Is. 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
The context continues from the previous chapter. The prophet’s words are addressed to the restored nation of Israel to whom the Messiah, the LORD, has come to rule as King.
“Arise, shine” – This is a call to standing boldly and proudly in restored fellowship before the nations. It is the attitude that we believers, those who have been forgiven and restored in fellowship to the LORD, should exhibit as we live before the unbelieving world today. We have the glory of the Holy Spirit living in us and should strive to share the light of His truth in every possible way.
Is. 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.
Prior to the return of Jesus, the Messiah, the darkness of wickedness, misery, destruction, death, ignorance and sorrow (all from the Hebrew) will cover the earth. The Antichrist indwelt by Satan will be on the throne and all will seem lost. The Hebrew for “gross darkness” indicates gloom with the idea of a heavy cloud having descended upon them.
All is not lost. Upon Israel and Mount Zion (Jerusalem) the LORD will return with great glory and victory as well as great blessing for His people. This reminds me of the following verses from Matthew.
Matthew 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Is. 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
The presence of the glory of God in the Messiah will attract the peoples, both small and great, from other nations. The nation of Israel may be hated by the nations today, but the day is coming when she shall occupy the most honored position among nations. Jerusalem may be a burdensome stone to the nations today, but she will be considered the jewel of the nations when the Messiah returns to her to rule as King of kings.
Is. 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.
This verse, as well as many others, declares that the Jews will not return to Israel in totality until Jesus returns. “Thy sons” and “thy daughters” are referencing Jews. They will immigrate to Israel from all the nations to which they have been scattered. They will finally be able to live in peace in the land of Israel without fear of the enemy and with confidence that they will never be driven from their land again.
Is. 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.
“flow together” = sparkle, be cheerful
“fear” = stand in awe, make to shake
“forces” = whether of men, means or other resources….wealth, riches, substance
I like the wording of the CJB for this verse: Then you will see and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with delight; for the riches of the seas will be brought to you, the wealth of nations will come to you.
Is. 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.
Is. 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.
As I looked up these proper names, there was notable connection to the descendants of Ishmael. Finally, Abraham’s children will live at peace with one another. Ishmael’s descendants will no longer act with envy and hate toward their brethren; they will rejoice in the blessings of Israel and will want to bless them with their own wealth. Verse 5 seems to emphasize wealth that would arrive in Israel by sea, while these verses speak of wealth coming by land.
There was a good observation by William MacDonald in the Believer’s Bible Commentary: “Note that myrrh is missing in verse 6. Myrrh speaks of suffering. Christ’s atoning sufferings are finished forever. At His Second Advent there will only be gold (glory) and incense (fragrance).”
Ezekiel is clear that there will be an active temple in the millennial kingdom. All who come to sacrifice in thankfulness to, obedience to and appreciation of the King will be accepted. The temple will finally function as the temple of God’s glory that it was meant to be. God Himself will see to it.
Is. 60:8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
Is. 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.
These verses indicate that the number of people bringing gifts to the King and His people will be many. Most importantly, they will be bringing the dispersed Jews home to Israel. The isles and Tarshish are referencing far away lands in reference to Israel. This verse makes it clear that it is YHWH, the God of Israel, who has established Israel in such an honored position.
Is. 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.
This verse was a bit thought provoking. The walls of the city are for protection. Israel and her cities will need no protection with Jesus on the throne. Maybe the thought is that the walls are representative of the cities. The word wall comes from a root that means “to join.” Maybe this means that the nations will join together in ensuring the well being of Israel and helping to rebuild her cities instead of treating her with abuse and disrespect as she has been throughout past centuries. This would fit in well with the idea of ministering or giving service to Israel.
The fact that Israel has suffered so throughout the years is because the LORD has had His hand of judgment upon them. With the coming of the Messiah, that time has ended; it will be God’s delight and pleasure to show them great mercy.
Is. 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.
Is. 60:12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
These verses affirm the security and protection that Messiah the King will provide His people. There will be no need to shut the gates of the city. In fact, the need will be for the gates to remain open in order to accommodate the numbers of people who will be bringing gifts to the King and His people.
Jesus will rule with complete authority. His reign will be righteous and just. His word will be law. Part of that law will include obediently serving the King and His people. Verse 12 states that those nations who do not choose to serve Israel and her King will not long survive. The prophet Zechariah indicates that one of the penalties would include the withholding of rain.
Zechariah 14:17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
Is. 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.
