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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
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CHAPTER 60

Isa 60:1-22. Israel's Glory after Her Affliction.

An ode of congratulation to Zion on her restoration at the Lord's second advent to her true position as the mother church from which the Gospel is to be diffused to the whole Gentile world; the first promulgation of the Gospel among the Gentiles, beginning at Jerusalem [Lu 24:47], is an earnest of this. The language is too glorious to apply to anything that as yet has happened.

1. Arise—from the dust in which thou hast been sitting as a mourning female captive (Isa 3:26; 52:1, 2).

shine—or, "be enlightened; for thy light cometh"; impart to others the spiritual light now given thee (Isa 60:3). The Margin and Gesenius translate, "Be enlightened"; be resplendent with posterity; imperative for the future indicative, "Thou shalt be enlightened" (Isa 58:8, 10; Eph 5:8, 14).

glory of the Lord—not merely the Shekinah, or cloud of glory, such as rested above the ark in the old dispensation, but the glory of the Lord in person (Jer 3:16, 17).

is risen—as the sun (Mal 4:2; Lu 1:78, Margin).

2. darkness … earth—the rest of the earth: in contrast with "light … upon thee" (Isa 60:1). The earth will be afterwards enlightened through Israel (Isa 9:2).

be seenconspicuously: so the Hebrew.

3. (Isa 2:3; 11:10; 43:6; 49:22; 66:12).

kings—(Isa 49:7, 23; 52:15).

thy rising—rather, "thy sun-rising," that is, "to the brightness that riseth upon thee."

4. Lift up … eyes—Jerusalem is addressed as a female with eyes cast down from grief.

all they … they—The Gentile peoples come together to bring back the dispersed Hebrews, restore their city, and worship Jehovah with offerings.

nursed at thy side—rather "carried at thy side." It is the custom in the East to carry the children astride on the hip, with the arms around the body (Isa 66:12).

5. see—(Isa 60:4), namely, the bringing back of thy sons.

flow together—rather, "overflow with joy" [Lowth]; or, from a different Hebrew root, "be bright with joy" [Gesenius] (Job 3:4).

fear—rather, beat with the agitation of solemn joy at the marvellous sight [Horsley] (Jer 33:9).

be enlargedswell with delight. Grief, on the contrary, contracts the heart.

abundance of … sea—the wealth of the lands beyond the sea, as in Solomon's time, the type of the coming reign of the Prince of peace.

converted—rather, "be turned," instead of being turned to purposes of sin and idolatry.

forces—rather, "riches."

6. camels—laden with merchandise; the camel is "the ship of the desert" (compare Isa 30:6).

cover thee—so many of them shall there be.

dromedaries—They have one hunch on the back, whereas the camel has two: distinguished for swiftness (Jer 2:23).

Midian—east of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, and stretching northward along Mount Seir. Associated with the Ishmaelites in traffic (Ge 37:25, 28).

Ephah—part of Midian, east of the Dead Sea. It abounded in camels (Jud 6:5).

Sheba—in Arabia-Felix, famed for frankincense and gold (Ps 72:15; Jer 6:20), which they traded in (Isa 45:14; Job 6:19; Eze 27:22).

7. Kedar—(Isa 21:16; So 1:5), in the south of Arabia-Deserta, or north of Arabia-Petræa; they traded in flocks (Eze 27:21).

Nebaioth—son of Ishmael, as was Kedar. Father of the Nabatheans in Arabia-Petræa.

minister—by coming up as an acceptable sacrifice.

come up with acceptance—that is, acceptably. The rams offering themselves voluntarily (Ps 68:30; Ro 12:1; 1Pe 2:5), without waiting for any other priest, answer to believers strong in faith and lamb-like meekness; and in the white fleece-like robe of sanctity [Vitringa].

house of my glory—the temple (Eze 41:1-26; Hag 2:7, 9; Mal 3:1).

8. The prophet, seeing in vision new hosts approaching quickly like a cloud of doves, asks who they are.

9. (see on Isa 42:4).

Tarshish first—The ships of Tartessus (see on Isa 2:16; Isa 23:1, that is, vessels that trade to the most distant regions) will be among the foremost to bring back the scattered Israelites (Isa 66:20).

their silver—The nations among whom the Jews have been scattered shall help them with their money in returning (Isa 60:5-7, 11, 16), as was the case at the return from Babylon (Ezr 1:4; compare Ps 68:30, 31).

unto the name … to the Holy One—rather, because of the name—because of the Holy One (compare Isa 55:5) [Lowth].

