Isaiah 3:1-5 – The Lord Takes Away From Jerusalem The Whole Stay of Bread and Water


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Isa 3:1-5 The Lord Takes Away From Jerusalem The Whole Stay of Bread and Water

Isa 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,
Isa 3:2  The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,
Isa 3:3  The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
Isa 3:4  And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
Isa 3:5  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.

The word 'for' connects what is about to be said here in chapter 3 with what has been said in the previous first two chapters. This word 'for' is translated from the Hebrew word

H3588
כּי
kı̂y
kee

A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix)indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed: - and, + (forasmuch, inasmuch, where-) as, assured [-ly], + but, certainly, doubtless, + else, even, + except, for, how, (because, in, so, than) that, + nevertheless, now, rightly, seeing, since, surely, then, therefore, + (al-) though, + till, truly, + until, when, whether, while, who, yea, yet,

As you can see the Hebrew word 'kiy' is "a particle... indicating causal relations of all kinds..." So the "causal relationship" of what we are about to read is connected to what we just read the Lord is doing to His people in chapters one and two. In those two chapters God informs His people of their rebellions against Him:

Here is the theme of chapter one:

Isa 1:2  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Isa 1:3  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Isa 1:4  Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

In verse ten He calls His own people spiritually 'Sodom and Gomorrah':

Isa 1:10  Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

In verse 15 He tells them that because of all their rebellious, sinful ways, the day is coming when they will cry out to Him, and He will refuse to hear their prayers to Him:

Isa 1:15  And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

But all the Word of God is the story of what God is working in mankind like a Potter working with clay. It is all about what He is doing, and He wants us to know that all that happens is what He is doing to us. This is a message He wants to make perfectly clear beyond any doubt in the mind of those He is calling to be coheirs with Him in the Kingdom His Father is giving Him, and which He in turn gives to us (Luk 22:29). So we are informed of the depth of His sovereignty and the depth of His works in our lives. This is the depth of His Sovereignty:

Pro 16:1  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Pro 16:2  All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
Pro 16:3  Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

The very formulation of any thought whatever, "and the answer of the tongue" expressing that thought "is from the Lord". And lest we miss the whole point, we are emphatically told "The Lord has made all things for Himself: yes even the wicked for the day of evil", which is the "the day of the Lord... the day of His wrath... the day of judgment" with which so very much of scripture concerns itself. So in verse 18 God entreats His people to come to Him and receive of Him the fiery chastening their own sins have brought upon them. The King James hides the meaning of what God actually says in that verse, and because this verse is quoted so much, we will go back over what we learned about it.

This is the oft quoted King James Version:

Isa 1:18  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

The way this verse is translated in the King James version would lead us to believe that, as the spiritual Job we all are, God granted Job his ungodly desire to reason with His Creator, and to attempt to convince His own Creator that there is a much better way than His way:

Job 13:3  Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.

And how did that turn out?:

Job 38:1  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 38:2  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Job 38:3  Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Job 38:4  Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

God does not "reason" with us. We are even admonished:

Pro 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 

2Co 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

So we saw that the entire phrase "and let us reason together" is translated from the one Hebrew word H3198 - yakach.

Here again is that verse with its Strong's numbers:

Isa 1:18  ComeH1980 now,H4994 and let us reason together,H3198 saithH559 the LORD:H3068 thoughH518 your sinsH2399 beH1961 as scarlet,H8144 they shall be as whiteH3835 as snow;H7950 thoughH518 they be redH119 like crimson,H8438 they shall beH1961 as wool.H6785
Isa 1:19  IfH518 ye be willingH14 and obedient,H8085 ye shall eatH398 the goodH2898 of the land:H776

Which actually means to be "chastened... rebuked, [and] reproved".

H3198
יכח
yâkach
yaw-kakh'

A primitive root; to be right (that is, correct); reciprocally to argue; causatively to decide, justify or convict: - appoint, argue, chasten, convince, correct (-ion), daysman, dispute, judge, maintain, plead, reason (together), rebuke, reprove (-r), surely, in any wise.

Indeed that is the way it is most often translated:

