Isaiah 30:23
Then shall he give the rain of your seed, that you shall sow the ground with; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall your cattle feed in large pastures.
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(23) Then shall he give the rain . . .—Following in the steps of Joel (Joel 2:21-26), the prophet draws a picture of the outward plenty that should follow on the renewal of the nation’s inner life.

Isaiah 30:23-24. Then shall he give thee the rain of thy seed — Or rather, to, or for thy seed, namely, when thou hast newly sown it, which was called the former rain; or, such as thy seed requires, which may include both the former and the latter rain. Their sins, the cause of all God’s judgments, being removed by their sincere repentance and God’s gracious pardon, God showers down his blessings upon them. “When he gives them their teachers,” says Henry, “and they give him their hearts, so that they begin to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, then all other things are added unto them.” And bread of the increase of the earth — Which shall be the fruit of thy own land and labour. And it shall be fat and plenteous — Excellent for quality, which is called fat, Deuteronomy 32:14, and abundant for quantity. This promise, by the special blessing of God, was remarkably fulfilled after the defeat of Sennacherib, (Isaiah 37:30,) God thus repairing the losses they sustained by that devastation. The oxen likewise, &c., shall eat clean provender — There shall be such plenty of corn that the very beasts, instead of straw, shall eat corn; and that not in the ear, or with the straw, but the pure grain. Vitringa, with some other commentators, thinks it appears plainly, from the next two verses, that the prophet is to be understood in this passage as speaking, not so much literally as figuratively, and that the words contain a splendid promise of pure and abundant spiritual provision, made by the Lord for his people, in the ministry of the word, the spiritual sowing; the effusions of his Spirit, the rain of the seed; and in the due administration of his various ordinances, the large pastures in which his flock feeds.30:19-26 God's people will soon arrive at the Zion above, and then they will weep no more for ever. Even now they would have more comfort, as well as holiness, if they were more constant in prayer. A famine of bread is not so great a judgment as a famine of the word of God. There are right-hand and left-hand errors; the tempter is busy courting us into by-paths. It is happy if, by the counsels of a faithful minister or friend, or the checks of conscience, and the strivings of God the Spirit, we are set right when doubting, and prevented from going wrong. They shall be cured of their idolatry. To all true penitents sin becomes very hateful. This is shown daily in the conversion of souls, by the power of Divine grace, to the fear and love of God. Abundant means of grace, with the influences of the Holy Spirit, would be extended to places destitute of them. The effect of this should be comfort and joy to the people of God. Light, that is, knowledge, shall increase. This is the light which the gospel brought into the world, and which proclaims healing to the broken-hearted.Then shall he give the rain of thy seed - That is, he shall send rain on the seed which is sown. You will be allowed to cultivate the soil without molestation, and God will give you fruitful seasons and abundant harvests. This is a poetic description of a happy or golden age, when there would be peace and prosperity (compare the notes at Isaiah 11:6-7).

And bread of the increase of the earth - And bread which the ground shall produce.

And it shall be fat and plenteous - It shall be rich and abundant; that is, there shall be prosperity and an ample supply for your needs.

Feed in large pastures - This is a description of security when their cattle should be permitted to roam at large, and have abundant pasturage - an image of prosperity that would be very gratifying to a people whose main conception of wealth consisted in abundance of flocks and herds.

23. rain of—rather, "for thy seed." Physical prosperity accompanies national piety; especially under the Old Testament. The early rain fell soon after the seed was sown in October or November; the latter rain in the spring, before the ripening of the corn. Both were needed for a good harvest.

increase—the produce.

fat—bread made of the best wheat flour (compare Ge 49:20; De 32:14).

The rain of thy seed; or rather, as others render it; to or for thy seed, when thou hast newly sown thy seed, which was called the former rain; or such as thy seed requires, which may include both the former and the latter rain. Their sins, the cause of all God’s judgments which had befallen them, being removed by their sincere repentance, and God’s gracious pardon, God showereth down all his blessings upon them.

Bread of the increase of the earth; which shall be the fruit of thy own land and labour; which is a great mercy and comfort.

It shall be fat and plenteous; thy bread shall be excellent for quality, which is called fat. Deu 32:14, and abundant for quantity. Then shall he give thee rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal,.... Or, "rain to thy seed" (f); that is, when the seed is sown in the earth, the Lord will give the former rain, and cause it to take root, and spring up:

and bread of the increase of the earth; the earth, being watered with rain, should give its increase of corn, of which bread should be made; so that there would be seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, as in Isaiah 55:10,

and it shall be fat and plenteous; or "fat and fat"; very fat and rich, exceeding good bread, and plenty of it; and after the siege of the city by Sennacherib's army was broke up, and that was destroyed, for years following there was great fruitfulness in the land, as was foretold, Isaiah 37:30 and this may denote the great fruitfulness of the Gospel, and the excellency of the spiritual food of it, and of the blessings of grace that come by it:

in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures; signifying that there should be pastures for cattle in the several parts of the country, and these large ones, where cattle should feed, and enjoy great plenty. This clause belongs to the next verse Isaiah 30:24, and should of right begin it. The Targum interprets it thus,

"and the righteous shall be nourished with their cattle at that time, with the fat of tender and fat things;''

as the earth would be fruitful, the cattle would be well fed; and so there would be plenty of provision for man and beast.

