Isaiah 60 - Outline of Isaiah (MENU page)
C. Restoration secured through Israel's glorious King (The King of Peace), ch. 58-66
  1. Israel's false worship contrasted with true worship, 58:1-14
  2. Israel's confession of sin, and the Redeemer's response, 59:1-21
  3. Israel's radiance and peace in the Light of the Redeemer, 60:1-22

1. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people:
but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Arise {HB=quwm, stand up}, shine; for thy light is come...-
The Holy Spirit speaks here to Israel, which through the long night of gentile dominion has been down trodden and oppressed, commanding them to arise out of the dust (cp. Isa 52:1,2), and to glow in the light that has risen upon them. That Light is their Redeemer (Isa 59:20,21; Rom 11:26), who, in that future day will rise like the sun to establish His millenial Kingdom. Mal 4:2
is come... is risen... shall cover... shall arise... shall be seen...- Note the mixture of tenses.
The Light for which they wait, has already come (cp. Isa 9:2; Mat 4:16; Luk 1:78,79; 2:32; Joh 1:9; 3:19; 8:12; 12:46). But, having rejected Him, Israel and all the nations will continue in darkness until His second coming. Yet, His coming is so certain that it is stated prophetically, as present fact. cp. Isa 58:8; 59:9
...the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness {thick darkness, heavy cloud} the people...-
This darkness covers the whole earth: Jew (Isa 29:10-14; Mat 15:14) and gentile, alike (Joh 3:19; Acts 17:23,30,31; 26:18; Rom 1:21-32; Eph 4:17-20). Darkness will grow deeper as the present age draws to its close, compounded by the apostasy of the professing church (cp. Isa 8:20; 2Pet 2:2,17), and also by the rapture of true believers (who bear witness to the light, until they are taken out of the world. cp. Mat 5:14,16; Php 2:15,16; 2Cor 4:4-6; 1Pet 2:9)
...but the LORD shall arise upon thee... shall be seen upon thee.-
When Christ returns, Israel will shed abroad the light of their Messiah to the whole world, and the darkness will finally be broken.
  • What does this tell us about the present church age? Although the church is not seen in this chapter, we do see that the church, despite centuries of labor, will not fill the world with light, nor build the Kingdom of God on earth, to make it a glorious place prior to Christ's return. Even though the glory of the Lord rests upon true believers (Joh 1:14,18; 2Cor 4:4-6; Heb 1:1-3; 1Pet 2:9), and though we are commissioned to take the light of the Gospel to the world, the church will not bring the world out of its darkness.
  • Neither does Israel usher in the Kingdom of God. Rather, the LORD Himself will rise upon them and place His glory upon them, that all the world may know Him. The light comes forth from the true Israel of God (Mat 16:28- 17:2). It is to Him that the gentiles are drawn, in the day that Israel reflects His glory to them.
The accession of the nations to Israel... [subdivisions of chapter 60 are from GWms.]
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see:
all they gather themselves together, they come to thee:
thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at [thy] side.
5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together
{HB=nahar, be radiant},
and thine heart shall fear
{HB=pachad, be in awe, tremble},
and be enlarged
{ie., with joy and blessing, cp. Psa 4:1; Isa 54:2};
because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee,
the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense;
and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee,
the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee:
they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar,
and I will glorify the house of my glory.
gentiles shall come to thy light... kings to the brightness of thy rising...-
Israel's Light is the Person of their Messiah. Rom 15:12
Israel's rising is their restoration, which Paul refers to as "life from the dead" (Rom 11:11,12,15; Zech 8:20-23).
Israel's rising is linked to the rising of the Messiah with similar language, in Isa 49:7.
lift up thine eyes... and see...- cp. Isa 49:18-24
...the abundance {HB=hamown, tumult, confusion, sound of a multitude} of the sea shall be converted {ie., be turned} unto thee...
...the forces {HB=chayil, strength, wealth} of the Gentiles shall come unto thee...- cp. Rev 21:26
...Midian... Ephah... Sheba... Kedar... Nebajoth...-
These people groups occupy regions of the Arabian penninsula.
The first three are descendants of Abraham through Keturah (Gen 25:1-4). The last two are descendants of Abraham through Ishmael (Gen 25:13). They represent the Arab nations and the eastern nations in general. Today, these people are staunch enemies of Israel, but in the millenial Kingdom, they will bring gifts and offer acceptable sacrifices in Jerusalem. cp. Mal 1:11
- - In that day, the kings of the east will bring gold and incense, but no myrrh (cp. Mat 2:11). At Christ's first coming, the kings of the east presented the young child with myrrh in anticipation of His death. At His second coming, their sacrifices look back to His death, while they bestow upon Him gifts of praise and glory. cp. Psa 72:10-15
...[the sacrifices of gentiles] will come up with acceptance on mine altar...
...I will glorify {ie., beautify} the house of my glory.- The gifts of the redeemed nations
will contribute to the reconstruction of the millenial Temple, which will be a "house of prayer for all people." Hag 2:7-9; Isa 56:6-8; Rev 21:24
The ministry of the nations to Israel...
8 Who [are] these [that] fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
9. Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first,
to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them,
unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel,
because he hath glorified thee.
10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls,
and their kings shall minister unto thee:
for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
who are these that fly as a cloud... as doves to their windows {HB=arubbah, lattices}...-
This verse is difficult, but generally understood to refer to the return of the people of Israel to their land. Some see a reference to air travel in v.8 and sea travel in v.9.
- - The editor sees, in v.8, a possible veiled reference to the church which will accompany the Messiah when He returns to earth from heaven (Rev 19:1,7,8,11,14). In the OT, the church is a mystery ("Who are these...?"; cp. Isa 49:21). The believers in heaven are referred to as a cloud, and Christ's return will be 'in the clouds' (Heb 12:1; Mat 24:30). The word for dove is used as a term of endearment for the beloved of the King several times in Song of Solomon (Song 1:15; 2:14; 4:1; 5:2,12; 6:9). The word for window is used three times in the phrase 'the windows of heaven,' which speaks of the source of true blessing (Mal 3:10). From behind a lattice, one may watch without being observed (as do the great cloud of witnesses).
the isles {ie., coastlands} shall wait for {or, upon} me...- cp. Isa 42:4; 49:1; 51:5
...the ships of Tarshish...- This sea faring nation to the west of Israel,
represents the western nations, which honor Israel and their King, in similar fashion as the eastern nations.
...bring thy sons from far... their silver and gold with them...- cp. Isa 14:1,2
...because He hath glorified thee...- Israel's honor and glory is not their own, but that of their Holy One. Isa 55:5
...the sons of strangers shall build thy walls...- cp. Isa 49:22,23
11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night;
that [men] may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles,
and [that] their kings [may be] brought.
{cp. Rev 21:25}

