Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Jehovah will arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And nations shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.Isaiah 60:1-3 ASV
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come” (Isaiah 60:1).
We must not be deceived by the literal language of this chapter. Which is that of the Old Testament ordinances and of the literal Jerusalem; it will need translating into the terms of the `Jerusalem above’ (Galatians 4:26) … and also of the radiant city of heaven (Revelation 21).
“Darkness shall cover the earth” (Isaiah 60:2).
The birth of Christ did indeed occur at a time of universal spiritual darkness of the human race.
(1) The Gentile nations were sunk in the grossest and most shameful idolatry.
(2) The Jewish nation was in no better position, despite their possession of God’s Law, which they had formalized and perverted; and by their transgression of it dishonored God, leading to the blasphemy of God on their account by the whole Gentile world (Romans 2:23-24).
(3) The vain philosophy of the Greeks and Romans provided no relief from the awful darkness of that era.
“Nations shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising …” (Isaiah 60:3).
The mention of “kings” coming to the brightness of the rising of that Light received a token fulfillment at the birth of Christ, when the “wise men” from the East (the “three Kings of Orient”) came with gifts of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh; but the ultimate fulfillment came when the wisest and greatest of earth believed on Him and received his word.
It should be noted, that the vocabulary of this passage is practically identical with Isaiah 9:2.
As we shall see, this is a recurring phenomenon in this chapter, indicating the correctness of the title that author gave his book, “Isaiah One, and His Book One.”