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.
The Teacher from heaven, no less a personage than the Son of God, came to earth to reveal the character of the Father to men, that they might worship Him in spirit and in truth. Christ revealed to men the fact that the strictest adherence to ceremony and form would not save them; for the kingdom of God was spiritual in its nature. Christ came to the world to sow it with truth. He held the keys to all the treasures of wisdom, and was able to open doors to science, and to reveal undiscovered stores of knowledge, were it essential to salvation. He presented to men that which was exactly contrary to the representations of the enemy in regard to the character of God, and sought to impress upon men the paternal love of the Father, who “so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” He urged upon men the necessity of prayer, repentance, confession, and the abandonment of sin. He taught them honesty, forbearance, mercy, and compassion, enjoining upon them to love not only those who loved them, but those who hated them, who treated them despitefully. In this He was revealing to them the character of the Father, who is long-suffering, merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, and full of goodness and truth. Those who accepted His teaching were under the guardian care of angels, who were commissioned to strengthen, to enlighten, that the truth might renew and sanctify the soul. FE 177.1
Christ declares the mission He had in coming to the earth. He says in His last public prayer, “O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” When Moses asked the Lord to show him His glory, the Lord said, “I will make all My goodness pass before thee.” “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.... And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.” When we are able to comprehend the character of God as did Moses, we too shall make haste to bow in adoration and praise. Jesus contemplated nothing less than “that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me” should be in the hearts of His children, that they might impart the knowledge of God to others. FE 177.2Read in context »
“And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.” 5T 99.1
“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.” 5T 99.2
We are near the close of time. I have been shown that the retributive judgments of God are already in the land. The Lord has given us warning of the events about to take place. Light is shining from His word; yet darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people. “When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them; ... and they shall not escape.” 5T 99.3Read in context »
He might bring the human soul to the threshold of heaven, and through the open door show us its inner glory flooding the heavenly sanctuary and shining out through its portals; but we must behold it by faith, not with the natural eyes. He does not forget that we are His human agents, to work the works of God in a world all seared and marred with the curse. It is in this world, that is clothed with moral darkness like the pall of death, where darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people, that we are to walk in the light of heaven. HP 366.4Read in context »
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 60:2. HP 313.1
This age presents a sad picture to those whose eyes have been opened to discern the evils that prevail on every hand. The fear and love of God have almost left the world. This is the time prophesied of by Isaiah, when “darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.” Multitudes are led away by the delusions of a faithless generation and are living in the darkness of error.... HP 313.2Read in context »