Devotional Commentary on Isaiah 60


When S. Driver came to this chapter he said that Isaiah imagined a beautiful utopia called Zion, a restored city to which nations in future stream. The reality is that Isaiah did not dream it. It was a message of the Lord to Isaiah about the resurrection event and its impact and implications.

Ellen White said about the same chapter “This message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry” Ellen White, Early Writings page 278 as cited by M. L. Andreasen in 1929 in his Sabbath School Quarterly on Isaiah page 20. Andreasen said: “This chapter deals with the glorious finishing of the work, and with the new earth state”. What is to come is bigger than what was in 1844, says Ellen White. Christ to Isaiah and Christ in Himself in the Sermon on the Mount is speaking to the last generation here (Ellen White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, page 70).


When God says: “Arise and shine for your light has come” (v. 1a), it means that resurrection morning has arrived. The dead arise and they perceive light.


The glory of the Lord will come in terms explained fuller in Habakkuk 3 and here in Isaiah 60 “for the glory of the Lord is upon you” (v. 1b).


Just before the Second Coming, the final time of death or darkness upon the earth will approach “darkness will cover the earth” (v. 2a). It does not mean all in the remnant will die. “Deep darkness the peoples” (v. 2b) but in the world’s darkest hour, since it is the Time of Trouble, “the Lord will rise upon you” (v. 2c).


His glory will appear upon you [remnant]” (v. 2d) again similar as Habakkuk 3. Resurrected the remnant is full of the Light of the Lord and “nations will come to your light” (v. 3a) and “kings to the brightness of your rising/sprouting [zarhek which is the same as zarau in Akkadian]” (v. 3b).


Delitzsch in Vol. II 1890 pages 382-383 wanted to make the darkness sin and wretchedness and the light of the Lord coming. He is mixing historicistic coming of the Lord [second coming] with hard-core preterism [end of exile restoration] with soft-core preterism of the idealistic model [darkness as sinful condition]. He is not certain what to say.


Nations and kings that will come to the remnant are probably the unfallen worlds’s nations and kings? “Lift up your eyes around about and see, they all gather together, they come to you” (v. 3-4). Christ comes with all His mighty angels at the Second Coming but is there a possibility that also the unfallen worlds come with him?


Ellen White said about verse 3: “To those who go out to meet the Bridegroom is this message given” (Ellen White, Christ Object Lesson page 420 as cited by M. L. Andreasen in 1929 page 21). Andreasen wants to apply it to the First coming and the Second Coming. A double application. It is dangerous to play around with double applications. It is better to refrain from such a practice totally. As soon as one makes double application it paves the way for multiple applications and finally for ecumenism since everything means everything for everyone and nothing means specific for someone.


Your sons [who died later and buried elsewhere] will come from afar and your daughters [resurrected now] will be carried in the arms [of angels]” (v. 4c-d). “Then you will see and be radiant and your heart will thrill and rejoice” (v. 5a-b). Parents will be very happy to see their children on resurrection day.


Verse 5 is talking about the Resurrection here but M. L. Andreasen thought it is a reference to the Latter Rain ingathering. Thus, to prooftext his own thinking and to fill out what he decided upon, he cited Ellen White but without verification since she did not cite from Isaiah 60 here but from Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:23; Acts 2:17, 21; Acts 3:19, 20; Revelation 13:13. A true description of Ellen White at another event is parked at a wrong chapter by M. L. Andreasen in 1929 in his Sabbath School Quarterly page 21. All of us have our moments of slips like this. No fingerpointing here.


Then Isaiah opened a panel of what is the utopia of his day in the mental–lexicon of those days. It is a picture of affluence in ancient times. Many camels, gold and frankincense, flocks, rams and the countries where they use to come from in those days of Isaiah are mentioned: Midian, Ephah, Sheba, Kedar, Nebaioth (v. 6-7).


The Lord will glorify His glorious house in heaven with the remnant and their gifts they received (v. 7d). The picture is one of happy worshippers and a happy Lord.


The scene of the resurrection continues. After the resurrection of Daniel 12:1-2 Isaiah asks “who are these who fly like a cloud, and like the doves to their lattices?” (v. 8).


Then in verse 9 Isaiah mentions the Lord, probably Christ Himself talking about Himself as victorious Messiah to Isaiah for He says: “For to Me the coastlands will wait” meaning that they will accept the gospel and wait for the Second Coming of the Messiah (v. 9a). “The ships of Tarshish first to bring your sons from afar” (v. 9b-c) may refer to the mission work of Paul and others spreading the gospel and faithful ones will be brought to the Light of Christ’s salvation. They will contribute to the gospel as Paul in 2 Corinthians thanked them for (v. 9d). “For the name of the Lord your God and for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you [remnant]” (v. 9e-f).


