Isaiah 4:1 ESV

4 And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”

In the above text we learn of seven woman clamoring for one man to marry them yet they will provide for themselves.Im not sure whether this prophecy has been fulfilled or not.

Has this prophecy been fulfilled?

  • In order for the competition between women described in this prophecy to be fulfilled, there have to be seven time the number of women than there are men; this type of selective extermination or discriminatory decimation usually happens during wartime (3:25).
    – Lucian
    Sep 29, 2021 at 9:52

5 Answers 5


Has Isaiah 4:1 been fulfilled?

With regard to when this chapter and verse was/is to be fulfilled, one can only really argue for the first destruction of Jerusalem and it's temple, by way of the Babylonians led by King Nebuchadnezzar, basically, as there was to be a restoration thereafter. Whereas there was no qualitative restoration thereafter after the destruction of Jerusalem and it's second temple in 70 AD. As for the "End Times", one can hardly see the scenario of seven women running after one man at that time, in order to take away their reproach, so that is why I argue for the first scenario.

The book of Isaiah, having been completed in the second half of the 8th Century BC, covers his present time, the then future and then up through the time of Jesus and even contemplates the "End Times". In fact there is an unmistakable duel prophecy narrative even within the first 3 chapters, what happened in Isaiah's time and shortly thereafter serving as a preamble, or predestiny, for what happened in 70 AD and for what will happen in the "End Times". It is therefore of prophetic significance. Isaiah 4:1, which should be taken in conjunction with the first three chapters, involves the then coming apostasy of Judah and Jerusalem, as opposed to the House of Israel (made up of the ten northern tribes, soon to be captured by Assyria, as a result of their own apostasy). The coming desolation therefore, here being talked about, is with regard to the first destruction of Jerusalem and it's temple, by the Babylonians in 607 BC, which resulted in much death, particularly of the male gender (making for the Jewish women's plight) and captivity for many, which was to last for 70 years, Jer 25:9-12. Isaiah was to prophesy and warn the Jewish people, of their impending doom, due to their apostasy, even though they would not listen, right up until the Babylonian deportation, Isaiah 6:11.

70 Year Babylonian Captivity

Although this is a much disputed time frame, we are indeed at least informed as to when the 70 years ended and that was in the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent. That year being 538 BC, Dan 9:1, confirmed by Charles Caldwell Ryrie Th.D., Ph.D, himself, in the note section for chapter and verse of "The Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard Version, 1978 Edition", and many other theologians. One could be excused for thinking, therefore, that the beginning of the captivity must have been 608 BC, although as this time period was to do with the prophetic, the 360 day prophetic year would most probably have been appropriated here, making for a 607 BC start, which is not, by all accounts, beyond the realm of historical thinking, although many a historian tries to put the destruction of Jerusalem at 587/6 BC, and ignore the fact that the number 70 is not refutable, in fact, the number 70 here has been and still is well attested, with only a handful of detractors to the contrary.

Branch of the Lord, God

In Isaiah 4:2, Isaiah speaks of restoration. The Hebrew noun rendered branch (at least in the NASB), refers to that which springs up, a shoot, a sprout. It is associated with prosperity, increase, and blessings from God [later on this word branch would also come to represent the Messiah]. Isaiah thus paints a picture of hope for the future, after the 70 year captivity. Isaiah's words thus assure the people that the land of Judah will be restored to it's former glory and beauty.

Cyrus the Great

While Daniel's prayer for the forgiveness and restoration of Jerusalem, as portrayed in the 9th Chapter, was made in 538 BC (the 70th year of Babylonian captivity), it wasn't until the following year that Cyrus the Great, now having been anointed by God as the savior of the Jewish people, consented/decreed to their release, for the purposes of rebuilding (the 10 Tribes of Israel, previously mentioned were NOT Jewish per se). The Jewish heritage were only 2 Tribes, basically, those of Judah and Benjamin and enjoined by the Levite priesthood, but collectively known as Judah. In 536 BC, Governor Zerubbabel, along with the High Priest Joshua, took 49,897 others back to Jerusalem, whereupon 20 years later the 2nd Jewish temple was completed. It was to take a further two decrees of Artaxerxes I to see the completion of the city and it's walls, but that's another story.

  • I not only read the context of Isa4, I had to understand it in order to give my answer. At the time of the 2nd Advent, which will lead into Armageddon, more than Jerusalem will be destroyed again but there will not be 7 women chasing every man around in order to have their reproach taken away. I mentioned in my A. that the first 3 chap's were of a duel prophetic nature. You need to reread my explanation of the "branch" and the explanation @Ozzie Ozzie. As for the pillar of smoke and fire in verse 5, that is purely symbolic, and in reference to the "Exodus", emphatic of how God will protect. Sep 30, 2021 at 22:25

That Day is reference to The Lords Day. Revelation 20. It has not come to pass yet. When the 7th Trump sets off.

