The Meaning of Isaiah 30:21 Explained

Isaiah 30:21

KJV: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

YLT: And thine ear heareth a word behind thee, Saying, 'This is the way, go ye in it,' When ye turn to the right, And when ye turn to the left.

Darby: And when ye turn to the right hand or when ye turn to the left, thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.

ASV: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

What does Isaiah 30:21 Mean?

Context Summary

Isaiah 30:18-33 - The Goodness Of God's Severity
Jerusalem refused God's invitation to return to Him and rest; they preferred to trust in Egyptian cavalry. Their Almighty Friend knew that this would end in disappointment, but He said that He would wait till they had exhausted every expedient and returned to Him. Then would He be gracious and have mercy. The results of repentance and forgiveness are set forth with singular beauty: no more tears; great grace; answered prayer; divine teaching; guidance in the right way; no more idols; good harvests and rich pasture-lands; the dumb creation benefiting by man's repentance; and thus, in Isaiah 30:26, we come to the light of the millennial dawn.
In Isaiah 30:27-33 Jehovah is represented as coming to avenge His people and to judge their enemies. Their welcoming gladness is compared in Isaiah 30:29 to the songs of the Hebrew festivals. What a magnificent description in Isaiah 30:30-31 of Jehovah as a man of war! Every stroke He inflicted on the foe would awaken the music of tabrets and harps in the temple at Zion. Tophet, near Jerusalem, was the place where refuse was burnt. The spiritual counterpart of its fire is ever burning up the waste-products of men and nations. [source]

Chapter Summary: Isaiah 30

1  The prophet threatens the people for their confidence in Egypt
8  And contempt of God's word
18  God's mercies toward his church
27  God's wrath and the people's joy, in the destruction of Assyria

What do the individual words in Isaiah 30:21 mean?

and Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying this [is] the way walk in it Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left
וְאָזְנֶ֙יךָ֙ תִּשְׁמַ֣עְנָה דָבָ֔ר מֵֽאַחֲרֶ֖יךָ לֵאמֹ֑ר זֶ֤ה הַדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ לְכ֣וּ ב֔וֹ כִּ֥י תַאֲמִ֖ינוּ וְכִ֥י תַשְׂמְאִֽילוּ

וְאָזְנֶ֙יךָ֙  and  Your  ears 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, fdc, second person masculine singular
Root: אֹזֶן  
Sense: ear, as part of the body.
תִּשְׁמַ֣עְנָה  shall  hear 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person feminine plural
Root: שָׁמַע 
Sense: to hear, listen to, obey.
דָבָ֔ר  a  word 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּבָר  
Sense: speech, word, speaking, thing.
מֵֽאַחֲרֶ֖יךָ  behind  you 
Parse: Preposition-m, second person masculine singular
Root: אַחַר 
Sense: after the following part, behind (of place), hinder, afterwards (of time).
לֵאמֹ֑ר  saying 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
זֶ֤ה  this  [is] 
Parse: Pronoun, masculine singular
Root: זֶה  
Sense: this, this one, here, which, this … that, the one … the other, another, such.
הַדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙  the  way 
Parse: Article, Noun, common singular
Root: דֶּרֶךְ  
Sense: way, road, distance, journey, manner.
לְכ֣וּ  walk 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine plural
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
ב֔וֹ  in  it 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
כִּ֥י  Whenever 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: כִּי 
Sense: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since.
תַאֲמִ֖ינוּ  you  turn  to  the  right  hand 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperfect, second person masculine plural
Root: אָמַן  
Sense: (Hiphil) to take the right hand, to turn right, choose to the right, go to the right, use the right hand.
וְכִ֥י  Or  whenever 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Conjunction
Root: כִּי 
Sense: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since.
תַשְׂמְאִֽילוּ  you  turn  to  the  left 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperfect, second person masculine plural
Root: שְׂמֹאל 
Sense: to take the left, go to the left.