Isaiah 60:16
Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
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(16) Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles . . .—The metaphor is bold, but the prophet had already presented it in a less startling form in Isaiah 49:23. What is meant in either case is that the new Jerusalem shall be supported by the offerings of the Gentiles.

Isaiah 60:16-17. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles — A metaphor taken from children drawing nourishment from the breast. The sense is, that the church should draw, or receive, the wealth of nations, and the riches and power of kings, and whatever is most excellent; and that it should come freely and affectionately, as milk flows from the breast of the mother. And thou shalt know — Namely, shall experience; that I the Lord — Hebrew, Jehovah; am thy Saviour — That I have undertaken to save, and that I do and will save thee; the mighty One of Jacob — Not only of the literal, but also, and especially, of the spiritual Jacob, or Israel: as if he had said, These things will certainly be accomplished, for he is the mighty God, and so is able; and the God of Jacob, and so is obliged by covenant with, and relation to them, to deliver and protect his people. For brass I will bring gold, &c. — Here we have the effect of the preceding promise: Thy poverty shall be turned to riches, all things shall be altered for the best: it is an allusion to the days of Solomon, when gold was as plentiful as brass. If these words be considered as intended to be taken literally, it is sufficiently evident that they are not applicable to Jerusalem, which was never so enriched, after it was rebuilt, as to have greater riches than the Jews possessed before the wars which they waged with the Babylonians; nor was their state happier. And after Herod the Great, they were in a much worse condition, Judea being reduced to a province of the Roman empire, and governed and pillaged by the deputies or vicegerents of the emperors. Therefore all this is undoubtedly spoken of the Christian Church and of spiritual riches, namely, the privileges and blessings of the gospel. I will also make thy officers peace — That is, men of peace, loving, meek, and friendly. This was far from being the case with the Jews after their return out of captivity; for, though those who were first set over them, after their return, namely, Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, and others, governed them peaceably and mildly, yet it was not so in the following times; and after their high-priests took upon them the government, they grievously plundered and oppressed the people, and contended with one another with the most outrageous and cruel discord, as appears from Josephus, the Jewish historian. But the governors of the Christian Church, that is, of that church which only deserves the name of Christian, have been, and always will be, mild and gentle, and men of peace and clemency. And thine exactors — Or rulers, as Dr. Waterland renders נגשׂיŠ. Righteousness — Most righteous, as before peace was put for peaceable.

60:15-22 We must look for the full accomplishment in times and things, exceeding those of the Old Testament church. The nations and their kings shall lay themselves out for the good of the church. Such a salvation, such a redemption, shall be wrought out for thee, as discovers itself to be the work of the Lord. Every thing shall be changed for the better. In thy land shall no more be heard threats of those that do violence, nor complaints of those that suffer violence. Thy walls shall be means of safety, thy gates shall be written upon with praises to God. In the close of this chapter are images and expressions used in the description of the New Jerusalem, Re 21:23; 22:5. Nothing can answer to this but some future glorious state of the church on earth, or the state of the church triumphant in heaven. Those that make God their only light, shall have him their all-sufficient light. And the happiness shall know no change or alloy. No people on earth are all righteous; but there are no mixtures in heaven. They shall be wholly righteous. The spirits of just men shall there be made perfect. The glory of the church shall be to the honour of God. When it shall be finished, it will appear a work of wonder. It may seem too difficult to be brought about, but the God of almighty power has undertaken it. It may seem to be delayed and put off; but the Lord will hasten it in the time appointed by his wisdom, though not in the time prescribed by our folly. Let this hope cheer us under all difficulties, and stir us up to all diligence, that we may have an abundant entrance into this everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.Thou shalt suck the milk of the Gentiles - This expression means, 'Whatever is valuable and rich which they possess shall contribute to your welfare.' The idea is the same substantially which occurs in the previous parts of the chapter, that the riches of the pagan world would become tributary to the advancement of the true religion.

And thou shall suck the breast of kings - The Chaldee renders this, 'And thou shalt be satisfied with the riches of the people, and shalt delight thyself with the spoil of kings.' The phrase to suck 'the breast of kings is unusual; but the sense is simple and plain, that kings and their wealth should be made to contribute to sustain the church. See the sentiment explained in the notes at Isaiah 49:23.

And thou shalt know - By the protection which shall be extended to thee, and by the accession which shall be made to thee, thou shalt have full proof that Yahweh is thy protector and friend. The conversion of the pagan world shall demonstrate that Yahweh is the friend of his church and people.

