Isaiah 60:3
And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
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Isaiah 60:3. The Gentiles shall come to thy light — Or, shall be allured by thy light to come to thee, as travellers in a dark night, and out of their way, when a light discovers itself make to it; so the doctrine of the gospel shall shine so bright, and be made so conspicuous by preaching and miracles, that well-disposed heathen shall not only congratulate them that profess it, and wish them much joy, but shall rejoice to participate with them in their happiness. A plain prophecy this of the calling of the Gentiles, a promise of which was made to Christ, Isaiah 49:6. And, or Yea, kings to the brightness of thy rising — That is, the greatness and glories of the church shall attract the eyes of kings, and make them willing to become her proselytes. Or, to add to thy lustre, thou shalt not only be honoured by the conversion of mean persons, but even of honourable personages, yea, of kings, embracing the Christian faith, and submitting themselves to Christ’s sceptre and government: see Isaiah 49:23.60:1-8 As far as we have the knowledge of God in us, and the favour of God towards us, our light is come. And if God's glory is seen upon us to our honour, we ought, not only with our lips, but in our lives, to return its praise. We meet with nothing in the history of the Jews which can be deemed a fulfilment of the prophecy in this chapter; we must conclude it relates principally to future events. It predicts the purity and enlargement of the church. The conversion of souls is here described. They fly to Christ, to the church, to the word and ordinances, as doves to their own home; thither they fly for refuge and shelter, thither they fly for rest. What a pleasant sight to see poor souls hastening to Christ!And the Gentiles shall come - So splendid shall be that glory, that it will attract the distant nations, and they shall come and participate in the blessings of the gospel. This contains the main statement which it is the design of this chapter to illustrate. The prophet had frequently made this statement before in general terms (compare Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 49:22; Isaiah 54:3); but he here goes into a more particular account, and more fully describes the blessings which would result from this accession to the true church.

And kings - (Compare Isaiah 49:7, note; Isaiah 49:23, note; Isaiah 52:15, note).

To the brightness of thy rising - This does not mean that the church was to arise with the splendor of the sun; but 'thy rising' means the rising upon her - called her rising, because it would shed its beams on her. It is correctly rendered by Lowth - 'The brightness of thy sunrising;' by Noyes and Herder. 'The brightness that riseth upon thee.'

3. (Isa 2:3; 11:10; 43:6; 49:22; 66:12).

kings—(Isa 49:7, 23; 52:15).

thy rising—rather, "thy sun-rising," that is, "to the brightness that riseth upon thee."

The Gentiles shall come; either to congratulate thy deliverance, or to note the respect that should be shown them by other nations upon their deliverance; or rather, shall be allured by thy light to come to thee: as travellers in a dark night, and out of their way, when a light discovers itself do make to it; so the doctrine of the gospel shall shine so bright, and be made so conspicuous by preaching and miracles, that they shall not only congratulate them, and wish them much joy, but rejoice and participate with them in their happiness, Revelation 21:24. A plain prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles, which promise was made to Christ, Isaiah 49:6. And, or yea, or even kings, which was fulfilled under Cyrus, Darius, Alexander, and the Egyptian kings.

Kings: to add to thy lustre, thou shalt not be honoured only by the conversion of mean persons, but even of honourable personages, embracing the Christian faith, and submitting themselves to Christ’s sceptre and government; See Poole "Isaiah 49:23"; to observe thy progress, and how thou shalt increase by degrees, as the sun in its ascending. In Christ’s time there were twelve apostles, afterwards one hundred and twenty disciples, in a short time many thousands, then the church grew into congregations, and then spread to nations. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,.... To the Gospel, preached in the midst of her; and to Christ, who is her light and into her church state, and partake of the prosperity and happiness of it. The Targum is,

"and nations shall walk in thy light;''

and so in Revelation 21:24, where it is interpreted of the nations of them that are saved, truly regenerated and converted persons:

and kings to the brightness of thy rising; Christ, the sun of righteousness, will rise upon her; and this being the morning of the latter day glory, the church will rise as a bright morning star; and such be the evidence and lustre of Gospel truths and ordinances, that kings shall he enlightened by them, and come and join themselves unto her, and walk with her in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. Some of this high rank and dignity have been called, and but a few; but in those times the instances will be many, even all kings shall serve and worship the Lord, Psalm 72:11.