About the waiting of the islands Delitzsch Vol. II 1890 page 387 says that yahel means “expectant waiting”. He said it is “a firm and constant expectation of something to be experienced in the future.” Sorry Preterists. There Delitzsch is helping the historicists.


After the resurrection and after 1000 years and after the extermination of all evil in the Hell the new earth is created and where their tumbling walls use to stand, on the new earth, foreigners from unfallen worlds outside our universe will come and build the remnant’s walls (v. 10a) and their kings will minister to you (v. 10b).


It is not a shame for kings in heaven to stoop down and wash their subjects feet for heavenly service is selfemptying service [like Christ at Footwashing before the Lord’s Supper in John 13], a concept that is not part of this world’s evil history.


Although the remnant was punished in history God’s favor made Him to have compassion over them (v. 10d). Their gates will be open “continually” (v. 11a) for the wealth of nations of unfallen worlds to bring it to the heavenly newcomers, the remnant (v. 11c).


Kings of other unfallen worlds will come in procession to them (v. 11d).


Is there conflict with Ellen White who cited Isaiah 60:1-4; 10-11; 45:22 parked by M. L. Andreasen 1929 page 22 at verse 11 when she said: “These prophecies of a great spiritual awakening in the time of gross darkness are today meeting fulfillment in the advancing lines of mission stations…?” Ellen White, Prophets and Kings page 375 is applied to verse 11 by M. L. Andreasen in 1929 page 22. The solution is this: Above the citation Ellen White speaks of two events: “The prophet [Isaiah in Isaiah 49:6, 8, 9, 12; also Isaiah 66:12; 54:2, 3; and 66:19] heard the voice of God calling His church to her appointed work, [mission work as light around the world. Then follows the second later event] that the way might be prepared for the ushering in of His everlasting kingdom.” Isaiah 60 citations are applicable to this ushering in of His everlasting kingdom maybe? Ellen White then did not apply herself Isaiah 60 to the Latter Rain but to the Resurrection time at the Second Coming event? Is this an orange pressed too much? Andreasen should not have parked Prophets and Kings here at verse 11 to support the global inflow of nations when she also said on the same page about the ushering in of His everlasting kingdom.


All the nations on earth that have afflicted the remnant “will perish” (v. 12).


For M. L. Andreasen’s 1929 page 22 explanation here in verse 12 he resorted to the commentator A. Barnes (1847) which used a preteristic explanation to say that all nations fell because they did not keep the law of God. My reading is that the focus is not past but future. He does not cite Ellen White here in verse 12.


Delitzsch also thought in Vol. II 1890 pages 388-389 that verses 10-12 refers to nations streaming into the church and the church has now great superiority. He said: “…for the condition of every people and kingdom is henceforward determined by its subjection to the Church of the God of redemption,—by entrance into this Church.” The Vicarius filii Dei church will be greatly happy about this idea of Delitzsch but that is not what the verse says.



The time of Isaiah utopic concept of wonderful wood and wood objects like juniper, box tree, cypress from Lebanon “will come to you” (v. 13a). They will beautify the place of His sanctuary in Heaven in the new world (v. 13d). There is no space during the Latter Rain for the beautification of houses of the saints with the Time of Trouble so nearly at hand. Andreasen in verse 13 had nothing to say neither from Ellen White nor Albert Barnes on Isaiah 1847.


On the new earth the sons of those who afflicted them on earth, but who became also converted, probably in the Latter Rain event, “will come bowing to you” (v. 14a). “And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet and they will call you the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (v. 14d). It is heavenly Zion, the New Jerusalem in heaven and the remnant in heaven that is in mind here.


Andreasen in 1929 page 23 in his Sabbath School Quarterly on Isaiah did not cite Ellen White here and do not make any judgment on the event involved except that it finds analogy to a similar phrase in Revelation 3:9 but that application in Adventism is between 1450-1843.


Whereas in history on earth, the remnant “have been forsaken and hated” the Lord will make in heaven the remnant “an everlasting pride” (v. 15c). They will be a joy from generation to generation (v. 15d).


Andreasen in 1929 on page 23 did not cite Ellen White here nor did he make a note.


Then there is a verse that the translators had problems with because the root meaning is from Late Egyptian and not from Akkadian or Aramaic or Arabic.

You [remnant] will enclose [Egyptian ín meaning enclose or enwrap] the heart [different vocalization] of nations and the terror/raid [see a few verses down where the New Babylonian word sadu means raid] of kings you will enclose [again the Egyptian loanword above]” (v. 16).


It means that they will be finally in the eschaton circumstance successful over nations on earth that afflicted them and over kings on earth who raided them.


Then you will know that I the Lord am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (v. 16d).


