The glories of the church of God, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in. (1-8) and the Jews shall be converted and gathered from their dispersions. (9-14) and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. (15-22)
Verses 1-8 As far as we have the knowledge of God in us, and the favour of God towards us, our light is come. And if God's glory is seen upon us to our honour, we ought, not only with our lips, but in our lives, to return its praise. We meet with nothing in the history of the Jews which can be deemed a fulfilment of the prophecy in this chapter; we must conclude it relates principally to future events. It predicts the purity and enlargement of the church. The conversion of souls is here described. They fly to Christ, to the church, to the word and ordinances, as doves to their own home; thither they fly for refuge and shelter, thither they fly for rest. What a pleasant sight to see poor souls hastening to Christ!
Verses 9-14 God will be very gracious. We must begin with his promise, thence all mercies take rise. Many shall be brought into the church, even from far countries. Christ is always ready to receive all who come to him; and the gate of mercy is always open, night and day. All that are about the church shall be made serviceable to it. But those who will not be subject to Christ's golden sceptre, to his word and Spirit, who will not be kept in by the laws and rules of his family, shall be broken in pieces by his iron rod. The peculiar advantages of every nation, and of every description of men, shall join to beautify the church of Christ. We must suppose this to be accomplished in the beauties of holiness, and the graces and comforts of the Spirit, with which gospel ordinances are adorned and enriched. Blessed be his name, the gates of Zion are ever open to returning sinners.
Verses 15-22 We must look for the full accomplishment in times and things, exceeding those of the Old Testament church. The nations and their kings shall lay themselves out for the good of the church. Such a salvation, such a redemption, shall be wrought out for thee, as discovers itself to be the work of the Lord. Every thing shall be changed for the better. In thy land shall no more be heard threats of those that do violence, nor complaints of those that suffer violence. Thy walls shall be means of safety, thy gates shall be written upon with praises to God. In the close of this chapter are images and expressions used in the description of the New Jerusalem, ( Revelation 21:23 , Revelation 22:5 ) . Nothing can answer to this but some future glorious state of the church on earth, or the state of the church triumphant in heaven. Those that make God their only light, shall have him their all-sufficient light. And the happiness shall know no change or alloy. No people on earth are all righteous; but there are no mixtures in heaven. They shall be wholly righteous. The spirits of just men shall there be made perfect. The glory of the church shall be to the honour of God. When it shall be finished, it will appear a work of wonder. It may seem too difficult to be brought about, but the God of almighty power has undertaken it. It may seem to be delayed and put off; but the Lord will hasten it in the time appointed by his wisdom, though not in the time prescribed by our folly. Let this hope cheer us under all difficulties, and stir us up to all diligence, that we may have an abundant entrance into this everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 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 [ Luke 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 ( 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 60:3 ). 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).
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 9:2 ).
be seen--conspicuously: so the Hebrew.
3. ( Isaiah 2:3 , 11:10 , 43:6 , 49:22 , 66:12 ).
kings--( Isaiah 49:7 Isaiah 49:23 , 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 ( Isaiah 66:12 ).
5. see--( Isaiah 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] ( Jeremiah 33:9 ).
be enlarged--swell 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.
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 ( Jeremiah 2:23 ).
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 ( Judges 6:5 ).
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 ).
7. Kedar--( Isaiah 21:16 , 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 ).
8. The prophet, seeing in vision new hosts approaching quickly like a cloud of doves, asks who they are. Tarshish first
--The ships of Tartessus 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 66:20
). 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 ( Ezra 1:4
; 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
10. kings . . . minister unto Isaiah 49:23 ).
in my wrath I smote thee--( Isaiah 54:7 Isaiah 54:8 , 57:17 ).
11. ( Revelation 21:25 ). 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."
12. For--the reason which will lead Gentile kings and people to submit themselves; fear of the God in Israel ( Zechariah 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 ( Hosea 14:5 Hosea 14:6 ).
fir . . . pine . . . box--rather, "the cypress . . . ilex . . . cedar."
place of my sanctuary--Jerusalem ( Jeremiah 3:17 ).
place of my feet--no longer the ark ( Jeremiah 3:16 ), "the footstool" of Jehovah ( Psalms 99:5 , 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 ( Ezekiel 43:7 ).
14. The sons--Their fathers who "afflicted" Israel having been cut off by divine judgments ( Isaiah 14:1 Isaiah 14:2 , 49:23 ).
The Zion of the Holy One--The royal court of the Holy One. MAURER translates, "Zion, the sanctuary (holy place) of Israel" ( Isaiah 57:15 , Psalms 46:4 ).
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 ( Lamentations 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. ( Isaiah 49:23 , 61:6 , Isaiah 66:11 Isaiah 66:12 ).
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. ( Isaiah 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 ( Isaiah 26:1 Isaiah 26:2 ).
gates--once the scene of "destruction" when victorious foes burst through them ( Nehemiah 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 ( 2 Chronicles 31:2 , Psalms 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 ( Isaiah 30:26 , Zechariah 2:5 , Revelation 21:23 , 22:5 ).
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 ).
21. all righteous--( Isaiah 4:3 , 52:1 , Revelation 21:27 ).
inherit . . . land--( Isaiah 49:8 , 54:3 , 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 , 45:11 ).
that I may be glorified--the final end of all God's gracious dealings ( Isaiah 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 ( 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 ( Galatians 4:4 ); 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 ).