Darkness shall cover the earth - This is the state of the Gentile people.
For behold - Lo, darkness covers the earth. This is designed to turn the attention to the fact that all the rest of the world would be enveloped in deep spiritual night.
Darkness - (See the notes at Isaiah 45:7).
Shall cover the earth - Shall envelope the whole world except where it is illuminated by the gospel. It is needless to say that this was the fact when the Messiah came, and that it is still extensively true also.
And gross darkness - Lowth renders this, ‹A thick vapor.‘ Herder. ‹Deep obscurity.‘ Septuagint, Γνόφος Gnophos - Cloud, shade, tempest. The Hebrew word (ערפל ‛ărâpel ) usually denotes thick cloud, cloudy darkness, gloom; and is often applied to the thick clouds of a tempest Exodus 20:18; Deuteronomy 4:11; Psalm 18:10. It is a word of intenser meaning than that which is rendered ‹darkness‘ (השׁך chôshek ) and the idea here is, that the nations would be enveloped in a cloud of ignorance and sin so dense and obscure that no light could penetrate it - a description strikingly applicable to the whole pagan world.
But the Lord shall arise upon thee - Like the sun. That is, Yahweh would manifest his perfections to them in a glorious manner.
Shall be seen upon thee - There is more emphatic meaning in the original here than is conveyed in our translation. The Hebrew word (יראה yērâ'eh ) does not mean merely that that glory would be visible, but that it would be conspicuous. It would be so bright and luminous that it would be seen afar - like a cloud or column of glory standing over Jerusalem that would be conspicuous to far distant people.
He causes “the light to shine out of darkness.” 2 Corinthians 4:6. When “the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep,” “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.” Genesis 1:2, 3. So in the night of spiritual darkness, God's word goes forth, “Let there be light.” To His people He says, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1. COL 415.1
“Behold,” says the Scripture, “the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:2. COL 415.2
It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth. COL 415.3
This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, “O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” Isaiah 40:9, 10. COL 415.4
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, “Behold your God.” The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them. COL 415.5Read in context »
Church members are to arise and shine amid the moral darkness of the world. If we are connected with the Light of the world, we shall reflect light to others. If we partake of the Saviour's rich grace, we shall be a blessing to those around us.... LHU 294.2Read in context »
Under the Loud Cry Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1, 2. Mar 202.1Read in context »