The Word Made Fresh
1When that day comes, seven women will cling to one man and cry, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothing; just let us be called by your name so we won’t be disgraced.”
2Then the branch of the LORD will be beautiful, and its fruit shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. 3Those left in Zion who remain in Jerusalem will be called holy, and everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem 4once the LORD has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and erased the bloodstains from the midst of Jerusalem through judgment and fire. 5Then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mt. Zion and its gathering places a cloud by day, and a brilliant fire by night. Over the glory of Jerusalem there will be a covering. 6It will be a protective shade during the day from the heat, and it will be a safe place from the storm and the rain.
1: This verse would fit better as the last verse of the previous chapter. The description of the fate of the wanton women of Jerusalem is completed; now they are willing to give anything to be married and thus have their disgrace taken away. Earlier, of course, they had no notion their behavior was disgraceful.
2-6: Suddenly the prophet paints a totally different picture, and in fact many scholars think these verses are later additions, or perhaps have been displaced from some other part of the book. Once the terrible things have passed, whoever is left will be called holy. The phrase “recorded for life” is probably meant to refer to a census of the survivors. God will once again be present with his people, as signified by the cloud by day and the fire by night (see Exodus 13:21).
No matter how far we have fallen, God can restore us.