Isaiah 60:13 Commentaries: "The glory of Lebanon will come to you, The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious.
Isaiah 60:13
The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) The glory of Lebanon . . .—The prophet sees in the new Jerusalem a revival of the glories of the days of Solomon. The cedars of Lebanon, and other trees of the forest, are to furnish timber for its buildings, or even to be planted in the courts of the Temple, or in its open places and streets (Psalm 52:8; Psalm 92:12-13; Isaiah 35:2).

The box is probably, as in Isaiah 41:19, a species of cedar.

The place of my feet is clearly parallel with the “sanctuary” of the previous clause. So the word “footstool” is used of the Temple in Psalm 99:5; Psalm 132:7.

Isaiah 60:13. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee — As Lebanon furnished cedars, and other choice timber, for building and beautifying Solomon’s temple, so shall different nations contribute what is most excellent and suitable among them for supporting, establishing, enlarging, and adorning the church of Christ, here called the place of God’s sanctuary, with allusion to the temple, an eminent type of it. See note on Psalm 46:4-5. And I will make the place of my feet glorious — The Christian Church, so called in allusion to the ark in the most holy place of the tabernacle and temple, where the divine glory, termed by the Jews the Shechinah, was wont to appear between the wings of the cherubim, over the mercy-seat, which was, as it were, the footstool of that glorious symbol of God’s presence.60:9-14 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.The glory of Lebanon - The 'glory of Lebanon,' here means the trees that grew on Lebanon (see the notes at Isaiah 35:2).

Shall come unto thee - That is, thy beauty and glory will be as great as if those valuable trees were brought and planted around the temple.

The fir-tree - (See the notes at Isaiah 41:19; Isaiah 55:13).

The box - (See also the notes at Isaiah 41:19).

To beautify the place of my sanctuary - The site of the temple, as if they were planted around it, and as if the magnificence of Lebanon was transferred there at once. The idea is, that the most valuable and glorious objects in distant nations would be consecrated to the service of the true God.

And I will make the place of my feet glorious - Lowth renders this, 'I will glorify the place whereon I rest my feet;' and he supposes thai the ark is meant as the place on which God rested his feet as a footstool. In support of this, he appeals to Psalm 99:5, 'Worship at his footstool;' and 1 Chronicles 28:2. So Rosenmuller understands it, and appeals further to Psalm 132:7. Doubtless the main idea is, that the temple was regarded as the sacred dwelling-place of God - and that he means to say, that every place in his temple, even where, to keep up the figure, he rested his feet when he sat on the throne, would be filled with magnificence and glory.

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 (Ho 14:5, 6).

fir … pine … box—rather, "the cypress … ilex … cedar."

place of my sanctuary—Jerusalem (Jer 3:17).

place of my feet—no longer the ark (Jer 3:16), "the footstool" of Jehovah (Ps 99:5; 132:7; 1Ch 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 (Eze 43:7).

The glory of Lebanon; the box, the fir, the pine, and the cedar, on account whereof Lebanon grew so famous; a metonymy of the efficient: kings and great ones, the glory of the world, and also persons of a lower rank, the

pines, firs, and box trees, as also the choicest persons, endued with the special gifts of the Holy Ghost, shall be the materials and members of Christ’s church, as those also of a lower size and measure. We find the godly called trees, Isaiah 61:3. They shall have sweet communion together; the box shall not envy the pine, nor the pine despise the box, they shall worship the Lord together.

To beautify: this is the reason and end why the glory of Lebanon is to be brought hither: by these trees understand the beauty and nobility of the church; trees being both for building and for beautifying.

The place of my sanctuary; the temple, wherein was the sanctuary; this being a type of the church, both actively, as that which his presence sanctifieth; and passively, as that wherein he is worshipped and sanctified.

The place of my feet, viz. the ark, 1 Chronicles 28:2, described here by a periphrasis; so called, because, supposing God after the manner of man to sit as on a seat between the wings of the cherubims, his feet would rest upon the ark, and therefore called the mercy-seat, Exodus 25:17-20. The temple and Zion is called his rest, Psalm 132:13,14, and all this is made good in the gospel church, 2 Corinthians 6:16. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee,.... Which are the trees that grew upon it, especially the cedars, for which it was famous, as well as the other trees after mentioned. Now, as these were brought into Solomon's temple, and used in the building of that, 1 Kings 6:9, so such shall come of themselves, willingly and cheerfully, being drawn with the cords of love, into the church of Christ, comparable to the tall and strong cedars of Lebanon, and other trees, being eminent for their gifts and graces, and strong in the exercise of them; the more feeble among them being as the house of David, and that as the Angel of the Lord; and being durable, constant, and immovable in the work of the Lord; pillars in his house that shall never go out; ever green and flourishing; never wither in their profession, and always fruitful in every good word and work; of a good smell in the exercise of grace; of savoury conversations, and of a good report in the world; see Psalm 107:12,

the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together; which may denote persons of different ranks and sizes, both as to worldly and spiritual affairs; and yet will all agree to come together to the church, and will unite in the service and worship of God in it, and be a real glory to it; see Isaiah 41:19,

to beautify the place of my sanctuary; the church, so called in allusion to the tabernacle and temple; and thus the Targum here,

