Thanks for the question.

Several commentaries mention OP's observation:

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/isaiah/4-1.htm

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers IV. (1) And in that day seven women . . .—The chapter division wrongly separates this verse from the foregoing. It comes as the climax of the chastisement of the daughters of Zion, as the companion picture to Isaiah 3:6.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary 4:1 This first verse belongs to the third chapter.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible In that day - The time of calamity referred to in the close of the previous chapter. This is a continuation of that prophecy, and there was no reason why these six verses should have been made a separate chapter.


However, found a PDF of the 1st Edition of SBL's (Society of Biblical Literature) Handbook. In this edition (1999), Appendix E has the Heb.-Eng.-Gr. versification list. (In 2nd Ed., it's App. B.)

https://simeon.org/cst/images/graphic/sbl-handbook.pdf

Isaiah 9:1 -- 8:23

9:2–21 -- 9:1–20

63:19 -- 63:19a

64:1 -- 63:19b

64:2–12 -- 64:1–11


JPS (Jewish Publication Society) Tanakh 1917 - Isa. 4

1 And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying: ‘We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name; take thou away our reproach.’


Since so many think Isa. 4:1 belongs in Ch. 3, began looking for a reasons that Hebrew texts chose otherwise.

Found this on a Bible verse study:

https://www.lds.org/manual/old-testament-seminary-student-study-guide/isaiah-4?lang=eng

"Pay careful attention to the images Isaiah created in this short chapter. Unlike the women at the end of Isaiah 3, the women described in Isaiah 4 are humble."


https://testallthings.com/2007/12/23/a-study-of-isaiah-chapter-4-verses-1-to-6/

The Parable of the Defiant External Church (Isaiah 4:1)

All along in Isaiah 1, 2 and 3, the language has been difficult because God has been speaking in parabolic language. But here, in chapter 4, just in that first verse, God gave us a complete parable that describes to a tee the condition of the Church in the Final Tribulation Period. This is the sixth time that God says “In That Day”. Here God does not focus on Judgment Day itself, but on the Final Tribulation Period, which is the last event just preceding Judgment Day.

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There are pros and cons to having the bible divided into chapters and verses.

(Pros)

It's obviously good to refer to bible chapters and verses during a bible small group meeting. Also, it's also great to keep some bible chapters and verses references in mind if it strikes the reader as something that is personally important.

Therefore, there is some credit that goes to scholars and church clergy like Stephen Langton , Santi Pagnini & Robert Estienne who were responsible for dividing bible into chapters and verses.

(Cons)

However, there are disadvantages to dividing chapters and verses. We humans have a tendency to mistakenly view this complex biblical literature & content in a grossly oversimplified, facile manner. We start reading the text Only by and in itself as opposed to reading text within the bounds of the larger context. In some ways the division of chapters and verses in the bible can be an obstacle to utilizing the "scripture interprets scripture" tool.

Therefore, as we see in the case of Isaiah 4:1, in the broader context of both Isaiah 3 and Isaiah 4, we could view Isaiah 4:1 as possibly a "bridging" verse for lack of a better term. It could have just been referenced as "Isaiah 3:27" or just kept as "Isaiah 4:1". IMHO, it could have gone either way.

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People need to read the Bible chapter by chapter, verse by verse. Otherwise the scriptures, taken out of context, will be misconstrued.
You can't read any book with understanding. If you just read paragraphs here and there. Like any book, you won't understand the end, if you don't read it from the beginning.

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