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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Isaiah 60

 

 

Verses 1-16

Isaiah 60:1-3. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 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. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

The Church of God is one, whether it be among Jews or Gentiles. That poor Church seemed left and forsaken; dark days came, and it looked as if the Church must even cease to exist, but it did not. Now, God has brought in many sinners of the Gentiles, and he will bring them in much more numerously in the future times of refreshing. They shall come in armies, in hosts, in nations, and the Church of God shall be exceedingly glorious.

Isaiah 60:4-5. 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 daughter shall be nursed at thy side. 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.

All the strength of the land and of the sea,— the armies and the navies shall come and prostrate themselves before the Church of God. The supreme power on earth shall yet be the Christ in the midst of his Church.

Isaiah 60:6. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: —

The Easterns shall bow before the King; they that of old had some light shall come to the yet greater light. In those holy lands, which afterwards became so unholy, there shall yet be a return to the truth, and all the false prophets shall be expelled. Where Mohammed’s crescent has cursed the nations, there shall shine again the Sun of righteousness, with healing in his wings.

Isaiah 60:6-7. They shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. 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.

Wandering tribes of wild Arabs shall come and bow before Christ, and lay their wealth at his feet.

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

The growing Church sees a greater multitude coming to her than even the populous East could muster; whence come they? Listen, brethren, and look around, and see for yourselves.

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.

In ships from these remote islands, and from countries that were dimly spoken of, in the East, as “lands of Tarshish,” far away, great multitudes were to come to Christ. Are they not coming today from this Ultimo Thule, this distant land beyond the pillars of Hercules, are they not coming to Christ “as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows”?

Isaiah 60:10-16. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shal minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. 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. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. 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. 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. 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. 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.

In God’s good time, all this shall come to pass.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 103; Isaiah 59:16-21; and Isaiah 60:1-16


Verses 1-22

The subject of this chapter is, “The glory of the Church in the abundant access of the Gentiles, and the great blessings after a short affliction.”

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

The Church is like the moon, which shines with borrowed light. When God shines upon the Church, then the Church herself shines by reflecting his light. The glory of Jehovah is her glory, if that be withdrawn, she is dark indeed; but when that shines into her, and through her, then her brightness is great indeed.

Isaiah 60:2-3. 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. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

There is nothing that breaks the darkness except the light from God’s face; and when that falls upon the Church, then the Church straightway begins to shine in the midst of the darkness, and multitudes come to the light, and even the great ones of the earth, the kings, come to the brightness of her rising.

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.

There is no sign here of the Church of God being deserted, on the contrary, she shall become, through the grace of God, the center of attraction. Men shall come from distant lands to her, however far removed they were, they shall still come: “thy sons shall come from far.” She shall also be increased by the accession of those near at hand: “and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.”

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.

O, that we might live to see this happy day, when we shall feel a holy awe because of God’s glory as revealed in his Church! This fear is not a servile dread but a holy awe of God, and then the heart shall be enlarged, we shall deal with great things, wish for great things, attempt great things, do great things, and see great things. “Thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged,” for the sailor far away upon the sea, and the whole strength of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

Isaiah 60:6-7. 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. 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.

These people had mostly been followers of false prophets, but they too shall forsake their fanaticism and their bigotry, and come to unite with the Church of God. Those least likely and furthest off from hope, shall be brought in by the sovereign grace of God.

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

The Church is astonished; she asks, “Who can they be?”

Isaiah 60:9-10. 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. 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.

The Church of God is one continuously. At first, it was a Jewish Church, and it has never ceased to comprise within its bounds some members of the chosen race. But now, in these latter days, she has broken the narrow bonds of race, and from Tarshish and the distant isles of the sea, multitudes are already coming to the church of God, and they shall come much more numerously in the years that have not yet arrived.

Isaiah 60:11-14. 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. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish, yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. 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. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee;

Or, if they do not themselves come, their children shall; each generation shall include a remnant according to the election of grace; and, in due time, shall come the great ingathering.

Isaiah 60:14-22. And as 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. 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. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.

“Amen! Amen!” so say we, with all our heart.

 


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/isaiah-60.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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