Isaiah 60





is rather a detached poem than an integral portion of a book. It is complete

in itself, and but slightly connected, either with what precedes or with what

follows. Delitzsch and Mr. Cheyne regard it as a “counterpart” to the

magnificent ode in ch. 47, which describes the fall and ruin of Babylon. It is

composed of five stanzas, of nearly equal length:


  • vs. 1-4;
  • vs. 5-9;
  • vs. 10-14;
  • vs. 15-18; and
  • vs. 19-22


vs. 1-4. — The first stanza - Zion’s Brightness and Numbers.


v. 1 - Zion has no light, having preferred to “walk in

            darkness”but she may reflect the radiance which

            streams from the Person of Jehovah - "In thy

            light shall we see light" - Ps. 36:9


V. 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”


v. 3 - Plunged in darkness themselves, the Gentiles shall

            be astonished and attracted by Israel's radiance

            and shall draw near and partake of it.


v. 4 – Gentiles will become thy adopted “sons” and



vs. 5-9 – The second stanza – Zion’s Wealth


v. 5 – Thine  heart shall “beat with excitement” because

            of “the riches of the Gentiles”  which are detailed in

            vs. 6-9


v. 7 – “Mine altar… the house of my glory-  The renovated Zion

            contains a glorious temple, and the temple has in it an altar,

            to which the sheep and rams are brought - not, however, to be

            offered in sacrifice, but to be presented to God and

            become a part of the wealth of the Church.


vs. 10-14 – The third stanza – Zion’s Reconstruction


v. 10 – “The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls” - “Strangers” of

            all kinds, Greeks, and Romans, and Syrians, and Africans, and

            Gauls, and Spaniards, and others, assisted in building and enlarging

            the walls of the Church as it spread over the world, set up its

            bulwarks in the Creeds, and fenced it round about with various

            decrees and canons.


v. 11 - "thy gates shall be open continually" - all who

            seek salvation shall have free access at all times.


v. 12 – “The nation… that will not serve thee shall perish-  God’s

            curse shall be upon them; they shall wither and decay for lack of

            the Divine favor and of the graces which God dispenses to mankind

            through His Church (comp. Zechariah 14:17-19).


v. 13 – The spiritual meaning is that graces of all kinds shall abound

            in and around the holy city, and make it beautiful and glorious!


v. 14 - "The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One

            of Israel"


vs. 15-18 – The fourth stanza – Zion’s Prosperity


v. 16 - "thou shalt know that I, the Lord, am thy Saviour,

            and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob"


v. 17 - The material splendour is, no doubt, throughout the whole

            description, typical in the main of spiritual glories and excellences.

            “I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors

            righteousness.”  “Peace” and “righteousness” are here personified;

            and the declaration is that they shall bear rule in the community

            whereof the prophet is speaking (comp. Isaiah 32:16, 17).


v. 18 – “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land...thou shalt call thy

            walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise"


The entire cessation of war and violence is one of the most characteristic

features of the “last times,” when swords shall be beaten into ploughshares,

and spears into pruning-hooks. “The Prince of Peace” shall ultimately

establish peace.  But to a calm and dispassionate observer the nineteenth

century (twenty-first – CY – 2009) seems scarcely more advanced upon

the road which leads to this desirable end than the first –“Thou shall call

thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” =  The true wall of the city will be

the “salvation” of which God assures it, and the true gates will be the “praise,”

or renown, which it has among the nations of the earth (comp. Isaiah 26:1).


vs. 19-22 – The fifth stanza – Zion’s Crowning Glories


v. 19 – “The sun shall be no more thy light by day” - Here Isaiah

anticipates one of the most sublime thoughts in the Revelation of St. John

the Divine, viz. that the heavenly Jerusalem, illuminated perpetually by the

radiance of the Divine Presence, shall need neither light of the sun by day,

nor of the moon by night, but shall be sufficiently illumined by the direct

and primary light which streams down upon it from God himself.

Whether the sun and moon will continue to exist or not is beyond the prophet’s

ken - he makes no announcement on the subject; sufficient for him that the

redeemed bask perpetually in a Divine radiance shed upon them by the

“Father of lights” (see Revelation 21:23; 22:5). The germ of the idea

appears in the earlier prophecies (Isaiah 24:23) – For brightness; rather,

for illumination. The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light” - God

is “the Father of lights” (James 1:17) — “the true Light, which lighteth

every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1:9). All other light is but

His shadow and His reflex — His creature (Genesis 1:3) — therefore

perishable, not to be reckoned on for continuance (Psalm 102:26;

Hebrews 1:11). But God abides; therefore His light will abide. He is

the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8) – “And

thy God thy glory” - (comp. Zechariah 2:5). God will not only be the

Light of the Church, but her “Glory” and boast. As the Shechinah was the

glory of the first, so “the eternal unchangeable light of Jehovah, with its

peaceful gentleness and perfect purity” (Delitzsch), will be the glory of the

final temple.






v. 20 – “Thy sun… thy moon-  That which is to thee instead of sun and

moonJehovah’s brightness – “The days of thy mourning shall be

ended” Till the new Jerusalem descends from heaven (Revelation 21:2),

and Christ reigns personally over His people (Revelation 22:5), the

Church is always, more or less, in a state of mourning. The Bridegroom is

away (Matthew 9:15); His light shines upon his Church only by

snatches; His Church feels itself unworthy of Him — cold, unloving, stained

with sin. Fasting, weeping, and mourning befit such a state of things. But in

the final condition of the redeemed their mourning shall be ended, “sorrow

and sighing shall have fled away” (Isaiah 35:10); God shall have “wiped

away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4); “There shall be no

more death” (Revelation 21:4); “no more curse” (Revelation 22:3);

neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain: for

the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). The days of

mourning shall be ended.




v. 21 – “Thy people also shall be all righteous-  Here the prophet

touches the root of the matter. Pain and sorrow are the fruit of sin. Once

let sin disappear, and sorrow goes with it. It is the foundation of all the

glory and all the happiness of the redeemed in their Lord’s final kingdom,

that they are cleansed from all defilement of sin, and “are as the angels”

(Mark 12:25). “They shall inherit the land for ever”; rather, the earth —

the “new heavens and new earth” of Isaiah 65:17; 66:22, II Peter 3:13 –

The branch of my planting; rather, a sprout of my planting; i.e. a sprout

which I have planted.


v. 22 -  A little one” -  i.e. the “little flock” of our Lord’s own time on

earth (Luke 12:32), will become a strong nation — a countless

multitude (Revelation 7:9) – “I the Lord will hasten it” – “in his time; rather,

in its time, when the time fixed in God’s counsels for the final establishment

of Christ’s kingdom arrives.  “Even so, come Lord Jesus” – Revelation 22:20


“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day and for ever!”

                                                                        Hebrews 13:8


“Of the increase of His government and PEACE there shall be no end”

                                                                        Isaiah 9:6


REST and PEACE are main objects of human desire.  The Divine

Presence will be a perpetually present joy, contenting those who live

in it, and causing them to feel an ETERNAL PEACEFUL DELIGHT!


“The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this  - Isaiah 9:6