H3198
יכח
yâkach
Total KJV Occurrences: 58
reprove, 16
2Ki_19:4, Job_6:25-26 (2), Job_13:10, Job_22:4, Psa_50:8, Psa_50:21, Psa_141:5, Pro_9:8, Pro_19:25, Pro_30:6, Isa_37:3-4         (3), Jer_2:19, Hos_4:4
rebuke, 8
Lev_19:17, 1Ch_12:17, Psa_38:1 (2), Pro_9:8, Pro_24:25, Isa_2:4, Mic_4:3
reproved, 4
Gen_20:16, Gen_21:25, 1Ch_16:21, Psa_105:14
plead, 3
Job_16:21, Job_19:5, Mic_6:2
reason, 3
Job_15:2-3 (3), Isa_1:18
rebuketh, 3
Pro_9:7, Pro_28:23, Amo_5:10
reproveth, 3
Job_40:2, Pro_15:12, Isa_29:21
appointed, 2
Gen_24:14, Gen_24:44
correcteth, 2
Job_5:17, Pro_3:12
reprover, 2
Pro_25:12 (2), Eze_3:26
arguing, 1
Job_6:25
chasten, 1
2Sa_7:14
chastened, 1
Job_33:19
convinced, 1
Job_32:12
correct, 1
Psa_94:10
correction, 1
Hab_1:12
daysman, 1
Job_9:33
dispute, 1
Job_23:7
judge, 1
Gen_31:37
maintain, 1
Job_13:15
rebuked, 1
Gen_31:42
wise, 1
Lev_19:17

This oft quoted verse should really read. 'Come now, receive the chastening [detailed in this prophecy], saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'

The rest of chapter one details our chastening judgment ending with these words:

Isa 1:31  The strongest among you will disappear like burning straw. Your evil deeds are the spark that will set the straw on fire, and no one will be able to put it out. (NLT)

Chapter two began by describing the ultimately comforting fruit of the judgments of God:

Isa 2:1  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
Isa 2:2  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
Isa 2:3  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isa 2:4  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Isa 2:5  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

In our studies we discovered that the abrupt change in tone from verse 5 to verse 6 cannot be understood without understanding that verese 6 begins with another bad translation. I will not review that entire study other than to remind you that the first word of verse 6, the word 'therefore' and the word 'because' in that verse, are both translated from the same Hebrew word, 'kiy', and that the verse would read much more accurately, reflecting the sovereign work of God, if those two words were simply transposed.

Here is the King James version of that verse:

Isa 2:6  Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

Using the word 'therefore' in the first instance connect what is being said, but it make it appear to be God's reaction to Israel's sin instead of making Israel's sins and iniquities to be the logical progression of what God is doing with Israel.

This translation much better reflects the Truth being presented to us in this prophecy:

Isa 2:6  Because thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, therefore they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

Transposing those two words helps us to bear in mind the truth and depth of the sovereign work of God upon His creation, as declared in these two verses:

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

The rest of chapter two is encapsulated in these few verses:

Isa 2:17  And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 
Isa 2:18  And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
Isa 2:19  And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 

We are now back to  begin our study in chapter 3 where the very first word is the same word we transposed in chapter two, verse 6:

H3588
כּי
kı̂y
kee

A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix)indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed: - and, + (forasmuch, inasmuch, where-) as, assured [-ly], + but, certainly, doubtless, + else, even, + except, for, how, (because, in, so, than) that, + nevertheless, now, rightly, seeing, since, surely, then, therefore, + (al-) though, + till, truly, + until, when, whether, while, who, yea, yet,

Once again this verse, too, would read more powerfully and much more accurately by replacing the word 'for' with the word 'because'.

Here is that verse in the King James Version:

Isa 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,

Let's replace 'for' with 'because' and see how that affects the message of this verse:

 Isa 3:1  [Because], 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,

Either 'for' or 'because' are permissible translations denoting a causal relationship. But the word 'because' puts God's sovereign work much more in focus, than the word 'for' which makes it appear that God is reacting to what Israel did, rather than "working all things, [including removing the whole stay of bread and water form Jerusalem] after the counsel of His own will" (Eph 1:11).

I tell the story of the reaction I got from one of my grown sons when I shared the truth of this verse in our weekly fellowship for the first time. I had been shocked at the reality of what I had read, and I had given it a lot of thought before I myself could accept the depth of what I was seeing.

In presenting what this verse is saying I simply agreed with what the Lord says here, that "the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water" has been taken away from God's apostate, harlot (Isa 1:21), people whom He labels spiritual "Sodom... and... Gomorrah" (Isa 1:10). Then I emphasized the meaning of what the Lord is telling us. I said, 'What the Lord is telling us here is that not one single doctrine of fallen Jerusalem, spiritual Sodom and Gomorrah, is true'.

My emphasizing what was right there before our eyes, and is now right here before our eyes, was just more than my son could receive at that time. All I was doing was agreeing that 'the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water' has been taken away from the all the churches of the great harlot system, given the spiritual name of "Babylon the great" in the book of Revelation, and my son said "Dad don't say things like that. That just is not true". So I stopped and challenged him, as I do anyone, to name just one doctrine of the churches of Babylon, which has not been tainted with her heresies. His answer to that challenge was "Dad, we all believe and agree that Christ died for our sins". So I asked him, 'Which Babylonian Church teaches that Christ died on the cross, and was actually dead? Do they not rather believe that Christ had an immortal soul which could not and did not die?' He had to confess that the churches of Babylon as a whole, do not teach that Christ actually died for the sins of the world. Instead what they actually teach, in the vast majority of cases is that only His body died, and He Himself, as an immortal spiritual body, was either in hell preaching to spirits in prison or else He was in paradise with the thief on the cross, and it was only His physical body that was hanging on the cross.