And the Gentiles shall come to {c} thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

(c) Meaning, that Judea would be as the morning star, and that the Gentiles would receive light from her.

3. And the Gentiles] And nations (R.V.).Verse 3. - The Gentiles shall come to thy light. Plunged in darkness themselves (ver. 2), the Gentiles shall be astonished and attracted by Israel's radiance, and shall draw near to it and seek to partake of it. Among them shall come even their "kings," drawn by the brightness of the glory (comp. Isaiah 49:23). The confession of personal sins is followed by that of the sinful state of society. "And right is forced back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth has fallen in the market-place, and honesty finds no admission. And truth became missing, and he who avoids evil is outlawed." In connection with mishpât and tsedâqâh here, we have not to think of the manifestation of divine judgment and justice which is prevented from being realized; but the people are here continuing the confession of their own moral depravity. Right has been forced back from the place which it ought to occupy (hissı̄g is the word applied in the law to the removal of boundaries), and righteousness has to look from afar off at the unjust habits of the people, without being able to interpose. And why are right and righteousness - that united pair so pleasing to God and beneficial to man - thrust out of the nation, and why do they stand without? Because there is no truth or uprightness in the nation. Truth wanders about, and stands no longer in the midst of the nation; but upon the open street, the broad market-place, where justice is administered, and where she ought above all to stand upright and be preserved upright, she has stumbled and fallen down (cf., Isaiah 3:8); and honesty (nekhōchâh), which goes straight forward, would gladly enter the limits of the forum, but she cannot: people and judges alike form a barrier which keeps her back. The consequence of this is indicated in Isaiah 59:15: truth in its manifold practical forms has become a missing thing; and whoever avoids the existing voice is mishtōlēl (part. hithpoel, not hithpoal), one who is obliged to let himself be plundered and stripped (Psalm 76:6), to be made a shōlâl (Micah 1:8), Arab. maslûb, with a passive turn given to the reflective meaning, as in התחפּשׂ, to cause one's self to be spied out equals to disguise one's self, and as in the so-called niphal tolerativum (Ewald, 133, b, 2).

The third strophe of the prophecy commences at Isaiah 59:15 or Isaiah 59:16. It begins with threatening, and closes with promises; for the true nature of God is love, and every manifestation of wrath is merely one phase in its development. In consideration of the fact that this corrupt state of things furnishes no prospect of self-improvement, Jehovah has already equipped Himself for judicial interposition. "And Jehovah saw it, and it was displeasing in His eyes, that there was no right. And He saw that there was not a man anywhere, and was astonished that there was nowhere an intercessor: then His arm brought Him help, and His righteousness became His stay. And He put on righteousness as a coat of mail, and the helmet of salvation upon His head; and put on garments of vengeance as armour, and clothed Himself in zeal as in a cloak. According to the deeds, accordingly He will repay: burning wrath to His adversaries, punishment to His foes; the islands He will repay with chastisement." The prophet's language has now toilsomely worked its way through the underwood of keen reproach, of dark descriptions of character, and of mournful confession which has brought up the apostasy of the great mass in all the blacker colours before his mind, from the fact that the confession proceeds from those who are ready for salvation. And now, having come to the description of the approaching judgment, out of whose furnace the church of the future is to spring, it rises again like a palm-tree that has been violently hurled to the ground, and shakes its head as if restored to itself in the transforming ether of the future. Jehovah saw, and it excited His displeasure ("it was evil in His eyes," an antiquated phrase from the Pentateuch, e.g., Genesis 38:10) to see that right (which He loves, Isaiah 61:8; Psalm 37:28) had vanished form the life of His nation. He saw that there was no man there, no man possessing either the disposition or the power to stem this corruption (אישׁ as in Jeremiah 5:1, cf., 1 Samuel 4:9; 1 Kings 2:2, and the old Jewish saying, "Where there is no man, I strive to be a man"). He was astonished (the sight of such total depravity exciting in Him the highest degree of compassion and displeasure) that there was no מפגּיע, i.e., no one to step in between God and the people, and by his intercession to press this disastrous condition of the people upon the attention of God (see Isaiah 53:12); no one to form a wall against the coming ruin, and cover the rent with his body; no one to appease the wrath, like Aaron (Numbers 17:12-13) or Phinehas (Numbers 25:7).

