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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Isaiah 60

 

 

Verse 1

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Ver. 1. Arise.] Thou, O my Church, that now liest in pulvere vastitatis, as a forlorn captive, rouse up thyself, change both thy countenance and condition; Tanquam libera ac laeta ad novum nuncium; up, and look up, I have joyful tidings for thee.

For thy light is come.] Christ, who is αυτοφως - light essential. [John 12:46]

And, the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.] The glorious gospel of grace. [2 Corinthians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 4:4]


Verse 2

Isaiah 60:2 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.

Ver. 2. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth.] As once it did Egypt, [Exodus 10:21] when there was light in the land of Goshen. So is there in the Church, when all the world besides lieth buried in a fog of ignorance and a bog of wickedness. Rhodes is always located in the sun. (a) The separation of the saints in light is a wonderful separation. [Exodus 33:16]

But the Lord shall arise upon thee.] The Lord Christ, who is "the true light," [John 1:9] "the light of the world," [John 8:12] "the Sun of righteousness." [Malachi 4:2] {See Trapp on "Malachi 4:2"}


Verse 3

Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Ver. 3. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light.] The apostles, those shining luminaries, were Christ’s Dαδουχοι, holding forth the light of life to all people, as Simeon said. [Luke 2:34-35] And we may well say, as our Saviour did, [Luke 4:21] This day is this Scripture fulfilled in our ears, and made good to our hearts, praised be his holy name throughout all eternity.

And kings to the brightness of thy rising.] As did our King Lucius, who is reckoned to be the first Christian king; our Constantine, the first Christian emperor; our Edward VI, the first reforming prince, and many others. Facit hoc contra Anabaptistas, qui exclusos putant reges ab ecclesia. (a)


Verse 4

Isaiah 60:4 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.

Ver. 4. Lift up thine eyes.] As from a watchtower; for so Zion signifieth.

All they gather themselves together, &c.] See Isaiah 49:18.

Thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.] Like sucking children, they shall suck, and be satisfied. [Isaiah 66:11] The Vulgate version here hath surgent for sugent; as it hath unus de similibus for unus e millibus [Job 33:23] and evertit for everrit [Luke 15:8] with other such gross mistakes not a few.


Verse 5

Isaiah 60:5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

Ver. 5. Then thou shalt see and flow together.] Or, Thou shalt break forth as a river; or, Thou shalt shine. (a)

And thy heart shall fear.] At first, at least, to see such a confluence of people unto thee.

And be enlarged.] With joy, upon better consideration.

Because the abundance of the sea,] i.e., The multitude of the islanders, and such as dwell by the sea side, which are noted for the worst of men, whence the proverb, Maritimi mores. Such are we Britons.


Verse 6

Isaiah 60:6 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.

Ver. 6. The multitude of camels shall cover thee,] i.e., Of such peoples as usually ride upon camels, viz., the Arabians and the adjacent countries; these shall come flocking and flowing to the Church with their precious and pleasant riches.

The dromedaries.] A lesser and lower kind of camels, commended for their swiftness. [Jeremiah 2:23] We call slow people dromedaries by antiphrasis, and for this, that they can travel four days together without water. Bajazet, beaten by Tamerlane, fled for his life, and might have escaped, had he not stayed to water his mare by the way, which thereupon went the more slowly, and was overtaken by the Tartars.

They shall bring gold and incense.] This the ancients interpret as those wise men from the east, [Matthew 2:11] which was indeed a small essay of this prophecy. But why should the Papists call them the three kings of Cullen?

And they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.] This is more than all their rich gifts. A thankful (a) man is worth his weight in the gold of Ophir.


Verse 7

Isaiah 60:7 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.

Ver. 7. All the flocks of Kedar,] i.e., The Kedarenes and Nebateans with their flocks, whereof they had abundance; and they now had hearts to "honour the Lord with their substance, and with the best of their increase." See Isaiah 23:17-18.


Verse 8

Isaiah 60:8 Who [are] these [that] fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?

