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Isaiah 60

Chapter Sixty:

v. 4: Isaiah 49:22 uses the same image of Israel’s children being carried to her from far away.  See notes there.

v. 7: See also 21:16-17 and 42:11 for other mentions of Kedar in Isaiah.

v. 14: It is interesting to consider this chapter in light of the establishment of the modern nation of Israel, and maybe it does allude to that event in some way.  After all, it describes how the Gentile nations of the whole world will honor the Jews and help to reestablish the kingdom of Israel with their wealth and labor.  This is very similar what happened after World War II when, to compensate them for their horrible suffering at the hands of Germany, the victorious allied powers reestablished the Jews in their ancient homeland.  I do not know in what sense this verse could be applied to the descendants of the Nazis, who were their oppressors, but perhaps it could be easily done with a little research.  See also notes on 49:22.

v. 16: Sucking milk from the breast of a king (rather than a queen) is an unexpected image; nevertheless, it fits the overall theme.  See verse 4.

v. 19: John uses this exact imagery in Revelation 21:23 to refer to the New Jerusalem.  I believe Isaiah is using the reestablishment of the Jewish nation after its return from Babylonian Captivity to reference the future kingdom of the Messiah, but to what specific phase of that kingdom he may be referring, I am not sure.  The kingdom of God manifests itself differently over time.  In Isaiah’s day the kingdom was a physical place in Palestine.  Now that the Messiah has ascended to heaven, the kingdom is a borderless fellowship of believers on earth.  After Judgment Day, perhaps the kingdom will dominate the entire earth for one-thousand years under the direct rule of the Messiah.  The New Jerusalem, which John describes in Revelation 21 seems to be yet another manifestation of the kingdom after the one-thousand year reign.  One could also argue that the modern kingdom of Israel is another manifestation of the kingdom.  See notes on v.14.  See also notes on Isaiah 2:1-4.

v. 22: This is an interesting expression: “In its time I will accomplish it quickly.”  God may seem slow to act sometimes, but when the time is ripe, he acts with shocking swiftness.

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2 Responses to “Isaiah 60”

  1. […] Here is my interpretation of these images: The mother Zion is a somewhat fluid metaphor: she represents both the physical (historical) and spiritual (Messianic) kingdom of Israel, and by extension, the true religion of God.  The substance of these verses is derived from the Jewish return from the Babylonian Captivity.  Historically, the land of Judah was bereft of its inhabitants.  These were taken away and “reared” in the Gentile lands for seventy years until the Persians conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews to return to their homeland.  Thus, the Gentiles returned Zion’s children to her.  However, I can think of no corresponding event in the history of the physical kingdom of Judah to match the Gentiles’ submission to Zion.  Persia was still Judah’s earthly master even after the return from Babylon, and after Persia, Greece, and after Greece, Rome, in the time of Christ, and Rome eventually annihilated Judah as a kingdom.  One could interpret this submission as a reference to mass conversions of Gentiles to Judaism, but I do not believe that ever happened.  This is only fulfilled in the Messianic kingdom of Jesus, where the Gentile world entered the kingdom by acknowledging the God of the Jews as the true God, and by submitting to his authority.  See also notes on 60:14. […]

  2. […] Here is my interpretation of these images: The mother Zion is a somewhat fluid metaphor: she represents both the physical (historical) and spiritual (Messianic) kingdom of Israel, and by extension, the true religion of God.  The substance of these verses is derived from the Jewish return from the Babylonian Captivity.  Historically, the land of Judah was bereft of its inhabitants.  These were taken away and “reared” in the Gentile lands for seventy years until the Persians conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews to return to their homeland.  Thus, the Gentiles returned Zion’s children to her.  However, I can think of no corresponding event in the history of the physical kingdom of Judah to match the Gentiles’ submission to Zion.  Persia was still Judah’s earthly master even after the return from Babylon, and after Persia, Greece, and after Greece, Rome, in the time of Christ, and Rome eventually annihilated Judah as a kingdom.  One could interpret this submission as a reference to mass conversions of Gentiles to Judaism, but I do not believe that ever happened.  This is only fulfilled in the Messianic kingdom of Jesus, where the Gentile world entered the kingdom by acknowledging the God of the Jews as the true God, and by submitting to his authority.  See also notes on 60:14. […]

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