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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 60

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical




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 [ :-], is an earnest of this. The language is too glorious to apply to anything that as yet has happened.

Verse 1

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

shine—or, "be enlightened; for thy light cometh"; impart to others the spiritual light now given thee (Isaiah 52:2- :). The Margin and GESENIUS translate, "Be enlightened"; be resplendent with posterity; imperative for the future indicative, "Thou shalt be enlightened" (Isaiah 58:8; Isaiah 58:10; Ephesians 5:8; Ephesians 5:14).

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 (Jeremiah 3:16; Jeremiah 3:17).

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

Verse 2

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

be seenconspicuously: so the Hebrew.

Verse 3

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

kings— (Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 52:15).

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

Verse 4

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 (Isaiah 66:12).

Verse 5

5. see— ( :-), 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] ( :-).

fear—rather, beat with the agitation of solemn joy at the marvellous sight [HORSLEY] ( :-).

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."

Verse 6

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

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

Ephah—part of Midian, east of the Dead Sea. It abounded in camels (Genesis 37:28- :).

Sheba—in Arabia-Felix, famed for frankincense and gold (Psalms 72:15; Jeremiah 6:20), which they traded in (Isaiah 45:14; Job 6:19; Ezekiel 27:22).

Verse 7

7. Kedar— (Isaiah 21:16; Song of Solomon 1:5), in the south of Arabia-Deserta, or north of Arabia-Petræa; they traded in flocks (Ezekiel 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 (Psalms 68:30; Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 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 (Ezekiel 41:1-26; Haggai 2:7; Haggai 2:9; Malachi 3:1).

Verse 8

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

Verse 9

9. (see on :-).

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

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

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

Verse 10

10. kings . . . minister unto thee—(See on Isaiah 60:6; Isaiah 49:23).

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

Verse 11

11. ( :-). The gates are ever open to receive new offerings and converts (Isaiah 26:2; Acts 14:27; Revelation 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.


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

Verse 12

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

Verse 13

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 (Hosea 14:5; Hosea 14:6).

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

place of my sanctuary—Jerusalem (Hosea 14:6- :).

place of my feet—no longer the ark (Jeremiah 3:16), "the footstool" of Jehovah (Psalms 99:5; Psalms 132:7; 1 Chronicles 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 (1 Chronicles 28:2- :).

Verse 14

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

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

Verse 15

15. forsaken— (Psalms 78:60; Psalms 78:61).

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 (Psalms 78:61- :).

excellency—glory, that is, for ever honored.

Verse 16

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

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

Verse 17

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.

Verse 18

18. ( :-). 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 (Isaiah 26:1; Isaiah 26:2).

gates—once the scene of "destruction" when victorious foes burst through them (Isaiah 26:2- :); 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 (2 Chronicles 31:2; Psalms 9:14; Psalms 24:7; Psalms 100:4). "Judah," the favored tribe, means "praise."

Verse 19

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 (Isaiah 30:26; Zechariah 2:5; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5).

Verse 20

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

mourning . . . ended— (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 21:4).

Verse 21

21. all righteous— (Isaiah 4:3; Isaiah 52:1; Revelation 21:27).

inherit . . . land— (Isaiah 49:8; Isaiah 54:3; Isaiah 65:9; Psalms 37:11; Psalms 37:22; Matthew 5:5).

branch of my planting— (Isaiah 61:3; Psalms 92:13; Matthew 15:13).

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

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

Verse 22

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

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 (Matthew 13:32- :); so in that of the restoration of Israel and the conversion of the world (Isaiah 66:8; Habakkuk 2:3; Acts 1:7; Hebrews 10:37).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 60". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/isaiah-60.html. 1871-8.
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