Isaiah 66:11
That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.
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(11) That ye may suck . . .—The figure takes a new and bolder form. The friends who visit the rejoicing mother are invited to take their place with the new-born child, and to share his nurture. The underlying thought is, of course, that the heathen nations who had been friendly to Zion were to become converts, and be incorporated with her citizens.

66:5-14 The prophet turns to those that trembled at God's word, to comfort and encourage them. The Lord will appear, to the joy of the humble believer, and to the confusion of hypocrites and persecutors. When the Spirit was poured out, and the gospel went forth from Zion, multitudes were converted in a little time. The word of God, especially his promises, and ordinances, are the consolations of the church. The true happiness of all Christians is increased by every convert brought to Christ. The gospel brings with it, wherever it is received in its power, such a river of peace, as will carry us to the ocean of boundless and endless bliss. Divine comforts reach the inward man; the joy of the Lord will be the strength of the believer. Both God's mercy and justice shall be manifested, and for ever magnified.That ye may suck - The same figure occurs in Isaiah 60:16; and substantidally in Isaiah 49:23. See the note at those places.

That ye may milk out - The image is an obvious one. It means that they who sympathized with Zion would be nourished by the same truth, and comforted with the same sources of consolation.

And be delighted with the abundance of her glory - Margin, 'Brightness.' Lowth renders this, 'From her abundant stores.' Noyes, 'From the fullness of her glory.' Jerome (the Vulgate), 'And that you may abound with delights from every kind of her glory.' The Septuagint, 'That sucking ye may be nourished from the commencement' (Thompson); 'or the entrance of her glory' (ἀπὸ εἰσόδου δόξης αὐτῆς apo eisodou doxēs autēs). This variety of interpretation has arisen from the uncertain meaning of the word זיז zı̂yz, rendered 'abundance.' Gesenius supposes that it is derived from זוּז zûz, meaning:

1. To move;

2. To glance, to sparkle, to radiate, from the idea of rapid motion; hence, to flow out like rays, to spout like milk; and hence, the noun זיז zı̂yz, means a breast.

This derivation may be regarded as somewhat fanciful; but it will show why the word 'brightness' was inserted in the margin, since one of the usual significations of the verb relates to brightness, or to sparkling rays. Aquila renders it, Ἀπὸ παντοδαπίας Apo pantodapias - 'From every kind of abundance.' Symmachus, Ἀπὸ πλήθους Apo plēthou - 'From the multitude.' The word probably refers to the abundance of the consolations which Zion possessed. Lowth proposes to change the text; but without any authority. The Chaldee renders it, 'That ye may drink of the wine of her glory;' where they probably read יין yayin ("wine"), instead of the present reading.

Of her glory - The abundant favors or blessings conferred on Zion. The glory that should be manifested to her would be the knowledge of divine truth, and the provisions made for the salvation of people.

11. suck—(Isa 60:5, 16; 61:6; 49:23).

abundance—Hebrew, "the ray-like flow of her opulence," that is, with the milk spouting out from her full breasts (answering to the parallel, "breast of her consolations") in ray-like streams [Gesenius].

Jerusalem is here set out as the mother of us all, as indeed she was; for out of Zion went forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, Isaiah 2:3. Christ was of the seed of Abraham, he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and is called, Romans 15:8, the minister of the circumcision: they were the olive, the branches; the Gentiles but a wild olive, grafted in amongst them, Romans 11:17; we sucked at their breasts; Christ was first preached to them; the twelve, the seventy, were all of them. The breasts of her consolations: the gospel doctrine was their breasts of consolation. Christ was in the first place.

Her glory; the glory of the people Israel, though he was also a light to lighten the Gentiles, Luke 2:32; we are required to rejoice with Jerusalem. That ye may suck, and be satisfied, &c.; intimating that our joy should not be a mere act of charity to them, but a proper expression of our sense of God’s goodness to ourselves, who should suck and be satisfied from the glad tidings of the gospel first published unto them, and ourselves be enlightened from what was at first the glory of Israel.

That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breast of her consolations,.... This, according to our version, expresses the end of the church's friends being called together to rejoice with her, that they might partake of her joys and comforts, delights and pleasures: but the words may be better rendered, either, according to Kimchi's sense, "therefore shall ye suck" (t), &c.; because ye have mourned for her, and because ye have rejoiced with her; or rather, as Noldius (u), "because ye suck", &c.; partake of her privileges and ordinances, so give a reason why they should rejoice with her. "Breast" is put for "breasts", as Jarchi observes; for as the church is represented as a woman, and as a teeming woman, she has two breasts as such, grown and fashioned, and full of milk of consolation; for "breast of her consolations" is the same as "her breasts of consolation"; see Sol 4:5, these are either Christ and his Spirit. Christ is a full breast of comfort to his people, in the greatness of his person, and the riches of his grace; in his precious blood, perfect righteousness, atoning sacrifice, and great salvation; if there be any comfort it is in him, and abounds by him. The Holy Spirit is another breast of consolation, another Comforter, by giving knowledge of the free grace gifts of God; by showing the things of Christ; by opening and applying the precious promises of the Gospel; by shedding the love of God in the heart; by witnessing to the saints their adoption, and by sealing them up unto the day of redemption. Or the covenant, and its blessings and promises: the covenant is a full breast of comfort, yields much both in life and at death; its blessings are sure mercies, blessings indeed, spiritual ones, and he that has an interest in them has enough, has all things; the promises of it are great, precious, sure, and unconditional, and afford strong consolation to the heirs of them. Or the Holy Scripture, and its two Testaments, the Old and New, which are exactly alike as two breasts; agree in the person and offices of Christ, and in all the doctrines of grace, and are full of the sincere milk of the word, and of spiritual consolation. Or the two ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper; which agree with each other; come from the same author; relate to the same things, the sufferings and death of Christ; and to be partook of by the same persons: baptism leads to the blood of Christ for cleansing and pardon; to the burial of Christ it represents, there to behold all sins buried with him; and to the resurrection of Christ for justification, and so is a means of much spiritual comfort; as it was to the eunuch, who from thence went on his way rejoicing: the Lord's supper is another breast of consolation, it is a feast of fat things; it represents the broken body and bloodshed of Christ, whose flesh is meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed, and so is a means of spiritual nourishment and comfort. These breasts are to be "sucked"; the mouth of faith is to be laid unto them; Christ is to be applied unto for fresh supplies of grace and comfort; the covenant and its promises are to be laid hold upon, and all the goodness in them to be pressed and got out; the Scriptures are to be diligently read and searched, and the ordinances to be frequently attended on, and fervent prayer to be incessantly used, and not restrained till the blessing is given; and such who do so are sooner or later "satisfied", filled to the full. How satisfying are Christ and his grace! the covenant of grace, its blessing and promises! the doctrine of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it! these are the goodness of God's house, with which his people are satisfied, even as with marrow and fatness, Psalm 36:8,

