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What is the Branch of the Lord in Isaiah 4:2?

translate Branch of the Lord

Isaiah 4 describes a future time when God restores Zion after a time of judgment (Isaiah 4:4) and when the Branch (or Shoot) of the Lord brings forth fruit: “In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel” (Isaiah 4:2).

The Branch (Heb., tsemach) is not specifically identified in Isaiah 4:2, but a similar word picture is used in Isaiah 60:21, where the restored remnant of Israel is called the branch (Heb., nazer) of His planting (ESV). In this case it seems that the Branch of the Lord in Isaiah 4:2 is referring to that same restored remnant—the survivors of Israel. The fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of that remnant (Isaiah 4:2).

While the Branch of the Lord in Isaiah 4:2 seems to refer to the restored people of Israel, there are other uses of the same word (tsemach) that refer to One specific Branch. In Isaiah 11:1, for example, several horticultural words are used. A shoot (Heb., choter) will come from the stock or stem (Heb., geza) of Jesse. A Branch (nazer) from Jesse’s roots (Heb., shorer) will be fruitful. While Isaiah 11:1 does not use the same word for “Branch” as Isaiah 4:2, it is evident that the two passages are talking about the same person—the Branch of the Lord.

In Jeremiah 23:5 God confirms that the Branch of Isaiah 11:1 is the Messiah. Jeremiah records that in future days God would raise up for David a righteous Branch (tsemach) who will reign as king. This King would act wisely and would do justice and righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5). In those days, Judah and Israel would be delivered and dwell securely, and the Branch’s name would be Yahweh Tsedeqenu, which is translated, “The Lord our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6). The same idea is echoed in Jeremiah 33:15, which records that there would come a righteous Branch (tsemach) of David who would execute justice and righteousness on the earth. The same word (tsemach) is used in Zechariah 3:8 to describe “My Servant,” and again in Zechariah 6:12–13 to describe One who would build the temple and serve as both priest and king.

If the Messiah came as the Branch in the line of David, just as promised, then we should also expect that the remnant of Israel will be restored and planted as His branch, as promised. The identity of the Messiah is certain, and so is the promise that God will restore the nation of Israel one day. If we can trust God to keep His promises to Israel for their restoration, we can also trust Him to keep His promise to all who have believed in the Messiah—Jesus the Christ—viz., that they have eternal life the moment they believed in Him (John 6:47). We can be confident that one day we will receive all the blessings of that eternal life (1 Peter 1:3–5), just as He promised.

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What is the Branch of the Lord in Isaiah 4:2?
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This page last updated: January 19, 2023