The subjection of the nations to Israel...
12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish;
yea, [those] nations shall be utterly wasted.
13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee,
the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary;
and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
...those nations shall be utterly wasted...- cp. Psa 2:12; Zech 14:12-19; Dan 2:35,44; Mat 21:44
...the glory of Lebanon... the fir tree... to beautify the place of my sanctuary...-
Materials for the millenial Temple will be brought from Lebanon, as they were when the first Temple was built in Solomon's day. cp. 1Kin 5:1-8
The 'box tree' is a small fir, perhaps a variety of cedar. cp. Isa 41:19
...the place of my feet...- Is the millenial Temple, in which Christ will stand. Eze 43:7
However, the blessings of His Presence will overflow from there to the whole earth, which is His footstool (1Chr 28:2).
The homage of the nations to Israel...
14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee;
and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet;
{cp. Isa 62:12}
and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through [thee],
I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
16 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.
...them that afflicted thee... shall bow... at the soles of thy feet...- In glad submission to their King (v.13),
Israel's former enemies give honor to His people (Isa 62:12).
the city of the LORD...- The glory of the people and of the place is not their own,
but that of the Holy One of Israel. Psa 87:3
whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated... I will make thee an eternal excellency...- cp. Isa 49:14-23; 54:6-14
Israel's Glory...
17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver,
and for wood brass, and for stones iron:
I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders;
but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
brass...gold, iron...silver...- Their former glories will pale in the light of the glories of His Kingdom.
Compare the relative glory of Solomon's kingdom (1Kin 10:21).
thine officers {ie., overseers}... thine exactors {ie., tax collectors, task masters} righteousness...- cp. Luk 3:12-14
violence shall be no more...- This can hardly be said today. But His promise is sure.
Isa 2:4; 11:9; Mic 4:3; Zech 9:8; Rev 19:1-6
19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day;
neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee:
but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself:
for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light,
and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
21 Thy people also [shall be] all righteous:
they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands,
that I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation:
I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
the sun shall be no more thy light...- cp. Rev 21:23
thy sun shall no more go down...- ie., never again to allow the dark days of judgment, cp. Psa 27:1; 84:11; Amos 8:9
the days of thy mourning shall be ended...- Isa 25:8; 30:19; 35:3-6; Rev 21:4
thy people... shall all be righteous...- Isa 4:3,4
This is a primary provision of the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-33).
...shall inherit the land for ever...- Therefore, this prophecy cannot refer to the return under Ezra and Nehemiah
or any other temporary restoration, but awaits the coming of the King.
a little one {ie., a young, insignificant one} shall become a thousand... a small one...- cp. Isa 11:6
Two different words, with similar meanings, are used to describe the insignificance of this one. Who is this? The one who spent His childhood in Nazareth, from where nothing good was thought to come, who was regarded as a lowly carpenter's son. Joh 1:46; Mat 13:55-57; Mark 6:2-4; Luk 4:22-24

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