What the fut. consec. affirms from ותּושׁע onwards, is not something to come, but something past, as distinguished form the coming events announced from Isaiah 59:18 onwards. Because the nation was so utterly and deeply corrupt, Jehovah had quipped Himself for judicial interposition. The equipment was already completed; only the taking of vengeance remained to be effected. Jehovah saw no man at His side who was either able or willing to help Him to His right in opposition to the prevailing abominations, or to support His cause. Then His own arm became His help, and His righteousness His support (cf., Isaiah 63:5); so that He did not desist from the judgment to which He felt Himself impelled, until He had procured the fullest satisfaction for the honour of His holiness (Isaiah 5:16). The armour which Jehovah puts on is now described. According to the scriptural view, Jehovah is never unclothed; but the free radiation of His own nature shapes itself into a garment of light. Light is the robe He wears (Psalm 104:2). When the prophet describes this garment of light as changed into a suit of armour, this must be understood in the same sense as when the apostle in Eph speaks of a Christian's panoply. Just as there the separate pieces of armour represent the manifold self-manifestations of the inward spiritual life so here the pieces of Jehovah's armour stand for the manifold self-manifestations of His holy nature, which consists of a mixture of wrath and love. He does not arm Himself from any outward armoury; but the armoury is His infinite wrath and His infinite love, and the might in which He manifests Himself in such and such a way to His creatures is His infinite will. He puts on righteousness as a coat of mail (שׁרין in half pause, as in 1 Kings 22:34 in full pause, for שׁריון, ō passing into the broader a, as is generally the case in יחפּץ, יחבשׁ; also in Genesis 43:14, שׁכלתי; Genesis 49:3, עז; Genesis 49:27, יטרף), so that His appearance on every side is righteousness; and on His head He sets the helmet of salvation: for the ultimate object for which He goes into the conflict is the redemption of the oppressed, salvation as the fruit of the victory gained by righteousness. And over the coat of mail He draws on clothes of vengeance as a tabard (lxx περιβόλαιον), and wraps Himself in zeal as in a war-cloak. The inexorable justice of God is compared to an impenetrable brazen coat of mail; His joyful salvation, to a helmet which glitters from afar; His vengeance, with its manifold inflictions of punishment, to the clothes worn above the coat of mail; and His wrathful zeal (קנאה from קנא), to be deep red) with the fiery-looking chlamys. No weapon is mentioned, neither the sword nor bow; for His own arm procures Him help, and this alone. But what will Jehovah do, when He has armed Himself thus with justice and salvation, vengeance and zeal? As Isaiah 59:18 affirms, He will carry out a severe and general retributive judgment. גּמוּל and גּמלה signify accomplishment of (on gâmal, see at Isaiah 3:9) a ῥῆμα μέσον; גּמלות, which may signify, according to the context, either manifestations of love or manifestations of wrath, and either retribution as looked at from the side of God, or forfeiture as regarded from the side of man, has the latter meaning here, viz., the works of men and the double-sided gemūl, i.e., repayment, and that in the infliction of punishment. כּעל, as if, as on account of, signifies, according to its Semitic use, in the measure (כּ) of that which is fitting (על); cf., Isaiah 63:7, uti par est propter. It is repeated with emphasis (like לכן in Isaiah 52:6); the second stands without rectum, as the correlate of the first. By the adversaries and enemies, we naturally understand, after what goes before, the rebellious Israelites. The prophet does not mention these, however, but "the islands," that is to say, the heathen world. He hides the special judgment upon Israel in the general judgment upon the nations. The very same fate falls upon Israel, the salt of the world which has lost its savour, as upon the whole of the ungodly world. The purified church will have its place in the midst of a world out of which the crying injustice has been swept away.

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