I know that the Prophet Isaiah made several allusions to kings and queens probably because he was the cousin of King Uzziah.

According to New World Encyclopedia:

His ease of access to the court and Temple (Isa. 7:3; 8:2), together with sources that tell us that Isaiah was the cousin of King Uzziah, suggests he was of a family of high rank.

However, it is not clear to me why he spoke of kings as a mother.

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 (Isaiah 60:16 KJV).

If he spoke of affluence because he was of a family of high rank, why did he decide to present a role shift for kings when he said "Thou . . shalt suck the breast of kings"?

Even when I read from another translation,

You shall suck the milk of nations; you shall nurse at the breast of kings; and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. (ESV)

I found the same question coming up. In other words, what would be the place of the queens in the language of the prophet?

  • 1
    Probably for the same reason he compares the Gentiles to an udder.
    – Lucian
    Oct 1, 2018 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


This is a common idiom in North-West Semitic (at least; it may be broader than that). The Dictionary of the North-West Semitic Inscriptions (Hoftijzer-Jongeling) lists several examples under its entry of אם‎12:

  • KAI 24 (a 825BCE Phoenician inscription from Sam'al, modern Zincirli, south-east Turkey), v. 10: "as to me, for some I was (like) a father, for others I was (like) a mother"
  • KAI 26 (a ca. 720BCE Phoenician inscription from Karatepe, south-east Turkey), A i 3: "Ba`al made me a father and a mother for the Danunites"

They explain it (i.e., the word אם "mother") as

used metaphorically of a king who protects his subjects and contributes to their prosperity.


Texts NWT [] Added

Isaiah 52:1 Awake! Awake! Clothe yourself with strength, O Zion! Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For no more will the uncircumcised and unclean one enter into you.

Herein is a clue to the following as the acient nation of Israel was pictoral of the future rule by Jesus a God's King from Zion in heaven.

Hebrews 12:22, 23 "But you have approached a Mount Zion and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels 23 in general assembly, and the congregation of the firstborn [the "elect"] who have been enrolled in the heavens, . . .

Its a prophecy about God’s heavenly Kingdom as Jerusalem as an earthly kingdom and how it will use all the nations materials (suck the breasts of kings) to support its work and the kings of the earth will be used for ort God's work via Gentile Christians.

Isaiah 60:19, 20 "For you [the "Woman" of vs 1] the sun will no longer be a light by day, Nor will the shining of the moon give you light, For Jehovah will become to you an eternal light, And your God will be your beauty. 20 No more will your sun set, Nor will your moon wane, For Jehovah will become for you an eternal light, And the days of your mourning will have ended."


Isaiah 60:1 2Arise, O woman, shed light, for your light has come. The glory of Jehovah shines on you.


Revelation 21:23 and the city [New Jerusalem = God's kingdom by Christ Jesus] has no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp was the Lamb.

Revelation 22:5 "Also, night will be no more, and they have no need of lamplight or sunlight, for Jehovah God will shed light upon them, and they [The "elect"] will rule as kings forever and ever.

Isaiah 61:6 As for you [the "elect"], you will be called the priests of Jehovah; They will call you the ministers of our God. You will eat the resources of the nations [Christian Gentiles], And about their glory you will boast.

Here ae see what Peter refferd to at:- [] Added

1 Peter 2:9, 10 "But you [Christians] are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies” of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 For you were once not a people, but now you are God’s [YHWH] people; once you had not been shown mercy, but now you have received mercy.

As gentiles came into the Christian Congregations the used all thier good, power, learning etc. to serve God, the goods of the nations now being used for pure worship of God.

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