But the point being made is that Israel had rebelled against Him,"kiy" , meaning "because" God had taken away "the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water", just  as Israel was replenished from the east and had become soothsayers like the Philistines "Because [God] had forsaken His people..."

Isa 2:6  Because thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, therefore they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

I will be reminding us from time to time that this message of the sovereignty of God is relayed to us in no uncertain terms when Isaiah laments in this very prophecy:

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

Just as in chapter two, when speaking of how thorough the idols of our hearts permeate our lives, here again is chapter three the depth of the oppression of our idolatrous, adulterous ways is also made manifest to us in these words:

Isa 3:2  The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,

This is what we are told is the extent of our idolatry at this stage of our experience.

Isa 2:8  Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:
Isa 2:9  And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.

"The mean man... and the great man", means the small and the great within us bow to worship the idols of our beastly, rebellious carnal heart.

Here is how this is expressed in the book we are told we are to read, hear and keep" (Rev 1:3):

Rev 13:15  And it was given unto him to give breath to it, even to the image to the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as should not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Rev 13:16  And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, that there be given them a mark on their right hand, or upon their forehead;
Rev 13:17  and that no man should be able to buy or to sell, save he that hath the mark, even the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Rev 13:18  Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man [Greek, anthropos, mankind]: and his number is six hundred and sixty and six. (ASV)

Our next verse continues expressing the extent of this spiritual starvation which God places upon our apostatized heart, and the depth of our natural desire to please ourselves and to cling to the idols of our hearts, including the idol of our heart which insists on having some things in common with the great harlot, out of whom we are commanded to come and from whom we are told He has taken the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water so that we can have nothing in common with her and her heretical doctrines. That desire to be accepted of the harlot and her place and honor in this world extends to every part of our lives:

Isa 3:3  The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.

The worship of ourselves and of the doctrines we want to believe is all pervasive, and it excludes no part of our rebellious lives. But disobedience to God cannot prosper because it has its own destruction built into it, and death is the fruit of that disobedient nature of our old man and his beastly kingdom. When we "sow to the flesh" we reap corruption and death, and this is an integral part of the work God is performing within "every man" in the day of each man's appointed judgment.

Gal 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

1Co 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

"The day" which declares what is our works is "the day of the Lord, the day of His wrath, the day of judgment", which begins at the house of God (1Pe 4:17).  We are blessed above all men to see the death and destruction of the kingdom of our old man in this age, instead of having to wait until after the millennium, as the vast majority will.

Here are the early fruits of our rebellious ways against our heavenly Father. Here are the fruits of our service to the idols of our hearts:

Isa 3:4  And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. 

There are physical families in which the parents have no concept of God's order. In some such families the parents are so solicitous of their children that it can honestly be said that the children rule their parents. No undisciplined child is capable of making decisions which are good for the family as a whole simply because we are all, by nature completely self-centered. The result is total chaos and a completely dysfunctional family which is doomed to failure as a family. Internally we just naturally commandeer the throne of our hearts and minds, and we just naturally rebel against our spiritual Father and our spiritual mother, and we reap the fruit of that rebellion, which is what happens in any undisciplined family or nation, spiritual or physical:

Isa 3:5  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. 

This verse is very easily understood just as  it reads, but here is it's spiritual application which takes place even in families where the parents teach their children to think of what is best for the family, and what is best for the world around them. This is the spiritual application of this verse in the lives of all those who know Christ and want only to be obedient to Him:

Mat 10:21  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 
Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Mat 10:23  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 
Mat 10:24  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

"Shall not have gone over the cities of Israel" is a spiritual inward statement telling us that we will be struggling against our own flesh within the kingdom of God, the cities of Israel within us (Luk 17:20-21). Christ said this of Himself:

Mar 10:18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Luk 13:32  And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. 

In other words, Christ also struggled against His own flesh until "the third day". He Himself had not gone over the cities of Israel until "the third day", when He was then perfected and had gone over all the cities within the kingdom of God within Himself. But we should never conclude from any of this that Christ did not "know the truth" (Joh 8:30-31). That is not what "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come" means.

Here is another example of the spiritual meaning of "every one... shall be oppressed... by another, and every one by his neighbour:"

Mat 10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 
Mat 10:35  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 
Mat 10:36  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 
Mat 10:37  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

"The people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor, because they were never taught by their harlot mother to show consideration for the law of God, much less others. We have all been made by God to err from His ways, and our hearts are at that time hardened from His fear (Isa 63:17). This entire prophecy is about all the mechanics of how a loving heavenly Father is working all things after the counsel of His own will, which 'will' is in the end for our good:

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

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