Zion’s Glory Dawns
1 [a]Arise and shine forth, for your light has come
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
2 Even though darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness enshrouds the peoples,
upon you the Lord will shine,
and over you his glory will appear.
3 Nations will be guided by your light
and kings by the brightness of your radiance.
4 Raise your eyes and look around;
they are all assembling and returning to you.
Your sons are coming from far away,
and your daughters will be carried
in the arms of their nurses.
5 [b]Then you will be radiant at what you behold,
and your hearts will throb and rejoice.
For the riches of the sea will be brought to you,
and the wealth of the nations will come to you.
6 Droves of camels will cover your land,
the young camels from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba will come,
laden with gold and frankincense,
while the people proclaim the praises of the Lord.
7 All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered to you;
the rams of Nebaioth will serve your needs.
They will be acceptable offerings on my altar,
and I will enhance the splendor of my house.
8 Who are these that fly along like clouds
and like doves to their dovecotes?
9 All the vessels are assembled
from the seacoasts and the islands,
with the ships of Tarshish in the lead;
they are bringing your children from far away,
along with their silver and gold,
to pay honor to the name of the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
and their kings will be your servants.
Although I struck you down in my wrath,
now in my mercy I will show you my favor.
11 Your gates will always be open;
day and night they will never be shut,
so that the wealth of the nations may be brought to you,
led by their kings in triumphal procession.
12 For the nation or the kingdom that refuses to serve you
will be totally destroyed
and suffer widespread devastation.
13 The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
the cypress, the plane tree, and the pine,
one and all,
to adorn my holy sanctuary
and to honor the place where I stand.[c]
14 The sons of those who oppressed you
will come forward and bend low before you,
and all those who despised you
will bow down at your feet;
they will call you “City of the Lord,”
“Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”
15 Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
with no one traveling through you,
I will make you an object of everlasting pride
and a source of never-ending joy.
16 You will suck the milk of nations
and be nursed at royal breasts.
Then you will know
that I, the Lord, am your Savior
and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
17 Instead of bronze I will bring you gold,
instead of iron I will bring you silver;
instead of wood, bronze,
and instead of stone, iron.
I will ensure that you will be governed in peace
and be ruled with righteousness.
18 No longer will violence appear in your land,
nor will devastation and ruin occur within your borders.
You will call your walls “Salvation”
and your gates “Praise.”
19 The sun will no longer serve
as the source of your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon
afford light to you during the night.
Rather, the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your splendor.
20 Never again will your sun go down,
nor will your moon withdraw its light.
For the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of mourning will be ended.
21 Your people will all be righteous
and possess the land forever.
They are the shoot that I have planted,
my handiwork to exhibit my glory.
22 The least of you will become a thousand,
and the weakest will become a mighty nation.
I am the Lord, and I will accomplish all this
at the appointed time.
- Isaiah 60:1 Neither the walls nor the temple of the holy city have yet been rebuilt. The repatriates are tired of waiting for the renewal whose coming is delayed. To encourage them, the poet repeats the promises made during the Exile (Isa 54) and expounds his grandiose vision of a Jerusalem restored and renewed by the Lord. For human beings who grope along, questing in darkness, this vision awaits a fulfillment that is beyond time; the Book of Revelation will repeat it (Rev 21).
- Isaiah 60:5 The sea symbolizes the maritime powers, among them Phoenicia and Greece. Midian, Ephah, and Sheba (see 1 Ki 10:1-13) are peoples of Arabia. Kedar and the Nabateans (Nebaioth) are nomadic tribes. The islands evoke distant lands. Tarshish was a trading center set up in Spain by the Phoenicians, whose ships were therefore equipped for lengthy journeys and used for trading with the western Mediterranean.
- Isaiah 60:13 The trees of Lebanon will serve in the rebuilding of Jerusalem as they did long ago for Solomon’s temple.