ESV Isaiah 60:16

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.

Shouldn't that be "you shall nurse at the breast of queens"?

  • 1
    Receiving nourishment as one born, is a common image in scripture. It is a genderless concept, sometimes related to the city of Jerusalem. Scripture uses a variety of concepts which, in nature, are gendered, but in the spiritual realm, are not so.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 14 '20 at 11:26
  • Hopefully it is a misprint because that's a horrible image!
    – Ruminator
    Nov 14 '20 at 21:34
  • @Ruminator "Scripture uses a variety of concepts which, in nature, are gendered, but in the spiritual realm, are not so" Is God a chicken, according to your reading (Ps. 91:4)? Nov 14 '20 at 23:12
  • Men's teats are often covered in unruly hair. God as chicken is not without precedent. youtu.be/UKR5epJoeR0
    – Ruminator
    Nov 14 '20 at 23:20

Isa 60:16 is quintessential Hebrew idiom for what is described in this chapter and the previous few verses:

V13-15: The glory of Lebanon will come to you— its cypress, elm, and boxwood together— to adorn the place of My sanctuary, and I will glorify the place of My feet. The sons of your oppressors will come and bow down to you; all who reviled you will fall facedown at your feet and call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas you have been forsaken and despised, with no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from age to age.

A similar idiom or Isa 60:16 is presented in Isa 49:23 -

Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow to you facedown and lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in Me will never be put to shame.”

Benson, summarizes the thought as follows:

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.

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