(f) "sementi tuae", Piscator; "semini tuo", V. L. Tigurine version.

Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.
23. the rain of thy seed] the “early rain” falling in the month of October.

bread of the increase of the earth] Perhaps: “bread-corn (Isaiah 28:28) the produce of the ground.” Cf. ch. Isaiah 37:30.

23–26. The temporal blessings of the new dispensation.Verse 23. - Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; rather, then shall he give rain for thy seed, wherewith thou sowest the ground. God, having forgiven his people, will once more renew the blessings of his ordinary providence, giving them "rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17). Bread of the increase of the earth; rather, bread, the produce of the ground; i.e. ordinary bread, not "bread from heaven," like the manna in the wilderness. Fat and plenteous; literally, rich and fat. Thy cattle. To complete the general prosperity, there should be plentiful pasture for the flocks and herds. Into such small sherds, a heap thus scattered hither and thither, would the kingdom of Judah be broken up, in consequence of its ungodly thirst for self-liberation. "For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, Through turning and rest ye would be helped; your strength would show itself in quietness and confidence; but ye would not. And ye said, No, but we will fly upon horses; therefore ye shall flee: and, We will ride upon racehorses; therefore your pursuers will race. A thousand, ye will flee from the threatening of one, from the threatening of five, until ye are reduced to a remnant, like a pine upon the top of the mountain, and like a banner upon the hill." The conditions upon which their salvation depended, and by complying with which they would attain to it, were shūbhâh, turning from their self-chosen way, and nachath, rest from self-confident work of their own (from nūăch, like rachath, ventilabrum, from rūăch, and shachath, fovea, from shūăch). Their strength (i.e., what they would be able to do in opposition to the imperial power) would show itself (hâyâh, arise, come to the light, as in Isaiah 29:2), in hashqēt, laying aside their busy care and stormy eagerness, and bitchâh, trust, which cleaves to Jehovah and, renouncing all self-help, leaves Him to act alone. This was the leading and fundamental principle of the prophet's politics even in the time of Ahaz (Isaiah 7:4). But from the very first they would not act upon it; nor would they now that the alliance with Egypt had become an irreversible fact. To fly upon horses, and ride away upon racehorses (kal, like κέλης, celer)

(Note: We regard the Sanscrit kal, to drive or hunt, the Greek κέλλ(ὀκέλλ)ειν, and the Semitic qal, as all having the same root: cf., Vurtius, Grundzge der griech. Etymol. i.116.))

had been and still was their proud and carnal ambition, which Jehovah would answer by fulfilling upon them the curses of the thorah (Leviticus 26:8, Leviticus 26:36; Deuteronomy 28:25; Deuteronomy 32:30). One, or at the most five, of the enemy would be able with their snorting to put to flight a whole thousand of the men of Judah. The verb nūs (Isaiah 30:16), which rhymes with sūs, is used first of all in its primary sense of "flying" (related to nūts, cf., Exodus 14:27), and then in its more usual sense of "fleeing." (Luzzatto, after Abulwald: vogliamo far sui cavalli gloriosa comparsa, from nūs, or rather nâsas, hence nânōs, from which comes nēs, excellere.) יקּלּוּ, the fut. niphal, signifies to be light, i.e., swift; whereas יקל, the fut. kal, had become a common expression for light in the sense of despised or lightly esteemed. The horses and chariots are Judah's own (Isaiah 2:7; Micah 5:9), though possibly with the additional allusion to the Egyptian cavalry, of world-wide renown, which they had called to their help. In Isaiah 30:17 the subject of the first clause is also that of the second, and consequently we have not וּמפּני (compare the asyndeta in Isaiah 17:6). The insertion of rebhâbhâh (ten thousand) after chămisshâh (five), which Lowth, Gesenius, and others propose, is quite unnecessary. The play upon the words symbolizes the divine law of retribution (talio), which would be carried out with regard to them. The nation, which had hitherto resembled a thick forest, would become like a lofty pine (tōrne, according to the talmudic tūrnı̄thâ, Pinus pinea), standing solitary upon the top of a mountain, and like a flagstaff planted upon a hill - a miserable remnant in the broad land so fearfully devastated by war. For אם עד followed by a preterite (equivalent to the fut. exactum), compare Isaiah 6:11 and Genesis 24:19.

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