Isaiah 60:19
The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
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(19) The sun shall be no more . . .—The ideal picture becomes bolder and more transcendent. Sun and moon may still shine, but, as in Revelation 21:23 (obviously derived from this), they shall not be needed in the radiance of the greater glory of the presence of Jehovah. Here on earth the sun sets and the moon wanes, but in that Divine glory there is no waning and no setting. “Mourning” will belong to the past (comp. Revelation 21:4), everlasting joy to the future.

Isaiah 60:19-20. The sun shall be no more thy light, &c. — The light of the sun and moon shall not be at all esteemed in comparison of the spiritual light of the church, which shall be so glorious as to eclipse all the light formerly enjoyed by her, the divine glory and majesty illuminating her much more brightly than the luminaries of heaven illuminate and adorn the theatre of nature. Or, as Lowth interprets the clause, “God’s favour and the light of his countenance shall give her greater comfort and lustre than the light of the sun and moon doth to the world.” Every reader must perceive that the passage is metaphorical, and it is here introduced to give the church assurance of comfort, as the preceding was to assure her of safety; so that God will not only be a shield, but a sun to her, Psalm 84:11. The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light — Christ shall scatter all thy darkness and ignorance, enlightening and comforting thee with the doctrines of the gospel, and the graces of his Spirit, and these blessings shall be everlasting, not waxing and waning, and suffering eclipses and settings, as the sun and moon do, but shall be constant, without shadow or change; and thy God thy glory — Always giving thee reason to glory in him; or, thy relation to him, and interest in him, as thy God, shall be thy greatest honour. Thy sun shall no more go down, &c. — Thy light and comfort shall be no more withdrawn. “If the church, under the economy of the external and typical covenant, saw only a temporary light, and underwent various changes of its state, at this time it shall rejoice, for a long season with unchanged light, in a much more constant and happy state.” The days of thy mourning shall be ended — The prosperity and happiness of the church shall be perpetual and uninterrupted. Hebrew, שׁלמו, shall be recompensed, that is, Thy days of rejoicing shall abundantly recompense all thy days of mourning. Observe, reader, “Jesus Christ is the eternal Sun and Light of his church, illuminating and sanctifying it by his Spirit, filling it with his glory, and prospering its whole state by his providence, for the end of eternal joy. (See Revelation 22:5.) Who will say that the church has ever yet enjoyed this blessing of divine providence and grace, in the full extent which is here marked out by the prophet?” — Vitringa.

60:15-22 We must look for the full accomplishment in times and things, exceeding those of the Old Testament church. The nations and their kings shall lay themselves out for the good of the church. Such a salvation, such a redemption, shall be wrought out for thee, as discovers itself to be the work of the Lord. Every thing shall be changed for the better. In thy land shall no more be heard threats of those that do violence, nor complaints of those that suffer violence. Thy walls shall be means of safety, thy gates shall be written upon with praises to God. In the close of this chapter are images and expressions used in the description of the New Jerusalem, Re 21:23; 22:5. Nothing can answer to this but some future glorious state of the church on earth, or the state of the church triumphant in heaven. Those that make God their only light, shall have him their all-sufficient light. And the happiness shall know no change or alloy. No people on earth are all righteous; but there are no mixtures in heaven. They shall be wholly righteous. The spirits of just men shall there be made perfect. The glory of the church shall be to the honour of God. When it shall be finished, it will appear a work of wonder. It may seem too difficult to be brought about, but the God of almighty power has undertaken it. It may seem to be delayed and put off; but the Lord will hasten it in the time appointed by his wisdom, though not in the time prescribed by our folly. Let this hope cheer us under all difficulties, and stir us up to all diligence, that we may have an abundant entrance into this everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.The sun shall be no more - A similar expression denoting the great prosperity and happiness of the church, occurs in Isaiah 30:26 (see the note at that place). The language here is exceedingly beautiful, and the idea is plain. It is designed to foretell the great glory which would exist in the church under the Messiah; a glory compared with which all that is furnished by the sun, moon, and stars would be as nothing. Expressions singular to this, and probably derived from this, are used by John in describing the lot of heaven. 'And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof' Revelation 21:23. 'And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light' Revelation 22:5. The idea is, the light and beauty of truth would be so great; the divine perfections shine forth so illustriously under the gospel, that the eye would be attracted to that light as superior to all the natural splendor of the sun and moon. All the wonders and beauties of the natural world would be lost in the superior brightness that would shine in the moral world.

Neither for brightness - In order to give light; or, with her brightness she shall not shine on the night.

Shall the moon give light unto thee - The beauty of the moon shall be lost in the superior effulgence of the rays of truth.

But the Lord shall be unto thee - He will furnish a revelation that will disclose far more of his perfections and his glory, and that will be far more valuable to thee as a light and guide, than all the splendor of the heavenly bodies.

