Isaiah Chapter 60
Verses 1-12: Isaiah foresees a time when Israel will arise out of her “darkness” and “shine” with God’s glory. Then the “Gentiles shall come” to her light. Thus the “sons of strangers” described in this chapter, will come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.
Verses 1-2: “Glory of the Lord … darkness … gross darkness”: Addressing Zion (59:20; 60:14), Isaiah told the city and thus the nation of Israel that her light has come, putting her in contrast with the rest of the darkened world. This expressed the glory of Jerusalem during the millennial kingdom.
Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.”
Where there seemed to be no hope, suddenly hope arrives in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Messiah to the Jews). He is the Light of the world. This is a call to action. Don’t sit and fret, rise up. The word “shine” is explained more fully in the following verse.
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Christians have the Light of Jesus within them.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
His Light shines from us. We cannot produce light. The light that shines from us is the Light of Jesus dwelling within us. We are a container for the Light of the LORD. This is the same Light that is in each of the seven churches of Revelation. This light is not just to do away with darkness, but to light our spirit, as well.
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.”
Darkness symbolizes evil. This darkness was both spiritual and physical. The darkness here, is similar to the darkness that was over Egypt. It was so dark; you could actually feel the darkness. The darkness was not in the homes of God’s people, even though the land was covered in darkness.
God’s people will have the Light of the Lord Jesus shining upon them in the midst of the great darkness. Sometimes the only light there is, is the Light of Jesus that the Christian shines forth.
Luke 2:9 “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”
This is speaking of the appearance of Jesus into the world.
Isaiah 60:3 “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”
“Gentiles shall come”: Jerusalem’s light will attract other nations seeking relief from their darkness (2:3). Only believing Jews and Gentiles will enter the earthly kingdom after the Day of the Lord, but as the 1,000 years goes along, children will be born and nations will become populated by those who reject Jesus Christ. The glory of the King in Jerusalem, and His mighty power, will draw those Gentiles to His light.
The Gentiles were in the greatest darkness at the time of the appearing of Jesus Christ. They had never had any portion with God up until this time. The Law of Moses had enlightened the Jews somewhat. They had not understood the law and had not received full benefit of the light the law had brought.
The great Light, the source of all Light, is Jesus. We discussed in a previous lesson, that the Gentiles accepted Jesus more readily than the Jews did. On a large scale, the Jews rejected Jesus. All mankind was affected by the Light. Later the wise men (Magi), came and recognized Jesus after Joseph had moved his family to Egypt (due to the warning of an angel), to escape King Herod.
John 1:9 “[That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
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.”
“Gather … sons … daughters”: Another promise of the regathering of Israel’s faithful remnant (49:18, 22).
All, who accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord, are adopted into the family of God. We become sons of God.
1 John 3:1-2 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Jesus had a great following of men and women, when He ministered on the earth. Today, He has an even greater following.
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.”
“Enlarged … forces”: Enlarged means rejoice; forces mean wealth. Two more benefits of Israel’s future kingdom will be rejoicing and an abundance of material possessions (as symbolized in verses 6-7; 23:18; 24:14; 61:6).
“Thine heart shall fear”: means it will beat rapidly with excitement.
“The sea”: indicates large numbers of people. We see that large numbers of people will be converted to Christianity.
The early church was founded by the converted Jews, but as the church grew, it was mostly comprised of Gentiles.
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 show forth the praises of the LORD.”
“Midian … Ephah … Sheba”: The descendants of Midian, Abraham’s son through Keturah (Gen. 25:1-2), inhabited the desert areas east of the Jordan River. Ephah was one of the sons of Midian (Gen. 25:4), whose descendants settled on the East coast of the Elanitic Gulf. Sheba was a district in Arabia noted for its wealth (1 Kings 10:1-2).
There are two ways to look at this Scripture. In the literal sense, there were caravans of camels which brought great wealth into Jerusalem. This could also be speaking of the wise men, bringing gifts to baby Jesus.
We do not know exactly how much of the gold, frankincense, and myrrh they brought. They came a great distance, so they could have had camels to carry themselves and their gifts.
Matthew 2:1 “Now when Jesus was born in Beth-lehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,”
They came to praise and worship this King of the Jews.
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.”
“Kedar … Nebaioth”: The descendants of Kedar, a son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13), lived in the desert between Syria and Mesopotamia. The Nabateans, inhabitants of the Arabian city Petra, were probably the descendants of Nebaioth, the oldest son of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13).
“Acceptance on mine altar”: Animal sacrifices brought by other nations during the millennial kingdom will glorify the house of God even more (verse 13).