10. kings … minister unto thee—(See on Isa 60:7; Isa 49:23).

in my wrath I smote thee—(Isa 54:7, 8; 57:17).

11. (Re 21:25). The gates are ever open to receive new offerings and converts (Isa 26:2; Ac 14:27; Re 3:8). In time of peace the gates of a city are open: so, under the Prince of peace, there shall be no need of barring gates against invaders.

forces—riches.

be brought—as willing captives to the truth; or, if not willingly, be bought by judgments to submit to Israel (Isa 60:12, 14). Gesenius explains it, "may come escorted by a retinue."

12. For—the reason which will lead Gentile kings and people to submit themselves; fear of the God in Israel (Zec 14:17).

13. glory—that is, the trees which adorned Lebanon; emblem of men eminent in natural gifts, devoting all that is in them to the God of Israel (Ho 14:5, 6).

fir … pine … box—rather, "the cypress … ilex … cedar."

place of my sanctuary—Jerusalem (Jer 3:17).

place of my feet—no longer the ark (Jer 3:16), "the footstool" of Jehovah (Ps 99:5; 132:7; 1Ch 28:2); but "the place of His throne, the place of the soles of His feet, where He will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever," in the new temple (Eze 43:7).

14. The sons—Their fathers who "afflicted" Israel having been cut off by divine judgments (Isa 14:1, 2; 49:23).

The Zion of the Holy One—The royal court of the Holy One. Maurer translates, "Zion, the sanctuary (holy place) of Israel" (Isa 57:15; Ps 46:4).

15. forsaken—(Ps 78:60, 61).

no man went through thee—Thy land was so desolate that no traveller, or caravan, passed through thee; true only of Israel, not true of the Church (La 1:4).

excellency—glory, that is, for ever honored.

16. suck—Thou shalt draw to thyself and enjoy all that is valuable of the possessions of the Gentiles, &c. (Isa 49:23; 61:6; 66:11, 12).

know—by the favors bestowed on thee, and through thee on the Gentiles.

17. Poetically, with figurative allusion to the furniture of the temple; all things in that happy age to come shall be changed for the better.

exactors—namely, of tribute.

righteousness—All rulers in restored Jerusalem shall not only be peaceable and righteous, but shall be, as it were, "peace" and "righteousness" itself in their administration.

18. (Isa 2:4). Not only shall thy walls keep thee safe from foes, but "Salvation" shall serve as thy walls, converting thy foes into friends, and so ensuring thee perfect safety (Isa 26:1, 2).

gates—once the scene of "destruction" when victorious foes burst through them (Ne 1:3); henceforth to be not only the scene of praises, but "Praise" itself; the "gates," as the place of public concourse, were the scene of thanksgivings (2Ch 31:2; Ps 9:14; 24:7; 100:4). "Judah," the favored tribe, means "praise."

19. The sun and moon, the brightest objects by day and night, shall be eclipsed by the surpassing glory of God manifesting Himself to thee (Isa 30:26; Zec 2:5; Re 21:23; 22:5).

20. There shall be no national and spiritual obscuration again as formerly (Joe 2:10; Am 8:9).

mourning … ended—(Isa 25:8; Re 21:4).

21. all righteous—(Isa 4:3; 52:1; Re 21:27).

inherit … land—(Isa 49:8; 54:3; 65:9; Ps 37:11, 22; Mt 5:5).

branch of my planting—(Isa 61:3; Ps 92:13; Mt 15:13).

work of my hands—the converted Israelites (Isa 29:23; 45:11).

that I may be glorified—the final end of all God's gracious dealings (Isa 49:3; 61:3).

22. little one—Even one, and that the smallest in number and rank, shall be multiplied a thousandfold in both respects (Mic 5:2; Mt 13:31, 32).

his time—not our time; we might wish to hasten it, but it will come in due time, as in the case of Jesus' first coming (Ga 4:4); so in that of the restoration of Israel and the conversion of the world (Isa 66:8; Hab 2:3; Ac 1:7; Heb 10:37).

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