And thy God thy glory - The honor of the church shall be that it has the true God for its protector. Its joys shall be found, not in the objects of nature - the beauty of created things - but in the glory of the divine perfections, and in the laws and plans of the Redeemer. His name, his attributes, his laws, his protecting care, constitute her main glory. It is an honor to the church to have such a God and Redeemer; an honor to share his favor, and to be under his everwatchful eye. The glory of the church is not her wealth, her numbers, her influence, nor the rank and talent of her ministers and members; it is the character of her sovereign Lord, and in his perfections it is right that she should exult and rejoice.

19. The sun and moon, the brightest objects by day and night, shall be eclipsed by the surpassing glory of God manifesting Himself to thee (Isa 30:26; Zec 2:5; Re 21:23; 22:5). The sun shall be no more thy light, & c.; these shall not be at all esteemed in comparison of the spiritual light of the church; and this is laid down as the assurance of the church’s comfort, as the former was for her safety, so that God will not only be a shield, but a sun to her, Psalm 84:11; not that they shall not have the sun and moon among them, but that the light of the godly, as such, should principally consist in what is spiritual.

The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light; Christ shall scatter all darkness and ignorance, enlightening thee with the doctrines of the gospel, and graces of his Spirit; and this shall be

everlasting, not wax and wane, and suffer eclipses and settings, as the sun and moon do, but it shall be constant, without shadow of change; no night; which will be undoubtedly true of the church in heaven, whatever it will be, or how near soever it will come to it, here, which I presume will bear its analogy.

Thy God thy glory; always ministering matter of thy glorying in him; or, thy interest in this God shall be great honour to thee; or else it is the same thing with the sentence immediately before in other words, that will make time glorious, a metonymy of the efficient; thus he is said to give glory, Psalm 84:11.

The sun shall be no more thy light by day,.... Here begins the account of the sinless, pure, and perfect state of the church in the personal reign of Christ, even the New Jerusalem church state, as appears from the use of these very words, in the description of that state, Revelation 21:23 where it is read, "and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof"; and in like manner the Targum renders these words,

"and ye shall have no need any more of the light of the sun by day, nor even of the light of the moon by night;''

and so both Aben Ezra and Jarchi interpret it,

"ye shall have no need of the light of the sun;''

and the former adds, because of the light of the Shechinah; and which seems to be the meaning of the next clause:

neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; that is, because of the exceeding brightness, splendour, and lustre of the divine majesty of Christ, who will appear personally among his people, neither sun nor moon will be able to give any light: as the light of a candle is made useless and unnecessary by the light of the sun, so the light of the sun and moon will be made useless and unnecessary by the vastly superior light and glory of Christ; see Isaiah 24:23, though the sun and moon may be understood here mystically, not of civil magistrates, who are sometimes signified by these luminaries; and who also will be no more used when this dispensation or personal reign of Christ shall take place; see Isaiah 13:10, but rather of the Gospel and Gospel ordinances, which the church will no more stand in need of to enlighten, teach, and instruct them, refresh and comfort them, having the immediate presence of Christ with them, as follows:

but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light; that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, as it is interpreted in the above cited place in the Revelation; who, as he is the author of the light of nature, and of the light of grace, so of the light of glory in this state, and to all eternity; then will the saints in this light behold the face of God, which is not to be seen now; they shall see Christ in all his glory, in the glory of his Father, and of his holy angels; all the glorious forms, the angels of heaven, and all the saints, those spirits of just then made perfect, that shall come with Christ, and be clothed with glorious bodies; even the New Jerusalem descending from heaven, having the glory of God upon her; likewise all the doctrines of grace, now not so clearly understood; and all the mysteries of Providence, which will be laid open, and made manifest; and this clear light will continue for ever; there will be no more night, but one everlasting day:

and thy God thy glory; it is the saints' glory that God is their God; and it will be their glory in this state to have the God-man Jesus Christ personally with them; the tabernacle of God will be among them; God himself shall be with them, and be their God; and his glory shall lighten them, Revelation 21:3.

The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the {t} moon give light to thee: but the LORD shall be to thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

(t) Signifying that all worldly means will cease, and that Christ will be all in all, as in Re 21:23,22:5.

19. thy glory] thy beauty; Isaiah 60:7, Isaiah 9:13.

19, 20. Comp. Revelation 21:23 : “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof”; and Isaiah 22:5. It is not implied that the sun and moon shall cease to exist; all that is said is that the new Jerusalem shall not be dependent on these natural luminaries. But that an actual physical illumination of the city by the glory of Jehovah is contemplated by the prophet can hardly be doubted. The basis of the conception is perhaps to be found in Ezekiel 43:2.

