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60. Glory of Zion

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 2For, 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. 3And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. 4Lift 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. 5Then 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. 6The 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 shew forth the praises of the Lord. 7All 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. 8Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? 9Surely 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. 10And 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 favour have I had mercy on thee. 11Therefore 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. 12For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. 13The 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. 14The 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. 15Whereas 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. 16Thou 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 Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. 17For 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. 18Violence 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. 19The 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. 20Thy 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. 21Thy 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. 22A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.

9. Surely the islands shall wait for me. After having employed every eulogium that he could find for extolling that wonderful benefit of restoration, Isaiah introduces God himself as speaking, that the discourse may carry greater weight. This “waiting” is supposed by some to denote desire; as if he had said that this is done, because nations beyond the seas shall, as it were, hunger after him; because they shall feel that they are destitute of life and salvation. Others view it as simply denoting hope. But sometimes it likewise means “to observe,” in which sense David employs it. “Wicked men wait for my soul;” that is, “they lay snares for my life.” (Psalm 56:6) In that sense it may be understood in this passage. “They shall wait for,” that is, they shall observe my will; as servants are wont to comply with the will of their masters. Do not wonder, therefore, that so many shall flow into the Church; for “the islands,” which at present sometimes despise and sometimes fight against me, shall be so attentive to me as to execute whatever I shall command. And indeed from the remainder of the verse it is manifest that he now speaks of that kind of obedience.

And the ships of Tarshish. If it be thought preferable, the particle כ (caph,) as, may be here supplied in this manner: “As the ships of Tarshish formerly traded with Judea, and brought what was necessary for building the temple and for the use of men, so they shall again renew their traffic, and that navigation which had been broken off shall bring them back to their former course. By “Tarshish,” that is, Cilicia, he means, συνεκδοχικῶς by a figure of speech in which a part is taken for the whole, all the naval intercourse and all the traffic which they carried on with foreign nations. It may also be supposed simply to mean, “The ships of Tarshish, which now proudly despise my Church, shall be subjected to my authority, and shall bring sons to her from distant countries.”

Their silver and gold with them. He again repeats what he had formerly said, that the Gentiles shall yield obedience to God in such a manner as to offer themselves and all that they have. The Popish doctors, as I remarked a little before, display consummate impudence in abusing these proofs for defending that tyrannical and theatrical 156156     “Et Persiques.” “And Persian.”
The reference is to that love of display which has always prevailed in Asiatic countrics. ­ Ed.
display by which Roman antichrist, and his attendants, wish to attain fame and distinction. Abounding in luxury, adorning themselves with gold and jewels, and indeed with the attire of a harlot, they are not ashamed of representing the Holy Spirit as the author of this wickedness; so that, whenever gold and silver are mentioned in Scripture, they apply it to their luxury. In. this respect they certainly are very like the Jews, who rise to ecstatic delight at the mention of gold and silver, and hope to wallow in them, when Messiah comes. Thus the Papists think of nothing else than gold and silver, and their understandings are so much dazzled by that empty display that they cannot raise them to heaven. But such stupidity does not need a lengthened refutation.

To the name of Jehovah thy God. The general meaning is, that God intends to elevate his Church to the highest honor, and to adorn her with necessary ornaments. And that believers may not have their minds disturbed by any doubt of so illustrious a promise, or ascribe anything to their own merits, God himself promises that he will be the author of this event, for he will glorify thee. Besides, the Prophet declares that the riches of the Gentiles, which he appeared to represent, a little before, as the prey of the Church or the prize of victory, shall be a sacred offering to God; and thus he states more clearly what I have said, that there is nothing which we ought to desire more earnestly than that the whole world should bow to the authority of God.


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