that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory; or, "for" or "because ye milk out", "may" or "shall milk out" (w); that is, press with the hand of faith the above breasts of consolation, and get out from them all the comfort that is laid up in them: and so

be delighted with the abundance of her glory; or, "the brightness of it" (x); Christ is the glory of his church; it is his presence with her, his grace and righteousness bestowed on her, which give her abundance of glory; and he it is in whom she glories: the Spirit of God, as a spirit of glory, rests upon her, and his grace makes her all glorious within; it is her glory to be interested in the covenant of grace, its promises and blessings, and to have the word and ordinances; her breasts are her glory, and she will have abundance of it in the latter day; see Isaiah 66:12, all which greatly "delight" the lovers and friends of Zion; a sight of Christ and his fulness, and a view of God as their Covenant God, are exceeding delightful; the doctrines of the Gospel are pleasant words, and the ways or ordinances of Christ are ways of pleasantness; and particularly the church in the latter day, enjoying all these to the full, and having the glory of God upon her, will be very delightful to behold.

(t) "pro eo quod, vel quia sugetis", Gataker. (u) "Quia sugitis", Concord. Ebr. Part. p. 521. (w) . (x) "propter splendorem gloriae ejus", Pagninus; "a splendore", Munster, Montanus. So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 36. 2.

That ye may nurse, {l} and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may draw milk, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

(l) That is may rejoice for all the blessings that God bestows on his Church.

11. Comp. ch. Isaiah 60:16.

abundance] The Heb. word (zîz) is of uncertain interpretation. It is found again only in Psalm 50:11; Psalm 80:13 in the phrase “beast of the field” (zîz sâday). It is doubtful, however, if the word there be identical with that in this verse. A perfect parallelism (with “breast”) would be obtained if we might translate by “udder.” Ewald and Cheyne adopt this translation, Ewald without remark, Cheyne with a reference to the Assyrian and the vulgar Arabic, where a word zîzâh is said to mean “udder” (see his Comm. p. 174, and Origin of the Psalter, pp. 472 f.).

Verse 11. - That ye may suck. Restored Jerusalem will be as a mother to all who love her, to all who have mourned for her when she lay as it were dead (1 Samuel 15:35; 2 Samuel 14:2). She will have "milk" to give to all - "the sincere milk of the Word" (1 Peter 2:2) - and from her both Jew and Gentile will "suck out no small advantage" (Psalm 73:10). She will also impart to them from the abundance of her glory. Isaiah 66:11In the anticipation of such a future, those who inwardly participate in the present sufferings of Zion are to rejoice beforehand in the change of all their suffering into glory. "Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and exult over her, all ye that love her; be ye delightfully glad with her, all ye that mourn over her, that he may suck and be satisfied with the breast of her consolations, that ye may sip and delight yourselves in the abundance of her glory." Those who love Jerusalem (the abode of the church, and the church itself), who mourn over her (hith'abbēl, inwardly mourn, 1 Samuel 15:35, prove and show themselves to be mourners and go into mourning, b. Mod katan 20b, the word generally used in prose, whereas אבל, to be thrown into mourning, to mourn, only occurs in the higher style; compare ציּון אבלי, Isaiah 57:18; Isaiah 61:2-3; Isaiah 60:20), these are even now to rejoice in spirit with Jerusalem and exult on her account (bâh), and share her ecstatic delight with her ('ittâh), in order that when that in which they now rejoice in spirit shall be fulfilled, they may suck and be satisfied, etc. Jerusalem is regarded as a mother, and the rich actual consolation, which she receives (Isaiah 51:3), as the milk that enters her breasts (shōd as in Isaiah 60:16), and from which she now supplies her children with plentiful nourishment. זיז, which is parallel to שׁד (not זיו, a reading which none of the ancients adopted), signifies a moving, shaking abundance, which oscillates to and fro like a great mass of water, from זאזא, to move by fits and starts, for pellere movere is the radical meaning common in such combinations of letters as זא, זע, רא, Psalm 42:5, to which Bernstein and Knobel have correctly traced the word; whereas the meaning emicans fluxus (Schrder), or radians copia (Kocher), to pour out in the form of rays, has nothing to sustain it in the usage of the language.
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