Just as Solomon’s temple was known for its great beauty, so too will be the millennial temple. The reference to the trees of Lebanon indicates that the best lumber will be part of that beauty. We are so used to concrete and plaster, that we have forgotten how beautiful the building materials of nature can be. “The place of my feet” is an affirmation that God is going to dwell with His people in the person of His Son. With God as the master builder, the temple is assured of being the most glorious dwelling on earth. “The place of my sanctuary” I think is a reference to the city of Jerusalem as a whole. It will also benefit from the Master’s touch and will surely be the most glorious city on the face of the earth.
Is. 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.
The day is coming when all the former enemies of Israel will come with humility to Jerusalem in acknowledgement of their privileged position before the one true God, the God of Israel.
Is. 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.
This verse states the complete contrast of Jerusalem/Israel throughout its history, except for maybe the times of David and Solomon, and the time when Jesus comes to rule as King during the millennial kingdom. A nation that has been tolerated at best and despised by so many will now become a majestic place of delight. This will happen because of the work of the mighty hand of God.
Is. 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.
I like the wording of the NLT for this verse: Powerful kings and mighty nations will bring the best of their goods to satisfy your every need. You will know at last that I, the LORD, am your Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.
The people of Israel will recognize that the change in the attitude of the nations toward them is a miracle of God. They will know that YHWH is:
Is. 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.
This is a statement of the wealth that Israel will possess. Again, the material blessings and the relationship of peace with other nations remind me of what I have read of the days of King Solomon. Added to the physical wealth and the security that will be theirs, God will also ensure that they are governed in righteousness. They will never again have to fear being oppressed by unjust taskmasters.
Is. 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.
The Israel of the millennial kingdom will experience nothing of the violence and bloodshed that has been so much a part of her history. Again, I like the NLT for this verse: Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there.
I think it is interesting that Salvation and Praise are emphasized as defining the walls and gates, the defense and protection of the cities of Israel. These are descriptive of the recognition of the Messiah by His people.
Is. 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.
Is. 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.
Light and day are associated with goodness and righteousness; dark and night are associated with wickedness and unrighteousness.
Luke 11:34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
2Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
YHWH is going to dwell with His people in the person of His Son Jesus, the Messiah; therefore, they will never be in darkness or in fear of wickedness and unrighteousness. I believe this goes beyond the millennial kingdom for the Jewish nation. Paul tells us in Romans that “ALL Israel will be saved.”
Romans 11:26-27 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
I believe that all those Jews who enter the Messianic Kingdom as well as all of their progeny will never again rebel against God. God Himself is going to see to that.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
That will not be true of the progeny of the Gentile believers that enter the Kingdom. One of the great mysteries to me is that after living under the righteous rule of the Messiah for 1000 years, Satan will be able to gather an innumerable army for one more attack against the saints and their King with a special focus on Jerusalem.
Revelation 20:7-9 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
I think these verses look forward to the New Jerusalem that will be revealed after the Kingdom Age as described by the Revelator.
Revelation 21:23-26 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Is. 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.
I believe this verse emphasizes the truth of my thoughts from the previous verses. All the people of Israel will be righteous. They will inherit the land forever (time without end).
“the branch of my planting, the work of my hands” = the restoration of the believing remnant of Israel and the preservation and salvation of the nation from that point on. This would never have happened without God’s miraculous intervention. Why does He do this? To bring glory to Himself—the only One worthy of glory and honor. This is not a statement of arrogance and unhealthy pride; it is just and holy recognition of what is right. It’s the fulfillment of His covenant with Abraham and of the plan He established before creation.
Genesis 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Is. 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.
This seems to be a statement of the population explosion in Israel, as well as on the rest of planet earth, that will be a result of the nations living in peace under the righteous rule of the Messiah. It will be a time of the greatest health for those on planet earth since the time of Eden.
The last phrase emphasizes that the happenings on planet earth are ultimately in YHWH’s control. When the time is right according to His plan and purpose, events will happen quickly. Time is an interesting commodity. In the lifetime of a man, what seems so long is but a blink in the eye of God. The church has been waiting for the return of the Messiah for almost 2000 years; the Jewish people have been waiting even longer since they did not recognize His first coming. I think this last phrase could be a reference to the 70th week of Daniel, the time we know as the tribulation, which will encompass the last seven years of the age before Jesus comes back to earth to set up His throne. In perspective, that will be quick even in human understanding.