Ver. 8. Who are these that fly as a cloud?] Which flieth more swiftly than any bird, and covereth the sky far and near. Deus bone, quam multi catervatim accurrunt! saith the Church here; wonderful! what trooping and treading upon the heels one of another is here! (a)

And as the doves to their windows.] To their columbaries, whereinto they scour and rush gregatim, et mira pernicitate, especially if they have young ones there, or else are driven by some hawk or tempest. (b) God’s people are free hearted; [Psalms 110:3] they serve the Lord with cheerfulness. [Psalms 100:2] Amor enim alas addit: and well might Plato descant upon the word, Oν θνητοι μεν Eρωτα, Aθανατοι δε περωτα καλουσι, whom men call love, the immortal call winged.


Verse 9

Isaiah 60:9 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.

Ver. 9. Surely the isles shall wait for me.] They shall come off freely, et non quasi angariati ad auditum verbi et sacramentorum usum. And this is taken to be God’s answer, (a) declaring the cause of that wonderful concourse. [Isaiah 60:8]

And the ships of Tarshish first,] i.e., With the first, or, In the beginnings, as the Vulgate hath it. The islands were converted as soon as any, as this of Britain is said to have been by Joseph of Arimathea. Omnium provinciarum prima Britannia publicitus Christi nomen reeepit, saith Sabellicus, (b) Of all proviuces, Britain first embraced the faith of Christ. From the which also, as we first of all the ten kingdoms [Revelation 17:7; Revelation 17:12] revolted to the Pope, so we were the first that shook off that yoke; our Henry VIII being the first that broke the neck of the Pope’s usurped authority.

Because he hath glorified thee.] By his gracious presence, and the sanctification of his Spirit by the Word.


Verse 10

Isaiah 60:10 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.

Ver. 10. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls.] By preaching and writing for the truth, as did many famous Greek and Latin doctors; and since them, not a few of all nations.

And their kings shall minister unto thee.] As did Cyrus and Darius; but especially Constantine the Great (who cared not what he bestowed upon the Church, and was therefore, in a jeer, by the heathens called Pupillus, as if he needed a guardian to order his expenses), Valentinian, Theodosius, Honorius, Justinian. Our Edward VI, (a) besides the much good he did at home, sent at one time five thousand pounds to relieve Protestants beyond seas. Queen Elizabeth sent both men and means in abundance to the relief of the French and Hollanders.


Verse 11

Isaiah 60:11 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.

Ver. 11. Therefore shall thy gates be open continually.] Such shall be thy spiritual security, and so great the resort unto thee

And that their kings may be brought.] Led captive, saith the Chaldee, sc., to the obedience of faith, {as Psalms 149:8} or, Led in state; so others.


Verse 12

Isaiah 60:12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, [those] nations shall be utterly wasted.

Ver. 12. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish.] They are utterly out then, who hold that men may be saved in what religion soever, so be it they lead an honest life. And Pope Julius III is justly accused of sacrilege for stamping money with his own image and this inscription, "The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish."


Verse 13

Isaiah 60:13 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.

Ver. 13. The glory of Lebanon.] The best cedars there, in allusion to the building of the material temple by Solomon, and afterwards by Ezra; q.d., Whatsoever is good in the world, either in understanding, virtue, or doctrine, shall be sanctified and employed for the building up of the Church.

The fir tree, the pine tree, and the box tree.] Which from those that would, but cannot, bring better, shall be well accepted.

And I will make the place of my feet glorious,] ie., My Church, when at lowest, and the members thereof, even the meanest of them. Hence also Christ’s name, "King of kings and Lord of lords," is written "on his thigh," i.e., on his lower parts. [Revelation 19:16]


Verse 14

Isaiah 60:14 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; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Ver. 14. The sons also of them that afflicted thee.] When once they shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, {as Malachi 3:18} there shall be a strange alteration wrought in them, as was in Paul, Cyprian, Vergerius, Latimer, and others.

