While reading through Isaiah 47 recently I came across this:
1Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate.Isaiah 47:1–4 (ESV)
2Take the millstones and grind flour, put off your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers.
3Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your disgrace shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no one.
4Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.
Over the years I’ve heard a lot of talk about how the meaning of this passage should be read narrowly as suggesting that an uncovered thigh is a key to our understanding of nakedness.* Given the context of Leviticus, I don’t think that is the case. This is better read when connected with Leviticus 18.
1And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. 3You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. 4You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. 5You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord. 6“None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the Lord.Leviticus 18:1-18
7You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness.
8You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness.
9You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home.
10You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter or of your daughter’s daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness.
11You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, brought up in your father’s family, since she is your sister.
12You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s relative.
13You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s relative.
14You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, that is, you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt.
15You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness.
16You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness.
17You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, and you shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover her nakedness; they are relatives; it is depravity.
18And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive.
The meaning here is more clearly about the full import of their adultery with all of its awful implications. Babylon is condemned for their rebellion, they were to be cast down and their sins exposed.
Such is the same awful end for any who would rebel against God. So my prayer today is that we maintain our vow to our creator and King Jesus until the last trump shall sound.
*(FYI, I’ll suggest that the best biblical text for that is in the Garden, but we can go back to there another time.).