The “house” spoken of here, is the temple in Jerusalem. It was restored, and people from everywhere brought cattle, rams, etc., as gifts to the temple.
Isaiah 60:8 “Who [are] these [that] fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?”
“Fly as a cloud … doves”: Figurative language to describe the rapid influx of Gentiles into Jerusalem.
“Doves” are message carriers. When they have delivered their message, they go back to their nests. It appears there were windows they could go into to get to their nests. Israel had wandered away, but they always came back home like these doves did.
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.”
“Isles … ships of Tarshish … thy sons … silver … gold”: Because of the Lord’s favor toward Zion, the city will attract worldwide attention (23:1; 41:1). Trading vessels will return Israel’s faithful remnant as they bring rich treasures to Jerusalem.
There have always been people who desired to go to the Promised Land. People today take guided tours of the holy city Jerusalem. The fact that they came by ship, indicates a long way from Jerusalem. Jews made a pilgrimage three times a year to Jerusalem to keep the feast days.
This is more than that. This is speaking of people from around the world flowing to Jerusalem.
Revelation 15:4 “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
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 favor have I had mercy on thee.”
“Build up thy walls”: The rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls, helped by Persian kings, was merely a foretaste of the final rebuilding of the city assisted by Gentiles when Christ returns to earth.
“In my wrath … in my favor”: God’s past dealings with Israel have been largely in wrath, but His future merciful work will demonstrate His favor.
Foreign rulers did send help to rebuild Jerusalem after it had been taken by Babylon. Cyrus actually was one of them who helped. God’s anger had been kindled against them, but they had repented, and God forgave them. God is full of mercy and grace.
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
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.”
“Gates … open continually”: Unrestricted access to Jerusalem will prevail in the future kingdom (26:2; 62:10; Rev. 21:25-26).
The door to heaven is never closed. Jesus opened the way for us to the Father, when He shed His blood on the cross. Salvation is open to whosoever will.
The door had never been open for “the Gentiles”, until Jesus opened the way. It matters not whether you are a king, or a slave, all come to Jesus through faith in Him.
Isaiah 60:12 “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, [those] nations shall be utterly wasted.”
“Nation … perish”: Survival in the future kingdom will be impossible for those nations who do not come to terms with Israel (11:13-14; 14:2; 49:23). The Lord will rule the nations with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:7-12).
There are blessings abundant for those who choose (of their own free will), to follow Jesus. On the other hand, those who reject Him will have the wrath of God poured out upon them.
Verses 13-22: The verses describe in detail the worship of the nations at Jerusalem where they will “bow themselves down” in the “city of the Lord.” In that day her “officers” (governors), will be “peace” and her “exactors” (magistrates or overseers), will be “righteousness.” Her walls will be “Salvation,” her gates will be “Praise”, and the whole city will be filled with the “brightness” of the glory of the Lord. See a similar description (in Revelation 21:23; 22:5).
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.”
“Glory of Lebanon”: Timber was Lebanon’s claim to fame. As in Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 5:10, 18), but even more so, the timber taken from Lebanon’s forests will enrich the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem.
The cedars of Lebanon were known for their unusual beauty. God’s children will come from all nations and bring their offerings to God. The main beauty of the city, spoken of here, is it is the dwelling place of God. This is possibly speaking of the beauty of the temple, but it could also, speak of the believers in Christ.
How beautiful are the feet of him that brings good news? God’s real tabernacle is with His people.
Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.”
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.”
“The city of the Lord”: Nations which formerly were oppressors of Israel will acknowledge Zion’s supremacy as the city that belongs to the Lord.
This is speaking of the time when Jesus and His followers will reign. We know there will come a time, when every knee will bow to the name of Jesus.
Philippians 2:10-11 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;” “And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
“The city of the Lord”: would be Jerusalem, or the believers in Christ. In this instance, it is calling Jesus that, as well.
“The Zion”: is probably speaking of the church. It would read the church of the “Holy One of Israel”. The “Holy One” is Jesus.
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.”
“Forsaken and hated … eternal excellency”: Jerusalem will switch roles from having been despised to being exalted forever.
This is speaking of Zion in the Scripture above, a city and a wife. Hosea calls her the adulterous wife, unfaithful to God. You can see why this would make God angry. God will restore her to the way it was at first, through His Son Jesus.
Zion the city is also associated with God’s people, Israel. Zion is used interchangeably with Jerusalem in many Scriptures like in Isaiah 52:1-2. So, any time you see the word “Zion” used, it is referring either to Jerusalem (a city), the City of God or the City of David, or to (a wife), the believers, the church or the people of God.