"the place of the house of my sanctuary;''

where the holy God dwells; and which is sanctified by him, and where he is sanctified, and worshipped in a holy and spiritual manner; and which will be beautified in the latter day, when the saints that will come into the church will put on by faith more manifestly the beautiful garments of Christ's righteousness; and be more visibly adorned with the graces of his Spirit, which will shine like so many brilliant diamonds and sparkling gems; and will appear in the beauties of a holy conversation; walk in brotherly love with each other, and unite in sentiments of doctrine, and in acts of Gospel worship; and when the Gospel shall be purely and powerfully preached; the ordinances administered as they were in the times of Christ and his apostles; and Gospel discipline in all its branches restored:

and I will make the place of my feet glorious; alluding to the ark under the mercy seat, over which were the cherubim, and between which Jehovah dwelt, hence called his footstool, 1 Chronicles 28:2, denoting that the church is the place where the Lord grants his presence through Christ, the antitype of the mercy seat and ark; and which is the seat of his rest and residence; where he takes his walks, and where his footsteps of rich grace are seen; where his lower parts, his feet, his works, and acts of grace, are beheld; where he favours with communion with himself; where his power and glory are observed, and his beauty is upon his people; where they see the King in his beauty, and all which will be more manifestly enjoyed in the latter day, and make his church very glorious indeed.

The {n} glory of Lebanon shall come to 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 {o} feet glorious.

(n) There is nothing so excellent which will not serve the needs of the Church.

(o) Signifying that God's majesty is not included in the temple, which is but the place for his feet, that we may learn to rise to the heavens.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Forest trees from Lebanon shall be brought for the adornment of the Temple. It is difficult to say whether the reference be to building materials for the sacred edifice, or to ornamental trees planted in the Temple-courts. The former view, though less poetic, is more probable; and it is certainly unfair to cite the proverbial expressions of Isaiah 60:17 as an argument against it.

the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together] See ch. Isaiah 41:19.

the place of my sanctuary] is the Temple (Jeremiah 17:12), not the city of Jerusalem, as the place where the Temple is situated.

the place of my feet] Cf. Ezekiel 43:7 (“the place of the soles of my feet”).Verse 13. - The glory of Lebanon shall come (comp. Isaiah 35:2; Isaiah 41:19). Considered as imagery, the representation is that the barren hills which stand about Jerusalem shall, in the new state of things, be decked with tall and beautiful forest trees, all the sylvan scenery of Lebanon being transported to Southern Palestine, so as to encompass the city of God with a garden as delightful as that of Eden. The spiritual meaning is that graces of all kinds shall abound in and around the holy city, and shall make it beautiful and glorious. The fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together (comp. Isaiah 41:19, where the same words occur in the same order; and, for the trees intended, see the comment on that passage). To beautify the place of my sanctuary. Not with "avenues of cedars and plane trees leading up to it" (Delitzsch), which was a style of ornamentation quite unknown to the lie-brews; but with groves, and thickets, and sylvan glades, and wooded slopes all around it, as round the Syrian temples in the Lebanon. The place of my feet. The Jewish temple, as the special place of God's presence upon earth, was frequently termed "God's footstool" (1 Chronicles 28:2; Psalm 99:5; Psalm 132:7; Lamentations 2:1). He that towers above the heavens had there set his foot. The metaphor is transferred to the renovated Zion. The nations engaged in commerce, and those possessing cattle, vie with one another in enriching the church. "A swarm of camels will cover thee, the foals of Midian and Ephah: they come all together from Saba; they bring gold and incense, and they joyfully make known the praises of Jehovah. All the flocks, of Kedar gather together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth will serve thee: they will come up with acceptance upon mine altar, and I will adorn the house of my adorning." The trading nations bring their wares to the church. The tribe of Midian, which sprang from Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:2), and of which Ephah (Targ. Hōlâd, the Hutheilites?) formed one of the several branches (Genesis 25:4), had its seat on the eastern coast of the Elanitic Gulf, which is still indicated by the town of Madyan, situated, according to the geographers of Arabia, five days' journey to the south of Aila. These come in such long and numerous caravans, that all the country round Jerusalem swarms with camels. שׁפעת as in Job 22:11; and בּכרי (parallel to גּמלּים) from בּכר equals Arabic bakr or bikr, a young male camel, or generally a camel's foal (up to the age of not more than nine years; see Lane's Lexicon, i. 240). All of these, both Midianites and Ephaeans, come out of Sheba, which Strabo (xvi. 4, 10) describes as "the highly blessed land of the Sabaeans, in which myrrh, frankincense, and cinnamon grow." There, viz., in Yemen,

