Isaiah 4:1 in that day seven women shall take hold of one man
So many men will be killed in the destructions and wars will which accompany the Second Coming that there will be an incredible difference in the number of living males and females. The culture of Isaiah, understandably, is reflected in his prophecies—as in the statement, “only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.” Anciently, a woman who could have no children was described with the unflattering adjective, “barren.” This was because great emphasis was placed on marriage and a woman’s ability to have children. What else can we conclude from this verse? In the Millennium, the practice of polygamy will be reinstated—at least for some individuals, as part of “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21).
“…’seven women’ (meaning simply a lot of women) will request a man’s hand in marriage. Economic problems will be such that these women will be willing to provide their own food and clothing, contrary to the usual marriage customs. According to the Hebrew scriptures (Exodus 21:10), a man was required to provide a wife with food and clothing; but in this case Isaiah observes that the women are willing to waive that right. Having a good knowledge of the importance of marriage, they request a man to take away their reproach. In Isaiah's day and, indeed, in many parts of the Near East today, it was and is a disgrace to remain unmarried.” (Book of Mormon compendium, by Sidney Sperry, chapter 11, 2 Nephi14)
I had been reading the revelations…[when] a strange stupor came over me and I recognized that I was in the Tabernacle at Ogden. I arose to speak and said…I will answer you right here what is coming to pass shortly….I then looked in all directions…and I found the same mourning in every place throughout the Land. It seemed as though I was above the earth, looking down to it as I passed along on my way east and I saw the roads full of people principally women with just what they could carry in bundles on their backs…It was remarkable to me that there were so few men among them…Wherever I went I saw…scenes of horror and desolation rapine and death…death and destruction everywhere. I cannot paint in words the horror that seemed to encompass me around. It was beyond description or thought of man to conceive. I supposed that this was the End but I was here given to understand, that the same horrors were being enacted all over the country…Then a voice said “Now shall come to pass that which was spoken by Isaiah the Prophet That seven women shall take hold of one man…” (Journal of Wilford Woodruff, June 15, 1878 as taken from Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet, by Victor L. Ludlow, p. 109)
There are other principles, just as important in their nature, that must be restored in the latter-days… I have reference now to the restoration of that eternal principle—the marriage covenant, which once was on the earth in the days of our first parents, the eternal union of husband and wife, according to the law of God, in the first pattern of marriage that is given to the children of men. That must also be restored, and everything in its time and in its season must be restored, in order that all things spoken of by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began may be fulfilled… There must, however, be a restoration of the eternal covenant of marriage, and also of that order of marriage which existed among the old Patriarchs, before the prophecies can be fulfilled, wherein 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." That must be restored, or the prophecies of Isaiah never can be fulfilled. A great many other things might be named which must be restored in the dispensation of the fulness of times. It is a dispensation to restore all things, it is the dispensation of the spirit and power of Elias or Elijah, "to seal all things unto the end of all things" preparatory to the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], April 7, 1872, vol. 15: 53)
Isaiah 4:2 the branch of the Lord [shall] be beautiful and glorious
In the next chapter of Isaiah, the prophet will compare the house of Israel to a “vineyard in a very fruitful hill” (2 Ne 15:1). Isaiah may be referencing the prophecies of Zenos and the parable of the olive-tree (Jacob 5). This is important because it helps us to understand that the branch represents a part of the house of Israel in the last days. “Joseph…obtained a promise of the Lord, that…God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light” (2 Ne 3:5).
Isaiah 4:3-4 they that are left in Zion and remain in Jerusalem shall be called holy
The past several verses have been speaking of the dawn of the Millennial day, when evil is destroyed and the glory of the Lord redeems Zion and Jerusalem. In order for that glorious day to come, the wicked must first be destroyed. Those that are left must be holy enough to dwell on the newly cleansed earth, “when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Jerusalem.” During the Millenium, the earth will exist in a terrestrial state. Only those worthy of a terrestrial (or higher) glory will be allowed to live at that time (see DC 88:98-99). The next two verses teach that those of a telestial glory and the recipients of Perdition will not be allowed on the earth during the Millennium, “they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.”