16. suck—Thou shalt draw to thyself and enjoy all that is valuable of the possessions of the Gentiles, &c. (Isa 49:23; 61:6; 66:11, 12).

know—by the favors bestowed on thee, and through thee on the Gentiles.

Thou shalt also suck, & c.; a metaphor taken from children sucking nourishment from the breast. The sense is, that the church should draw or drain the wealth of nations, and the riches and power of kings, and whatever is most excellent, and that it should come freely and affectionately, as milk flows from the breast of the mother; the same thing intended Isaiah 49:23, and in the foregoing verses. Thou shalt know, i.e. experience it; knowing is often put for an experimental knowing.

The mighty one of Jacob; styled so either with reference to Jacob’s person, he being the first that gave God this title, Genesis 49:24; or with reference to Jacob’s posterity, viz. the Jews. These things will certainly be accomplished; for he is the mighty God, and so able; and the God of Jacob, so obliged by covenant and relation.

Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles,.... Partake of their riches and wealth; so the Targum,

"and ye shall be satisfied with the substance of the people:''

or drink of the sincere milk of the word of the Gospel, which Gentiles have been favoured with for many ages; for this seems to have regard to Jewish converts, though not to them only, but as they, with the converted Gentiles, will make up one church state, and partake of the same privileges:

and shall suck the breast of kings; who shall now be converted in various places, come into the church, and be nursing fathers to it; help and assist the people of God with their riches to carry on divine worship in an honourable manner; and to protect and defend them with their power; see Psalm 72:9. The Targum is,

"in the spoil of kings ye shall delight yourselves;''

and it may also design the breasts of consolation, the ordinances of the Gospel, such as Christian kings will suck, and Jews and Gentiles shall do the same, Isaiah 66:11,

and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob; the Jews, being called, shall seek the Lord their God, the true Messiah, and shall look unto him by faith, whom they have pierced; shall know, own, and acknowledge him to be their Redeemer and Saviour; who must be fit and qualified for such an office and work, and equal to it, being the mighty One of Jacob, whom before they and their ancestors rejected and despised.

Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the {q} breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

(q) Both high and low will be ready to help and comfort you.

16. For the figure in the first half of the verse, cf. ch. Isaiah 49:23; the second half is repeated from Isaiah 49:26.

Verse 16. - Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles (comp. Deuteronomy 33:19). As a child at the mother's breast, thou shall obtain kindly nourishment through the means of the Gentiles, who acknowledge thee for their superior, and place all their means at thy disposal (supra, vers. 5-11). Among these, the most liberal, and the most prompt to render aid, will be their kings (see the comment on ver. 10). Thou shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour. This clause is repeated from Isaiah 49:26. It is a phrase containing in it a mysterious depth of promise. Isaiah 60:16The fourth turn (Isaiah 60:15-18) describes the glorification of Zion through the growth and stability of its community both without and within. A glorious change takes place in the church, not only in itself, but also in the judgment of the nations. "Whereas thou wast forsaken, and hated, and no one walked through thee, I make thee now into eternal splendour, a rapture from generation to generation. And thou suckest the milk of nations, and the breast of kings thou wilt suck, and learn that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob." Of the two ideas of a church (the mother of Israel) and a city (Metropolis) involved in the term Zion, the former prevails in Isaiah 60:15, the latter in Isaiah 60:16. For although עזוּבה and שׂנוּאה are equally applicable to a city and a church (Isaiah 54:6, Isaiah 54:11), the expression "no one walked through thee" applies only to the desolate city as she lay in ruins (see Isaiah 34:10). The fusion of the two ideas in Isaiah 60:15 is similar to Isaiah 49:21. Jerusalem will now become thoroughly a splendour, and in fact an eternal splendour, a rapture of successive generations so long as the history of this world continues. The nations and their kings give up their own vital energy to the church, just as a mother or nurse gives the milk of her breasts to a child; and the church has thereby rich food for a prosperous growth, and a constant supply of fresh material for grateful joy. We cannot for a moment think of enriching by means of conquest, as Hitzig does; the sucking is that of a child, not of a vampyre. We should expect melâkhōth (Isaiah 49:23) instead of melâkhı̄m (kings); but by שׁד (as in Isaiah 56:11 for שׁדי) the natural character of what is promised is intentionally spiritualized. The figure proves itself to be only a figure, and requires an ideal interpretation. The church sees in all this the gracious superintendence of her God; she learns from experience that Jehovah is her Saviour, that He is her Redeemer, He the Mighty One of Jacob, who has conquered for her, and now causes her to triumph (אני כּי with munach yethib, as in Isaiah 49:26, which passage is repeated almost verbatim here, and Isaiah 61:8).
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