Isaiah 30:20

20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.

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.


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 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you.
20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
22 Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, "Away with you!"
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.