Isaiah 30:20

20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction,[a] yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

Isaiah 30:20 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 30:20

And [though] the Lord give you the bread of adversity,
and the water of affliction
Either at this present time, when the city was besieged by Sennacherib; or when it should be besieged by the Chaldeans, when adversity was their bread, and affliction their water; or when they had only bread and water in their adversity and affliction; or a famine of bread and water, as is common in times of a siege. It may refer to the poor, and mean, and afflicted state of the people of God, in the first times of the Gospel especially: yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more;
or, "thy rain" F2, as some interpret it; one and the same word signifies both rain and a teacher, because doctrine from the mouth of a teacher drops like rain upon the tender herb, and as showers on the grass; and is to be understood, not merely in a literal sense, of rain, and fruitfulness by it, in opposition to penury and famine for want of it; but of rain of spiritual doctrine; and so the sense is much the same as if it was rendered teachers; that though the people of God should be attended with afflictions, yet they should have spiritual consolation; and though they might have a famine of bread and water, yet not of hearing the word of the Lord; their teachers should not be removed from them, as they had formerly been, perhaps in the time of Ahaz: or "take wing" F3, and fly away from them, as the word signifies, being scared by persecutors; so the prophets in the time of Ahab were forced to fly, and were hid by fifty in a cave. The word here used has in the Arabic language the signification of hiding, as Maimonides F4 from Aben Ganach has observed; and so may be read, "thy teachers shall not be hidden any more"; things being hidden under wings; see ( Psalms 17:8 ) : but thine eyes shall see thy teachers;
in their proper place, doing the work of their office: it denotes not a bare seeing them with their bodily eyes, but a seeing them with pleasure and delight, a wistfully looking at them, and a diligent and attentive observance of what they said. Some understand these teachers of Hezekiah and his princes, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Abendana; others of the priests and prophets in his time, the principal of which was Isaiah; others of the prophets a little before, in, and after the Babylonish captivity; it may be applied to John the Baptist, Christ, and his apostles, and other Gospel ministers. Jarchi interprets it of God himself, who teaches to profit, and who would not hide his face from his people; the Targum, of the Shechinah not removing from the sanctuary, but being seen there; and being in the plural number, may denote all the three Persons.


FOOTNOTES:

F2 (Kyrwm) "pluvia tua", some in Munster, Calvin; so Ben Melech interprets it; and the same in the next clause.
F3 (Pnky al) "non avolabit", Piscator; "ad verb. alabitur", Forerius.
F4 More Nevochim, par. 1. cap. 43. p. 61. So <arabic> "operuit, sub alis tutatus est", Castel. col. 1760.

Isaiah 30:20 In-Context

18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
22 Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. affliction: or, oppression