On verse 16 Andreasen did not cite Ellen White for his view but his view is materialistically connected to the End-time period before the close of Probation when he thinks that the Gentiles will pour in lots of finances to the church for the furtherance of the gospel. (Also Delitzsch said what Andreasen explained in Vol. II 1890 pages 390-391 on verses 15-16). In my translation the remnant in heaven finally was successful in their gospel commission that Gentiles gave their hearts to Christ and also after the Time of Trouble at the Second Coming the conquest by Christ’s appearance becomes the conquest of the saints over the evil as they fly up to heaven with angels.


The remnant will experience on the new earth improvement over earthly conditions. They imagine bronze but it will be gold, they imagine iron but it will like silver, wood but it will be like bronze, stones but it will be like iron (v. 17).


I will make [Christ’s] peace your administrators and [Christ’s] righteousness your overseers” (v. 17e-f).


Andreasen in 1929 page 23 did not cite Ellen White here but suggested that it refers to souls in their unsaved state to be iron but in the saved state gold.


It is the preterist Delitzsch that climbed out of his model into a historicistic model worth looking at on verse 17-18 in Vol. II 1890 page 391: “The beauty of the new Jerusalem, without and within, is now depicted by mentioning the materials of which she is built, and the forces which prevail within her.” Delitzsch and myself is in heaven. Andreasen is on earth. Ellen White did not speak about the verse.


It is definitely heaven and the new earth since Isaiah says “violence will not be heard again in your land” (v. 18a). There will not be devastation, destruction, and the remnant on the newly created earth by God will call their walls “salvation” and their gates “praise” (v. 18c).


Andreasen in 1929 page 23 had nothing to say in his Sabbath School Quarterly on this verse. He does not cite Ellen White here.


On the new earth created for the faithful remnant of God, there will no longer be a sun or moon “but you will have the Lord for an everlasting light” (v. 19a-c). “Your sun will set no more, neither will your moon wane for you will have the Lord for an everlasting light” (v. 20a-c).


In verse 19 Andreasen in 1929 page 23 understood it finally correctly since Revelation 21:23 and 22:5 are applied here.


Ellen White as applied by Andreasen in 1929 page 23 to verse 20 is in the Heavenly City of God when she said: “In the city of God ‘there shall be no night.’ . . . The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the holy city with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day.” — Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 676.


F. Delitzsch in Vol. II Isaiah 1890 page 393 said exactly the same as Ellen White here: “Though, in the view of the prophet, the Jerusalem of glorious times in this world, and the Jerusalem of the coming eternity are commingled, the meaning of these prophecies of his is not that sun and moon will no longer exist: even of the Jerusalem that is not built by Israel with the assistance of converted Gentiles, but comes down from heaven to earth, the seer (Rev. xxi. 23) merely says that the city does not need the light of either sun or moon,—and this is the view of our passage taken in the Targum. Hofmann correctly remarks that ‘there will still be sun and moon, but the holy place will be continually lighted by the manifestation of the presence of God which irradiates everything.’”


It forms an envelope in a chiastic structure of ABC C’B’A’. In the center between C and C’ is the phrase: “[and you will have] your God for your glory” (19d).


And the days of your mourning will be finished” which refers to the 1000 years or millennium in heaven when the saints cry over their loved ones who did not make it to heaven (v. 20d).


In heaven, on the new earth “all your people [are] righteous, they will possess the [new] earth forever” (v. 21a-b).

-They will be called “branch of My planting, the work of My hands that I may be glorified” (v. 21c-e).

-The remnant will glorify the Lord in heaven by their existence.

-They will increase and become many (v. 22).


The Lord promised to Isaiah that after the Door of Mercy closes and His work of Investigative Judgment is over, that “I the Lord, will hasten it in its time” meaning that the Lord will be in a hurry after He received the kingship from His Father, to come at the Second Coming.


Andreasen in 1929 cited Romans 9:28 here but the citation is not from Isaiah 60:22 but from Isaiah 10:23. The context though is about a time when wrath and glory is waited to be displayed upon the vessels for wrath [at His second Coming and the Hell event after the millennium] and vessels for glory [glory of His coming] (Romans 9:22-23).


F. Delitzsch, the preterist, Vol. II 1890 page 394 understood verse 22 correctly: “Jehovah will accomplish it speedily, for the point of time (kairos) which He has fixed for it will have come. As this point of time [Second Coming] is known to Him alone, this glory will come with sudden surprise upon those who have faithfully waited for its appearing.” It is a case of a preterist who climb out of his model and become a historicist here.



Dear God

It is not only in the New Testament and not only in the Book of Revelation that we learn of the New Earth, heavenly Zion and heavenly New Jerusalem. With such a beautiful prospect for the happy remnant on the new earth, help us to be part of this whole event. Amen.