For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross
darkness the people
Like that which covered the land of Egypt, when there was light in Goshen: and this may be meant either of the darkness of ignorance, idolatry, superstition, false doctrine, and false worship, that should cover the far greater part of the nations of the world, before this light and glory should break out, as it does at this day; some parts of it being covered with Pagan darkness, others with Mahometan darkness, and others with Papal darkness; and a very small spot it is where the light of the Gospel is, and that clear, but among a very few; for the most part it is not clear nor dark, it is not day nor night; and this is the evening time, in which, ere long, it shall be light; see ( Zechariah 14:6 Zechariah 14:7 ) or else this may design the distress that the antichristian states will be in, when this light shall break forth; the kingdom of the beast will be full of darkness, distress, and confusion, ( Revelation 16:10 ) : but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon
as on the tabernacle of old, ( Leviticus 9:23 ) to which the allusion is, ( Isaiah 4:5 ) this shows that the light and glory of the Lord, in the preceding verse, design the Lord himself, and his gracious purpose, and the display of his glory in the Gospel now preached; and that it will be visible in the church, and taken notice of by others, and induce them, and even great personages, to come unto it, as follows: or "he shall be seen", or "appear", in "his glory upon thee"; so Ben Melech renders it, supposing that (b) "in", is wanting; and so the sense is, that Christ shall appear in the glory of his person and of his offices, and especially his kingly office; and in the glory of his grace and righteousness, in the ministration of his word among his people. The Jews F18 apply this to the first coming of Christ, which belongs to his spiritual reign.
F18 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1.