While the entire earth will be rid of telestial wickedness, the Prophet Joseph admitted there would still be wickedness on the earth during the Millennium. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 268) However, there will be no wickedness allowed in Zion or Jerusalem. Zion must be built upon the principles of the celestial kingdom (D&C 105:5) and no unclean thing will be allowed to enter the gates of Jerusalem (Joel 3:17; Zech. 14:21).
Joseph Fielding Smith
At the close of the sixth thousand years and at the opening of the seventh, since the fall, the earth and all that remain upon its face will be changed from the telestial condition of wickedness to the terrestrial condition of peace and order. This is the day when the earth “will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory,” as declared in the tenth Article of Faith…
For one thousand years this terrestrial condition will prevail. All things upon the earth that have subscribed to the telestial law will have been removed, and creatures of the terrestrial order will remain. (Church History & Modern Revelation, vol. 2, pp. 64-5)
Isaiah 4:5 a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night
One might be tempted to interpret this scripture figuratively if the literal events had not already taken place. When Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, he protected and guided them by means of a cloud of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night:
And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to do by day and night. (Ex 13:21).
And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. (Ex 14:19-20)
Apparently, the glory of Zion will be as when the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt with a mighty hand. He will fight their battles such that the wicked (who are soon to be destroyed) will say, “Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand” (DC 45:70). As literally as described in Exodus, Zion will be protected by the cloud of smoke by day and the pillar of fire by night.
The time is to come when God will meet with all the congregation of his Saints, and to show his approval, and that he does love them, he will work a miracle by covering them in the cloud of his glory. I do not mean something that is invisible, but I mean that same order of things which once existed on the earth so far as the tabernacle of Moses was concerned, which was carried in the midst of the children of Israel as they journeyed in the wilderness. Did God manifest himself in that tabernacle that was built according to the pattern which he gave unto his servant Moses? He did. In what way? In the day time a cloud filled that tabernacle. The Lord intended his people to be covered with the cloud continually, and he intended to reveal himself unto them, and to show forth his glory more fully amongst them; but they sinned so much in his sight that he declared—‘My presence shall not go up with this people, lest I should break forth upon them in my fury and consume them in a moment.’ Because of their wickedness he withdrew his presence, and his glory in a great measure was taken from them; but still Moses was permitted to enter the tabernacle, and to behold the glory of God, and it is said that he talked with the Lord face to face--a blessing which God did intend to bestow upon all Israel had they kept his law and had not hardened their hearts against him. But in the latter days there will be a people so pure in Mount Zion, with a house established upon the tops of the mountains, that God will manifest himself, not only in their Temple and upon all their assemblies, with a visible cloud during the day, but when the night shall come, if they shall be assembled for worship, God will meet with them by his pillar of fire; and when they retire to their habitations, behold each habitation will be lighted up by the glory of God--a pillar of flaming fire by night.
Did you ever hear of any city that was thus favored and blessed since the day that Isaiah delivered this prophecy? No, it is a latter-day work, one that God must consummate in the latter times when he begins to reveal himself, and show forth his power among the nations. This is what the words of our text mean, the first verse of the 60th chapter of Isaiah—“Arise and shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”(Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, pp. 82-3)
Isaiah 4:6 a place of refuge
Zion will be a place of physical and spiritual refuge to the pure in heart.
For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations;
And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth. (DC 115:4-6)
And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;
And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion. (DC 45:66-7)
…The time is soon coming, when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes.
I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers. I saw armies arrayed against armies. I saw blood, desolation, fires. The Son of man has said that the mother shall be against the daughters, and the daughter against the mother. These things are at our doors. They will follow the Saints of God from city to city. Satan will rage, and the spirit of the devil is now enraged. I know not how soon these things will take place.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 161)