A Drastic Change
IN THE time of the prophet Isaiah, the women of Jerusalem were very haughty and arrayed themselves in showy dress and with lavish ornamentation. When it came to marriage, there was then no shortage of eligible males. (Isa. 3:16-24) However, through Isaiah, Jehovah indicated that a drastic change was at hand: “By the sword your own men will fall, and your mightiness by war.” (Isa. 3:25) This circumstance was to affect the women of Jerusalem as follows: “Seven women will actually grab hold of one man in that day, saying: ‘We shall eat our own bread and wear our own mantles; only may we be called by your name to take away our reproach.’”—Isa. 4:1.
There would be so few marriageable males that seven women would take the initiative to ask the first man that came along to marry them. All they wanted was to be known by his name, to be freed from the reproach of being without a husband. According to the Mosaic law, a husband was required to provide sustenance and clothing for his wife. (Ex. 21:10) But, because the situation of these women would be so desperate, they would be willing to release the man from his legal obligations. They would ‘eat their own bread and wear their own clothing.’