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 Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.”
“Milk … breast”: As a mother feeds her infant, so the Gentiles and kings will provide wealth and power to Zion. The city will recognize the Lord as her Savior and Redeemer, “the Mighty One of Jacob,” as will “all flesh” (49:26).
The Gentiles are very prominent in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It matters not if a person is a king, or a pauper, salvation is the same for all. Jesus Christ (Messiah), is Redeemer and LORD.
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.”
“Gold … silver … peace … righteousness”: Jerusalem in the future kingdom will be a place of beauty and peace where righteousness will prevail.
“Brass” symbolizes judgment and “gold” symbolizes God. This then is saying, instead of judgment, we will receive God. Iron is cold and hard, but “silver” means redemption. The world is cold and hard, but Jesus brought us redemption.
Jesus is peace and righteousness. He establishes peace in His church. All believers in Christ receive the righteousness of Christ as a free gift when we are saved.
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.”
“Salvation … praise”: The walls and gates of the city that will take on those names refer to the divine protection the Lord provides from any form of violence or destruction.
We know there will be a time when men will beat their swords into plowshares. There will be perfect peace, because the King of peace will reign. Jesus is our wall of protection. His blood protects us from the enemy. He is Salvation and Praise.
The worst enemies of man were sin and death. Jesus defeated both of them. He defeated sin on the cross, and brought salvation to all mankind, and He defeated death by rising from the grave. All of the praise goes to Jesus.
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.”
“No more … thy light by day … everlasting light”: Isaiah, looking beyond the millennial kingdom, sees a view of the New Jerusalem following the Millennium (Rev. 21:23; 22:5). His prophetic perspective did not allow him to distinguish the eternal phase of the future kingdom from the temporal one. Just as the Old Testament prophets could not distinguish between the first and second advent of Christ (1 Pet. 1:10-11).
We know that in New Jerusalem there will be no need for the sun or the moon to give light.
Revelation 21:23 “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.”
This everlasting Light gives more than just physical light. His Light illuminates our thoughts and our minds. Jesus is the Light of the church. He is the Light of the world. He is the source of all Light, giving everything the power to exist. To Him be glory, and honor, and praise.
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.”
“Mourning shall be ended”: In the eternal kingdom of the new creation, subjects will shed no more tears (Rev. 21:4).
This is the time when God wipes all the tears from our eyes. There will be no need to mourn. It is time to receive the victory that Jesus purchased for us on the cross.
Revelation 21:4-5 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
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.”
“Inherit the land for ever”: Israel will inherit the land promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:1, 7; 13:15; 15:18). During the millennial kingdom, that will be the land of Israel as we know it today. In the eternal kingdom, it will be the New Jerusalem, capital of the new creation.
“I may be glorified”: The ultimate mission of Israel is to glorify the Lord (49:3; 61:3).
The covenant God made with Abraham was an everlasting covenant. God’s people are washed in the blood of the Lamb. They are righteous, because they have taken on the righteousness of Christ.
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.”
“Small one … strong nation”: Israel’s great increase in numbers and power resulting from the Lord’s working will bring them into never before experienced world prominence.
There were a very small number of people who followed Jesus in the beginning, but now, they have grown into the millions. They are spoken of as the multitude that is beyond number.
The LORD is the central focus of Christianity. He brings this about, when He wishes. He will do a quick work, when the time comes.
Isaiah Chapter 60 Questions
- Hope arrived in the person of _________ ________.
- We are a container for the _________ of Jesus.
- Darkness symbolizes ________.
- What kind of darkness is verse 2 speaking of?
- Who does verse 3 say comes to the Light?
- Who are adopted into the family of God?
- What are the Scriptures (mentioned here), that say we are sons of God?
- What is the abundance of the “sea” speaking of?
- Who founded the early church?
- What are the two lessons in verse 6?
- Why had the wise men come to see Jesus?
- What is the house in verse 7?
- What are “doves”?
- Why is a window mentioned in connection with the doves?
- What does the fact that these people came by ship to Jerusalem show?
- Who helped rebuild Jerusalem after their bondage in Babylon?
- In verse 11, when are the gates closed?
- Who opened the way to the Father for believers?
- What happens to nations and people who will not serve God?
- How beautiful are the feet of him that brings ________ _______.
- What time is verse 14 speaking of?
- “Brass” symbolizes ________________.
- “Gold” symbolizes _________.
- “Silver” symbolizes ___________.
- What are the walls called in verse 18?
- Who is the Light of the church?
- What time is verse 20 describing?
- The covenant that God made with Abraham was for how long?