Isaiah 60

Zion’s Future Splendor

1“Arise! Shine! For your light arrives!
The splendor
Or “glory” (so most English versions).
of the Lord shines on you!
2 For, look, darkness covers the earth
and deep darkness covers
The verb “covers” is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).
the nations,
but the Lord shines on you;
his splendor
Or “glory” (so most English versions); TEV “the brightness of his presence.”
appears over you.
3 Nations come to your light,
kings to your bright light.
4 Look all around you!
Heb “Lift up around your eyes and see!”

They all gather and come to you –
your sons come from far away
and your daughters are escorted by guardians.
5 Then you will look and smile,
Or “shine,” or “be radiant” (NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

you will be excited and your heart will swell with pride.
Heb “and it will tremble and be wide, your heart.”

For the riches of distant lands
Heb “the wealth of the sea,” i.e., wealth that is transported from distant lands via the sea.
will belong to you
and the wealth of nations will come to you.
6 Camel caravans will cover your roads,
Heb “an abundance of camels will cover you.”

young camels from Midian and Ephah.
All the merchants of Sheba
Heb “all of them, from Sheba.”
will come,
bringing gold and incense
and singing praises to the Lord.
Heb “and they will announce the praises of the Lord.”

7 All the sheep of Kedar will be gathered to you;
the rams of Nebaioth will be available to you as sacrifices.
Heb “will serve you,” i.e., be available as sacrifices (see the next line). Another option is to understood these “rams” as symbolic of leaders who will be subject to the people of Zion. See v. 10.

They will go up on my altar acceptably,
Heb “they will go up on acceptance [on] my altar.” Some have suggested that the preposition עַל (’al) is dittographic (note the preceding יַעֲלוּ [yaalu]). Consequently, the form should be emended to לְרָצוֹן (leratson, “acceptably”; see BDB 953 s.v. רָצוֹן). However, the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has both לרצון followed by the preposition על, which would argue against deleted the preposition. As the above translation seeks to demonstrate, the preposition עַל (’al) indicates a norm (“in accordance with acceptance” or “acceptably”; IBHS 218 #11.2.13e, n. 111) and the “altar” functions as an objective accusative with a verb of motion (cf. Gen 49:4; Lev 2:2; Num 13:17; J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:534, n. 14).

and I will bestow honor on my majestic temple.
8 Who are these who float along
Heb “fly” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NAB, NIV “fly along.”
like a cloud,
who fly like doves to their shelters?
Heb “to their windows,” i.e., to the openings in their coops. See HALOT 83 s.v. אֲרֻבָּה.

9 Indeed, the coastlands
Or “islands” (NIV); CEV “distant islands”; TEV “distant lands.”
look eagerly for me,
the large ships
Heb “the ships of Tarshish.” See the note at 2:16.
are in the lead,
bringing your sons from far away,
along with their silver and gold,
to honor the Lord your God,
Heb “to the name of the Lord your God.”

the Holy One of Israel,
See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
for he has bestowed honor on you.
10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls;
their kings will serve you.
Even though I struck you down in my anger,
I will restore my favor and have compassion on you.
Heb “in my favor I will have compassion on you.”

11 Your gates will remain open at all times;
they will not be shut during the day or at night,
so that the wealth of nations may be delivered,
with their kings leading the way.
Or “led in procession.” The participle is passive.

12 Indeed,
Or “For” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); TEV “But.”
nations or kingdoms that do not serve you will perish;
such nations will be totally destroyed.
The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.

13 The splendor of Lebanon will come to you,
its evergreens, firs, and cypresses together,
to beautify my palace;
Or “holy place, sanctuary.”

I will bestow honor on my throne room.
Heb “the place of my feet.” See Ezek 43:7, where the Lord’s throne is called the “place of the soles of my feet.”

14 The children of your oppressors will come bowing to you;
all who treated you with disrespect will bow down at your feet.
They will call you, ‘The City of the Lord,
Zion of the Holy One of Israel.’
See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

15 You were once abandoned
and despised, with no one passing through,
but I will make you
Heb “Instead of your being abandoned and despised, with no one passing through, I will make you.”
a permanent source of pride
and joy to coming generations.
16 You will drink the milk of nations;
you will nurse at the breasts of kings.
The nations and kings are depicted as a mother nursing her children. Restored Zion will be nourished by them as she receives their wealth as tribute.

Then you will recognize that I, the Lord, am your deliverer,
your protector,
Or “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.
the powerful ruler of Jacob.
See 1:24 and 49:26.

17 Instead of bronze, I will bring you gold,
instead of iron, I will bring you silver,
instead of wood, I will bring you
The words “I will bring you” are supplied in the translation; they are understood by ellipsis (see the preceding lines).
instead of stones, I will bring you
The words “I will bring you” are supplied in the translation; they are understood by ellipsis (see the first two lines of the verse).
I will make prosperity
Or “peace” (KJV and many other English versions).
your overseer,
and vindication your sovereign ruler.
The plural indicates degree. The language is ironic; in the past Zion was ruled by oppressive tyrants, but now personified prosperity and vindication will be the only things that will “dominate” the city.

18 Sounds of violence
The words “sounds of” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
will no longer be heard in your land,
or the sounds of
The words “sounds of” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
destruction and devastation within your borders.
You will name your walls, ‘Deliverance,’
and your gates, ‘Praise.’
19 The sun will no longer supply light for you by day,
nor will the moon’s brightness shine on you;
the Lord will be your permanent source of light –
the splendor of your God will shine upon you.
Heb “and your God for your splendor.”

20 Your sun will no longer set;
your moon will not disappear;
In this verse “sun” and “moon” refer to the Lord’s light, which will replace the sun and moon (see v. 19). Light here symbolizes the restoration of divine blessing and prosperity in conjunction with the Lord’s presence. See 30:26.

the Lord will be your permanent source of light;
your time
Heb “days” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
of sorrow will be over.
21 All of your people will be godly;
Or “righteous” (NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “just.”

they will possess the land permanently.
I will plant them like a shoot;
they will be the product of my labor,
through whom I reveal my splendor.
Heb “a shoot of his planting, the work of my hands, to reveal splendor.”

22 The least of you will multiply into
Heb “will become” (so NASB, NIV).
a thousand;
the smallest of you will become a large nation.
When the right time comes, I the Lord will quickly do this!”
Heb “I, the Lord, in its time, I will quickly do it.”

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