The Meaning of Isaiah 3:1 Explained

Isaiah 3:1

KJV: For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

YLT: For, lo, the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts, Is turning aside from Jerusalem, And from Judah, stay and staff, Every stay of bread, and every stay of water.

Darby: For behold, the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, will take away from Jerusalem and from Judah stay and staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

ASV: For, behold, the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah stay and staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water;

What does Isaiah 3:1 Mean?

Verse Meaning

"For" ties this section to the argument of Isaiah 2:6-22. "Behold" (Heb. hinneh) commonly introduces a threat in prophetic material. The multiple names of God again hint at judgment to come (cf. Isaiah 1:24; Isaiah 10:16; Isaiah 10:33; Isaiah 19:4). God was going to remove what was essential from Judah and Jerusalem. "Supply" (Heb. mash"en) and "support" (Heb. mash"ena) are masculine and feminine forms of the same word in Hebrew, meaning a staff, suggesting that every type of support will be removed. The figures of bread and water stand for food and drink-famine will come-but in a larger sense these things also represent all that is essential to the nation.

Context Summary

Isaiah 3:1-12 - An Exhortation To Humility And Reverence
If men will not repent, they must suffer. If they will not voluntarily put away their idols and sorceries, they will be compelled to do so in the anguish of their disappointment with their helpless deities, Isaiah 2:20. Nothing in that great civilization would be spared. High towers, fenced walls, ships, treasures, armor-all would perish. Their vaunted faith in man would cease. Life would become elemental in its simplicity amid the shelter of the ragged rocks. In sarcastic phrase the prophet depicts a despairing nation choosing for ruler the first man that came along with a decent coat on his back, Isaiah 2:6; but in vain. We can almost hear the sob of the prophet's soul in Isaiah 2:8-9, and recall the tears of a greater than Isaiah, Who wept over this same Jerusalem eight hundred years afterward. Patriotism is one of the purest passions that can burn in the heart of man! "Lives there a man, with soul so dead, that never to himself has said, This is my own, my native land!" [source]

Chapter Summary: Isaiah 3

1  The great calamities which come by sin
10  The different rewards of the righteous and wicked
12  The oppression and covetousness of the rulers
16  The judgments which shall be for the pride of the women
25  The general desolation

What do the individual words in Isaiah 3:1 mean?

For behold the Lord Yahweh of hosts Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stock and the store the whole supply of bread and the whole of water
כִּי֩ הִנֵּ֨ה הָאָד֜וֹן יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֗וֹת מֵסִ֤יר מִירוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ וּמִ֣יהוּדָ֔ה מַשְׁעֵ֖ן וּמַשְׁעֵנָ֑ה כֹּ֚ל מִשְׁעַן־ לֶ֔חֶם וְכֹ֖ל מָֽיִם

הִנֵּ֨ה  behold 
Parse: Interjection
Root: הִנֵּה  
Sense: behold, lo, see, if.
הָאָד֜וֹן  the  Lord 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: אָדֹון  
Sense: firm, strong, lord, master.
יְהוָ֣ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
צְבָא֗וֹת  of  hosts 
Parse: Noun, common plural
Root: צָבָא 
Sense: that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host.
מֵסִ֤יר  Takes  away 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Participle, masculine singular
Root: סוּר 
Sense: to turn aside, depart.
מִירוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙  from  Jerusalem 
Parse: Preposition-m, Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: יְרוּשָׁלַםִ  
Sense: the chief city of Palestine and capital of the united kingdom and the nation of Judah after the split.
וּמִ֣יהוּדָ֔ה  and  from  Judah 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-m, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יְהוּדָה  
Sense: the son of Jacob by Leah.
מַשְׁעֵ֖ן  the  stock 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מִשְׁעָן 
Sense: support, staff.
וּמַשְׁעֵנָ֑ה  and  the  store 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, feminine singular
Root: מַשְׁעֵנָה 
Sense: support (of every kind), staff.
כֹּ֚ל  the  whole 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: כֹּל  
Sense: all, the whole.
מִשְׁעַן־  supply 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: מִשְׁעָן 
Sense: support, staff.
לֶ֔חֶם  of  bread 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: לֶחֶם  
Sense: bread, food, grain.
וְכֹ֖ל  and  the  whole 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: כֹּל  
Sense: all, the whole.
מָֽיִם  of  water 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: מַיִם  
Sense: water, waters.