Shall bow themselves at the soles of thy feet.] Such was the custom of the Easterlings; and this, the Popish writers say, is fulfilled in their vicegod, as we may, in the worst sense, best call him. The first that held forth his feet to be kissed was Dioclesian the Tyrant. (a)


Verse 15

Isaiah 60:15 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.

Ver. 15. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated.] The primitive Christians suffered Odio humani generis, saith Tacitus, (a) through the general hatred conceived against them; and non tam crimen quam nomen puniebatur, saith another, their very name was odious.

I will make thee an eternal excellency.] Here in part, but hereafter in all perfection. God so favoured the first orthodox Christian emperors, ut cum illorum pietate, Dei liberalitas certare videretur, That God’s liberality might seem to strive with their piety.


Verse 16

Isaiah 60:16 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.

Ver. 16. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles.] Satiaberis divitiis populorum, saith the Chaldee. Thou shalt be satisfied with the riches of the peoples.

And shalt suck the breast of kings,] i.e., With kingly dainties and delicacies, saith Zanchez after the Rabbis.


Verse 17

Isaiah 60:17 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.

Ver. 17. For brass I will brlng gold,] i.e., I will beautify my Church with far greater gifts of my Spirit than now. The New Jerusalem (which signifieth, say some, the state of the Church in this world), when it shall be refined to the utmost, is all of gold, and these golden times are yet to come.

Thine exactors.] Or, Overseers; thy bishops, say the Septuagint.


Verse 18

Isaiah 60:18 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.

Ver. 18. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land.] The full accomplishment of this is not to be expected here.

But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation,] sc., When thou hast got the great gulf [Luke 16:26] between thee and thine enemies.

And thy gates Praise.] God will continually come to thee with new benefits, and thou shalt go forth to meet him with thanksgiving. [Psalms 89:16]


Verse 19

Isaiah 60:19 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.

Ver. 19. The sun shall be no more.] God shall be thy sun and shield, thy solace and safety. [Psalms 84:11] The light of his loving countenance shall be lifted up upon thee, and this shall be better to thee than all outward comforts.


Verse 20

Isaiah 60:20 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.

Ver. 20. Thy sun shall no more go down.] Thy joy shall no man take from thee; thou shalt have a habitual cheerfulness.


Verse 21

Isaiah 60:21 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.

Ver. 21. Thy people also shall be all righteous.] Professional saints at least they shall all be, - saints by calling; some of them also shall be really righteous and religious, justified by the merit, and sanctified by the Spirit of Christ. And these together make up a true visible Church, such as was that of Corinth and of Sardis. A mixture there will be to the world’s end.

They shall inherit the land for ever.] Those that are righteous indeed, are heirs of the world together with faithful Abraham. The meek shall inherit the earth; and as for the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 5:3; Matthew 5:5]

The branch of my planting.] So may some be that yet bear no fruit. [John 15:2]

The work of my hands.] By regeneration. [Ephesians 2:10] And so are such as are sanctified by habitual infusion, and not by baptismal profession only. In both sorts God is glorified.


Verse 22

Isaiah 60:22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.

Ver. 22. A little one shall become a thousand.] Three thousand were added to the Church in one day, [Acts 2:41] five thousand in another. [Acts 4:4] Homo ille tricubitalis, as Chrysostom calleth Paul, that little man, and least of all the apostles, what great pains took he! how many churches planted he! how many thousand souls gained he to Christ! See what a circuit he set, and what a deal of work he despatched at one bout. [Romans 15:18-20] Here was minimus in mille, the least out of a thousand, as it is here. Think the like of the rest of the apostles, as also of Luther, Melanchthon, Ferullus, &c. Mr Foxe telleth us that many were made to see the falsities of Popery by reading Chaucer; more by reading Erasmus’s Colloquies.

I the Lord will hasten it in his time.] Heb., In its time - that is, in the time of the New Testament; but most completely and gloriously at the resurrection shall all these things that are foretold be accomplished.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-60.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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