Verses 19-22. - The fifth stanza. Zion's crowning glories. Verse 19. - The sun shall be no more thy light by day. Here Isaiah anticipates one of the most sublime thoughts in the Revelation of St. John the Divine, viz. that the heavenly Jerusalem, illuminated perpetually by the radiance of the Divine Presence, shall need neither light of the sun by day, nor of the moon by night, but shall be sufficiently illumined by the direct and primary light which streams down upon it from God himself. Whether the sun and moon will continue to exist or not is beyond the prophet's ken - he makes no announcement on the subject; sufficient for him that the redeemed bask perpetually in a Divine radiance shed upon them by the "Father of lights" (see Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5). The germ of the idea appears in the earlier prophecies (Isaiah 24:23). For brightness; rather, for illumination. The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light. God is "the Father of lights" (James 1:17) - "the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:9). All other light is but his shadow and his reflex - his creature (Genesis 1:3) - therefore perishable, not to be reckoned on for continuance (Psalm 102:26; Hebrews 1:11). But God abides; therefore his light will abide. He is "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8). And thy God thy glory (comp. Zechariah 2:5). God will not only be the Light of the Church, but her "Glory" and boast. As the Shechinah was the glory of the first, so "the eternal unchangeable light of Jehovah, with its peaceful gentleness and perfect purity" (Delitzsch), will be the glory of the final temple. Isaiah 60:19The fifth turn celebrates the glorifying of Jerusalem, through the shining of Jehovah as its everlasting light and through the form of its ever-growing membership, which is so well-pleasing to God. The prophecy returns to the thought with which it set out, and by which the whole is regulated, viz., that Jerusalem will be light. This leading thought is now unfolded in the most majestic manner, and opened up in all its eschatological depth. "The sun will be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness will the moon shine upon thee: Jehovah will be to thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun will no more go down, and thy moon will not be withdrawn; for Jehovah will be to thee an everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning will be fulfilled." Although, in the prophet's view, the Jerusalem of the period of glory in this world and the Jerusalem of the eternal glory beyond flow into one another; the meaning of this prophecy is not that the sun and moon will no longer exist. Even of the Jerusalem which is not to be built by Israel with the help of converted heathen, but which comes down from heaven to earth, the seer in Revelation 21:23 merely says, that the city needs neither the shining of the sun nor of the moon (as the Targum renders the passage before us, "thou wilt not need the shining of the sun by day"), for the glory of God lightens it, and the Lamb is the light thereof, i.e., God Himself is instead of a sun to her, and the Lamb instead of a moon. Consequently we do not agree with Stier, who infers from this passage that "there is a final new creation approaching, when there will be no more turning round into the shadow (James 1:17), when the whole planetary system, including the earth, will be changed, and when the earth itself will become a sun, yea, will become even more than that, in the direct and primary light which streams down upon it from God Himself." We rather agree with Hofmann, that "there will still be both sun and moon, but the Holy Place will be illuminated without interruption by the manifestation of the presence of God, which outshines all besides." The prophet has here found the most complete expression, for that which has already been hinted at in such prophecies in Isaiah 4:5; Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 24:23. As the city receives its light neither from the sun nor from the moon, this implies, what Revelation 21:25 distinctly affirms, that there will be no more night there. The prophet intentionally avoids a לילה לאור parallel to יומם לאור. We must not render the second clause in Isaiah 60:19, "and it will not become light to thee with the shining of the moon," for האיר never means to get light; nor "and as for the shining of the moon, it does not give the light," as Hitzig and Knobel propose, for וּלנגהּ is used alone, and not היּרח וּלנגהּ as the antithesis to יומם לאור, in the sense of "to light up the night" (compare נגהּ as applied to the shining of the moon in Isaiah 13:10, and נגהּ to the glittering of the stars in Joel 2:10), and even the use of הלילה is avoided. The true rendering is either, "and for lighting, the moon will not shine upon thee" (Stier, Hahn, etc.); or, what is more in accordance with the accentuation, which would have given ולנגה tifchah and not tsakeph gadol, if it had been intended to indicate the object, "and as for the lighting" (ל as in Isaiah 32:1). The glory of Jehovah, which soars above Jerusalem, and has come down into her, is henceforth her sun and her moon - a sun that never sets, a moon יאסף לא which is not taken in towards morning, like a lamp that has been hung out at night (compare נאסף, Isaiah 16:10, withdrawn, disappeared). The triumph of light over darkness, which is the object of the world's history, is concentrated in the new Jerusalem. How this is to be understood, is explained in the closing clause of Isaiah 60:20. The sum of the days of mourning allotted to the church is complete. The darkness of the corruption of sin and state of punishment is overcome, and the church is nothing but holy blessed joy without change or disturbance; for it walks no longer in sidereal light, but in the eternally unchangeable light of Jehovah, which with its peaceful gentleness and perfect purity illumines within as well as without. The seer of the Apocalypse also mentions the Lamb. The Lamb is also known to our prophet; for the "Servant of Jehovah" is the Lamb. But the light of transfiguration, in which he sees this exalted Lamb, is not great enough to admit of its being combined with the light of the Divine Nature itself.
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