Isaiah 4:1 "And in the 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."

Isaiah 4:2 "In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel."

The "Branch" of the Lord is Jesus Christ. Those that "escaped of Israel" are those that escape the confusion that Satan's deceptions bring upon the earth. That confusion is the "Babylon" of the end times. You only escape by knowing the truth from God's Word .

Source https://www.youtube.com/user/TheShepherdsChapel/playlists


  • I partially agree with you in the sense that it is future, the verse you mention "them who escaped' I believe relates to the great tribulation when Jerusalem is taken into captivity and God's people flee, its when the man of sin sets his throne in the Holy land and has made war on God's people. It's written in multiple places. It sets the stage for the second exodus when God gathers His children from out of captivity with a mighty hand. – FYI: that wasn't me that down-voted you, I would always put a reason if I down voted someone - otherwise its a bit spineless : )
    – 0000
    Sep 29, 2021 at 22:09
  • @0000 no worries. down votes or up votes are totally out of my power to predict. As long as I get a upvote from God and Yeshua thats all that matters to me. Ill be careful in that regard. Wish i could explain more but the resource links i offered will go into greater detail.
    – W_R
    Sep 29, 2021 at 23:08

Has Isaiah 4:1 been fulfilled?

Has this prophecy been fulfilled? Yes, with the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. Wars obviously created a severe shortage of marriageable men, so women took hold of a man to have his name and so be married, being married took their reproach away.

A husband legally had to provide food, clothing, and shelter for his wives, these women were willing to release their husband to be from such an obligation.

  • 0000 Thks for your comment, I looked up the scriptures, I agree with with the footnotes on the NET Bible Isaiah 4:2, It has nothing to do with the millenial kingdom. In Vs2 God assures the Israelites that the land od Judah will be restored to its former Glory, NET Bible 4:2 states "At that time the crops given by the Lord will bring admiration and honor; the produce of the land will be a source of pride and delight to those who remain in Israel." I suggest you read the footnotes. Sep 30, 2021 at 19:34

Yes. I think the spiritual fulfillment is about the 7 churches in Revelation. A woman generally symbolizes a church, like the bride of Christ being the church.

Bread is symbolic of like...doctrine, knowledge,beliefs. ( So breaking bread depicts opening up knowledge so that you can consume, digest, take it into you)

Clothing depicts what you're covered by..you can be clothed with Christ's righteousness or filthy dirty rags of sin.

So I'd say having their own bread and clothing is not good. It would be speaking of relying on their own beliefs and not being clothed in Christ's raiment.

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne


A footnote more than an answer - Some answers, example Tony’s, have already outlined a fulfilment of this passage. But there is more to understand.

You say … “Im not sure whether this prophecy has been fulfilled or not.” - and there is, as said, some. But, you need to understand what prophecy means, not in our western understanding, but in Hebraic terms - because the Old Testament was written (mostly) by Hebrews, and for Hebrews.

Prophecy is not (so much) a ‘prediction’ of some future ‘event’ - prophecy in Hebraic thinking is (a) pattern. A pattern that may have had past fulfilment, so the prophecy will point to that event, and foretell it will be repeated, and or will point to possibly multiple future fulfilment’s.

This ‘traps’ many. They ‘see’ a fulfilment of desecration in the temple, then say it’s been fulfilled (so we can now tick it off).

Example …

MAT 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

First, this obviously refers to a past event. But Jesus turns this into a prophecy, which many say referred to Jesus being resurrected. And yes it does.

But the rabbis also know this referred to Lazarus. (Incidentally, that’s why Jesus delayed his coming to Lazarus, in the meantime Lazarus died, and was buried 3 days - this was yet another confirmation [for the disciples] that Jesus would be raised.). But, this actually also points to Revelation 11 - the two witnesses, who are killed, and lay in the street 3 days.)

One prophecy - multiple fulfilment’s. And so it is (will be) for your quoted prophecy from Isaiah.

  • I can't argue with what you are saying here. "Dual" prophecy is rife within the Bible and is the case here, 70 AD a definite case in point. But the verse in question needs to be put into it's initial specific time frame, which is what I endeavored to do and is what the OP, I think, is looking for. Oct 1, 2021 at 23:44
  • @OldeEnglish No argument from me. You answered the OP correctly. Prophecy should always be first interpreted by its present ‘relevant’ context - always. As I tried to make clear, I was only adding commentary - not answering. Cheers!
    – Dave
    Oct 2, 2021 at 0:00

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