(Note: Seba (סבא, Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:14) is Meroe generally, or (according to Strabo and Steph. Byz.) more especially a port in northern Ethiopia; Sheba (שׁבא), the principal tribe of southern Arabia, more especially its capital Marib (Mariaba), which, according to an Arabian legend, contained the palace of Bilkis, the שׁבא מלכּת (see Exc. iv. in Krger's Feldzug von Aelius Gallus, 1862). It is true that the following passage of Strabo (xvi. 14, 21) is apparently at variance with the opinion that the seat of the Sabaeans was in southern Arabia. "First of all," he says, "above Syria, Arabia Felix is inhabited by the Nabataeans and Sabaeans, who frequently marched through the former before it belonged to the Romans." But as, according to every other account given by Strabo, the Sabaeans had their home in Arabia Felix, and the Nabataeans at the northern extremity of the Red Sea, in Arabia Petraea, all that this passage can imply is, that at that part of Arabia which stretches towards the Syrian boundary, the expeditions of the Sabaeans came upon the Nabataeans.))

where spices, jewels, and gold abound, they have purchased gold and frankincense, and these valuable gifts they now bring to Jerusalem, not as unwilling tribute, but with the joyful proclamation of the glorious deeds and attributes of Jehovah, the God of Israel.

And not only do the trading nations come, but the nomad tribes also: viz., Kedar, the Kedarenes, with their bows (Isaiah 21:17), who lived in the desert, between Babylonia and Syria, in חצרים (Isaiah 42:11), i.e., fixed settlements; and Nebaitoh, also in Ishmaelitish tribe (according to the incontrovertible account of Genesis 25:13), a nomad tribe, which was still of no note even in the time of the kings of Israel, but which rose into a highly cultivated nation in the centuries just before Christ, and had a kingdom extending from the Elanitic Gulf to the land on the east of the Jordan, and across Belka as far as Hauran; for the monuments reach from Egypt to Babylonia, though Arabia Petraea is the place where they chiefly abound.

(Note: Quatremre rejects the identity of the Nabataeans and the Ishmaelitish Nebaioth; but it has been justly defended by Winer, Kless, Knobel, and Krehl (Religion der vorisl. Araber, p. 51).)

The Kedarenes drive their collected flocks to Jerusalem, and the rams (אילי, arietes, not principes) of the Nabataeans, being brought by them, are at the service of the church (ישׁרתוּנך a verbal form with a toneless contracted suffix, as in Isaiah 47:10), and ascend על־רצון, according to good pleasure equals acceptably (with the על used to form adverbs, Ewald, 217, i; cf., lerâtsōn in Isaiah 66:7), the altar of Jehovah (âlâh with the local object in the accusative, as in Genesis 49:4; Numbers 13:17). The meaning is, that Jehovah will graciously accept the sacrifices which the church offers from the gifts of the Nabataeans (and Kedarenes) upon His altar. It would be quite wrong to follow Antistes Hess and Baumgarten, and draw the conclusion from such prophecies as these, that animal sacrifices will be revived again. The sacrifice of animals has been abolished once for all by the self-sacrifice of the "Servant of Jehovah;" and by the spiritual revolution which Christianity, i.e., the Messianic religion, as produced, so far as the consciousness of modern times is concerned, even in Israel itself, it is once for all condemned (see Holdheim's Schrift ber das Ceremonial-gesetz im Messiasreich, 1845). The prophet, indeed, cannot describe even what belongs to the New Testament in any other than Old Testament colours, because he is still within the Old Testament limits. But from the standpoint of the New Testament fulfilment, that which was merely educational and preparatory, and of which there will be no revival, is naturally transformed into the truly essential purpose at which the former aimed; so that all that was real in the prophecy remains unaffected and pure, after the dedication of what was merely the unessential medium employed to depict it. The very same Paul who preaches Christ as the end of the law, predicts the conversion of Israel as the topstone of the gracious counsels of God as they unfold themselves in the history of salvation, and describes the restoration of Israel as "the riches of the Gentiles;" and the very same John who wrote the Gospel was also the apocalyptist, by whom the distinction between Israel and the Gentiles was seen in vision as still maintained even in the New Jerusalem. It must therefore be possible (though we cannot form any clear idea of the manner in which it will be carried out), that the Israel of the future may have a very prominent position in the perfect church, and be, as it were, the central leader of its worship, though without the restoration of the party-wall of particularism and ceremonial shadows, which the blood of the crucified One has entirely washed away. The house of God in Jerusalem, as the prophet has already stated in Isaiah 56:7, will be a house of prayer (bēth tephillâh) for all nations. Here Jehovah calls the house built in His honour, and filled with His gracious presence, "the house of my glory." He will make its inward glory like the outward, by adorning it with the gifts presented by the converted Gentile world.

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