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ISAIAH - CHAPTER 60
THE GLORY OF THE LORD IN ZION
Since it is impossible to ignore the similarities between this chapter and Revelation 21, 22, interpretation is not as simple as one might desire. Some things seem more appropriately applied to the nation; others to the church. Perhaps the most prudent course is to view the blessings portrayed in this passage as belonging to covenant-community of saints from ALL AGES and ALL NATIONS (all of them children of Abraham through a faith that obeys) - united in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14), and exalted to share the eternal pleasures at His right hand.
As in this age the Lord’s church is the earthly manifestation of God’s fullness (Ephesians 1:20-23; Ephesians 3:19; Ephesians 4:13), and the reflector of His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18); so, in the millennial age, Israel - restored to fellowship with God - will reflect His glory to the ends of the earth. But again, I would submit that it is dangerous to over-simplify this prophecy, or to attempt too sharp a delineation between the peoples involved. Creaturely finiteness requires such humility before this glorious prophecy as faithfully awaits its full unveiling at the appearing and kingdom of our Lord Jesus, the Christ. This, obviously, involves the restoration of the Theocracy.
Vs. 1-3: THE GLORY DAWNS
1. Here is a call for the people of God to "Arise and Shine" -experiencing the fullness of a NEW LIFE in the kingdom of God, (Isaiah 52:1-2; comp. Colossians 1:12-13).
a. The Light of Israel has come, (Isaiah 58:8; Malachi 4:2; comp. Isaiah 10:17).
b. The glory of the Lord has risen upon Zion, (Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 35:2; Isaiah 58:8; comp. Revelation 21:9-11). - the abode and representative of the elect covenant-community destined to share the divine fullness of Messiah’s millennial rule.
2. Though thick darkness has enveloped the earth (and all nations), His light and glory are seen shining upon His people, (vs. 2; comp. Isaiah 2:19; Isaiah 2:21; Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 35:1-2; Isaiah 40:5; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:29-31; Matthew 13:43; etc.).
3. Nations will come to walk in her light - kings desiring a share in her dawning radiance, (vs. 3; comp. Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 45:22-25; Isaiah 49:23).
1. One of the basic purposes of the New Covenant community, in this age, is to call out from among the Gentiles a people for Messiah’s name and kingdom, (Acts 15:13-18).
2. Here is the gathering of these elect ones to Zion, (vs. 4-5).
a. Sons and daughters, whom she has never known, are seen coming to her from afar, (vs. 4; Isaiah 43:6-7; Isaiah 49:18-22).
b. Thus will Zion be "enlarged" - as with radiance, and overflowing heart, she welcomes her dear ones home, (vs. 5a; Psalms 34:5; Psalms 36:9).
c. To her shall flow the abundance of the sea (Isaiah 23:18; Isaiah 24:14-16), and the "wealth of nations" (comp. Proverbs 13:22; Isaiah 61:6); so will she be greatly enriched, (vs. 5b).
3. Homage and tribute will be paid her from the East, (vs. 6-7).
a. Multitudes will come from Midian, Ephah and Sheba -bringing gold and frankincense, and extolling the name of Jehovah, (vs. 6; Isaiah 42:10).
b. The sons of Ishmael (the Arabs) will approach her, in such humble readiness to serve, as to find acceptance at God’s altar, (vs. 7; comp. Genesis 25:13).
c. So will the Lord glorify Zion - the house of His glory! (Psalms 132:13-14; Zechariah 8:3; Micah 3:12; Micah 4:1-2; Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 3:17; comp. 1 Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 2:4-10).
4. Fleets from the West are hastily bringing her children home! (vs. 8-9).
a. The multitude that the prophet envisions is likened unto a cloud of doves, (vs. 8).
b. "The Isles" are pictured as waiting for the Lord; the ships of Tarshish foremost to bring His people to Zion - with great riches, (vs. 9a).
c. This is for the name of Zion’s God, the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified her, (vs. 9b; Isaiah 55:5).
Vs. 10-14: HONOR TO "THE CITY OF JEHOVAH"
1. Under the smile of divine favor, Zion will be built up by strangers - their kings joyfully serving her, (vs. 10; Isaiah 54:7-8; Isaiah 14:2; Isaiah 61:5; Isaiah 49:23).
2. The Prince of Peace having come, Jerusalem will have such peace that her gates will never be shut - the wealth of nations flowing to her in a steady stream, and their kings yielding themselves as her willing subjects, (vs. 11; Isaiah 26:1-3; Psalms 49; comp. Revelation 21:24-25).
3. The nation or kingdom that refuses to pay homage to her will perish, (vs. 12; comp. Zechariah 14:17).
4. The "glory of Lebanon" (her most celebrated produce) will be utilized to adorn the Lord’s sanctuary and to beautify the place of His feet, (vs. 13; Isaiah 35:1-2; 1 Chronicles 28:2; Psalms 99:1-5).
5. The descendants of those who once opposed the people of God will humbly bow their feet - recognizing them as constituting "The City of the Lord", the Zion of the Holy One of Israel, (vs. 14; Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 45:23).
Vs. 15-22: EVERLASTING PEACE, PROSPERITY AND GLORY
1. Jerusalem is to be an eternal city, (vs. 15-16).
a. Though once despised and forsaken (Isaiah 1:7-9; Isaiah 6:11-13; .Jeremiah 30:17; Isaiah 66:5; Isaiah 33:8-9), God will make her an eternal excellency wherein many generations will find unbounded joy, (vs. 15; Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 65:18).
b. No longer identified with a single nation, she will draw upon the resources of all nations - conscious that Jehovah, the Saviour, Redeemer and Mighty One of Jacob, has made it possible, (vs. 16; Isaiah 66:10-12; Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 59:20; Isaiah 63:16).
2. This city will experience the fullness of peace and prosperity, (vs. 17-18; Isaiah 1:26; Isaiah 32:1) - the evils of her former state being done away, and everything changed for the better, (Isaiah 54:14; Isaiah 26:1).
3. God Himself is seen as the eternal light and glory of His people, (vs. 19-20; Isaiah 2:5; Isaiah 9:2; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5); here they will have no more darkness, no more mourning and no more tears, (Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:4).
4. As the branch of the Lord’s planting, and work of His hand, (Isaiah 26:12; Isaiah 29:23; Isaiah 64:8), Zion will be inhabited by a new people (pure and holy, 45:24-25; 52:1), and will enter into the blessedness of a glorious new age (Isaiah 57:13 b; 61:7; Psalms 37:11; Psalms 37:22) with marvelous possibilities, (vs. 21-22; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 51:1-3).
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Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 60". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany