Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Neither shall thy moon - This language is poetic, and means that there would be no such obscurity in the church as there would be in the world should the sun and moon be withdrawn. Light and beauty unobscured would fill the whole heavens, and the darkness of night would be henceforward unknown.
Withdraw itself - Hebrew, יאסף yē'âsēp - 'Be collected,' that is, shall not be withdrawn, or shall not wane. The Septuagint, Οὐκ ἐκλείψει Ouk ekleipsei - 'Shall not be eclipsed,' or shall not fail.
The days of thy mourning - (See the notes at Isaiah 25:8). The description here, therefore, is one of great glory and happiness in the church. That period will yet arrive; and no friend of God and of the happiness of man can think of that time without praying most sincerely that it may soon come, when the Sun of righteousness, in the fullness of his glory, shall ascend to the meridian, and stand there without one obscuring cloud, and pour the splendor of the noontide beams all over a darkened world. Some of the ideas in this chapter, descriptive of the glorious times of the gospel, have been beautifully versified by Pope in his Messiah:
Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise!
Exalt thy tow'ry head, and lift thy eyes!
See a long race thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend:
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
And heap'd with products of Sabcan springs!
mourning … ended—(Isa 25:8; Re 21:4).
ended signifies recompensed; their days of rejoicing shall abundantly recompense all their days of mourning. 1 Thessalonians 4:16,
neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; or, "shall not be gathered" (i), under a cloud; or "fail" (k), as the Septuagint version; or, "suffer a defect", as the Arabic version; as the moon does when in the wane, or is eclipsed. This may refer to this then present state of the church, which shall not fail; and to the blessings and comforts of it from Christ the sun, which will not cease, the enjoyment of them be ever interrupted. The Targum is,
"thy kingdom shall cease no more, and thy glory shall not be removed;''
and so Maimonides (l) interprets it of the kingdom of the Messiah, that shall endure for ever:
for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light; this is repeated for the confirmation of it:
and the days of thy mourning shall be ended (m); or, "completed"; shall be fully up, and so at an end: or, "shall be recompensed" (n); with an everlasting day of joy and pleasure; there will now be no more sin to distress the saints; no more temptations of Satan to annoy them; no more afflictions either of body or mind to trouble them; no more pain, or crying, or death; and so no more mourning; sorrow and sighing will flee away; all tears will be wiped from their eyes; and everlasting joy be upon their heads; see Revelation 21:4.
(i) "non colligetur", Montanus, Vitringa; "vel recolligetur", Vatablus; "occultabitur", Munster, Tigurine version. (k) , Sept. "deficiet", Pagninus. (l) Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 29. p. 263. (m) "completi erunt", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "completisunt", Vitringa. (n) "Compensabuntur", Tigurine version.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. the days of thy mourning] Cf. ch. Isaiah 57:18, Isaiah 61:2.Verse 20. - Thy sun... thy moon. That which is to thee instead of sun and moon - Jehovah'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. Isaiah 26:14), and their children fell themselves disarmed. They are seized with shame and repentance, when they see the church which was formerly tormented and despised so highly exalted. They come shechōăch (an inf. noun of the form טחון, Lamentations 5:13; used here as an accusative of more precise definition, just as nouns of this kind are frequently connected directly with the verb הלך, Ewald, 279, c), literally a bow or stoop, equivalent to bowing or stooping (the opposite to rōmâh in Micah 2:3), and stretch themselves "at the soles of thy feet," i.e., clinging to thee as imploringly and obsequiously as if they would lay themselves down under thy very feet, and were not worthy to lie anywhere but there (as in Isaiah 49:23); and whereas formerly they called thee by nicknames, they now give thee the honourable name of "City of Jehovah, Zion of the Holy One of Israel," not "Sanctuary of Israel," as Meier supposes, since qedōsh Israel is always a name of Jehovah in the book of Isaiah. It is a genitive construction like Bethlehem of Judah, Gibeah of Saul, and others.
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