Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 60:5

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Then thou shalt see "Then shalt thou fear" - For תראי tirai, thou shalt see, as ours and much the greater number of the translators, ancient and modern, render it, forty MSS. (ten ancient) of Kennicott's, and twenty-eight of De Rossi's, with one ancient of my own, and the old edition of 1488, have תיראי tirai, thou shalt fear: the true reading, confirmed by the perfect parallelism of the sentences: the heart ruffled and dilated in the second line answering to the fear and joy expressed in the first. The Prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 33:9, has the same natural and elegant sentiment: -

"And this city shall become to me a name of joy;

A praise and an honor for all the nations of the earth;

Which shall hear all the good that I do unto them:

And they shall fear, and they shall tremble, at all the goodness

And at all the prosperity that I procure unto her."

And David: -

"I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

Psalm 139:14;

His tibi me rebus quaedam divina voluptas

Percipit atque horror.

Lucret. 3:28.

Recenti mens trepidat metu,

Plenoque Bacchi pectore turbidum


Hor. Carm. 2:19. 50:5.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Then shalt thou see - Lowth renders this, ‹Then shalt thou fear and overflow with joy;‘ and supposes that it refers to the agitation and anxiety of mind attending the scene, and to the joy consequent on the numerous conversions. His authority for this change is, that forty manuscripts (two of them ancient) have תיראי, ‹thou shalt fear,‘ instead of תראי tı̂re'ı̂y ‹thou shalt see.‘ But though the change is of a single letter, there is not sufficient authority to make it, nor does the sense require it. The Vulgate, Septuagint, Chaldee, Syiac, Arabic, and Castellio, all render it in accordance with the present reading of the Hebrew text. The idea is, that Jerusalem would look with deep interest on the great multitude that would be converted to her, and that the effect would be to cause the heart to overflow with joy.

And flow together - This translation, it is believed, by no means conveys the true sense of the passage. Indeed, it is difficult to make sense of the translation. It is true that the Hebrew word נהר nâhar means “to flow, to flow together”; whence the word נהר nâhâr ‹river.‘ But it may be used in the sense of flowing, or overflowing with joy; or it may seem to shine, to be bright, the same as נוּר nûr (Gesenius); and thence to be cheered, to rejoice, as when the countenance is bright and cheerful (compare Job 3:4). Taylor (Hebrew Concordance) renders it, ‹And be enlightened, or have the light flow upon thee.‘ The true idea is, doubtless, that of rejoicing; denoting the happiness which will always exist in the church when many are seen to come and give themselves to God.

And thine heart shall fear - The heart shall be ruffled, agitated, deeply excited by the view of the numbers that are converted, and by the evidence thus furnished of the divine favor and presence. The effect of numerous simultaneous conversions in a revival of religion, is always to produce awe and reverence. There is a conviction that God is near, and that this is his work; and a deep veneration produced by the demonstrations of his power which does not exist in other circumstances. This effect is described also by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 33:9: ‹And they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I shall procure unto her‘ (Jerusalem).

And be enlarged - Shall be swelled or filled with joy.

Because the abundance of the sea - Margin, ‹Noise of the sea shall be turned unto thee.‘ Lowth and Noyes render it, ‹The riches of the sea.‘ So the Septuagint, Πλοῦτος θαλάσσης Ploutos thalassēs The Chaldee renders it, ‹There shall be transferred to thee the wealth of the west‘ (מערבא עיתר ‛ôtar ma‛arebâ' ). The Hebrew word המון hămôn properly denotes a noise or sound; as of rain, of the raging of the ocean, or of a multitude of people. Then it denotes a multitude or crowd of people itself Isaiah 13:4; Isaiah 33:3; Daniel 10:6; a host or army Judges 4:7; Daniel 11:11-13; a multitude of waters Jeremiah 10:13; Jeremiah 51:16. It then denotes a multitude of possessions; a vast amount of wealth Psalm 37:16; Ecclesiastes 5:9. Here it may refer either to the multitude of the people that dwelt on the islands of the sea, or to their wealth that would be brought and devoted to Zion. As various kinds of property are immediately specified, it seems most natural to refer it to that; and then the idea is, that the wealth possessed by lands beyond the sea, or surrounded by the sea, would be devoted to the church of God. It will be remembered, that nearly all the wealth that was imported by Solomon and others to Judea came from beyond sea, and that it was natural to speak of such places as abounding in riches. The idea is, that the wealth of all those distant lands would be consecrated to the church - an idea denoting its great prosperity and glory when all lands should come under the influence of the truth.

Shall be converted - Hebrew, ‹Shall be turned.‘ Instead of being employed in idolatry and sin; in purposes of pleasure and mere magnificence, it shall be turned to a different purpose.

The forces of the Gentiles - Margin, ‹wealth.‘ The margin has undoubtedly the correct interpretation. The word used here (חיל chayil construct חיל chēyil ), usually, indeed, denotes strength, might, valor; an army, forces, host; but it also means riches, wealth Genesis 24:29; Deuteronomy 8:17-18; Rth 4:11 ; Job 20:15. The Septuagint renders the passage, ‹The riches of the sea, and of the nations, and of the people will come over to thee.‘ The sense is, that the wealth of the pagan world would be consecrated to the service of the church. To some extent, this has been the case, No small part of the great wealth of the Roman empire was I devoted to the service of the Christian church; and the wealth of what was then Pagan Europe, and of what was then Pagan and unknown America, has been, to a considerable extent, devoted to the Redeemer. The time will come when the wealth of India, of China, of Africa, and of the entire world, shall be devoted to the service of God, in a manner far more decided than has yet occurred in the most favored Christian lands.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
As far as we have the knowledge of God in us, and the favour of God towards us, our light is come. And if God's glory is seen upon us to our honour, we ought, not only with our lips, but in our lives, to return its praise. We meet with nothing in the history of the Jews which can be deemed a fulfilment of the prophecy in this chapter; we must conclude it relates principally to future events. It predicts the purity and enlargement of the church. The conversion of souls is here described. They fly to Christ, to the church, to the word and ordinances, as doves to their own home; thither they fly for refuge and shelter, thither they fly for rest. What a pleasant sight to see poor souls hastening to Christ!
Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 28-9

Christ longs to extend His sway over every human mind. He longs to stamp His image and character upon every soul. When He was on this earth, He hungered for sympathy and co-operation, that His kingdom might extend and embrace the whole world. This earth is His purchased possession, and He would have men free and pure and holy. “For the joy that was set before Him,” He “endured the cross, despising the shame.” [Hebrews 12:2.] His earthly pilgrimage was cheered by the thought that He would not have all this travail for naught, but would win man back to loyalty to God. And there are triumphs yet to be accomplished through the blood shed for the world, that will bring everlasting glory to God and to the Lamb. The heathen will be given for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. Christ will see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. [See Isaiah 53:11.] GW 28.1

“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. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and Kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee.” “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” [Isaiah 60:1-5; 61:11.] GW 28.2


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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 313.6

When God's people so fully separate themselves from evil that He can let the light of heaven rest upon them in rich measure, and shine forth from them to the world, then there will be fulfilled more fully than it has ever been fulfilled in the past the prophecy of Isaiah, ... “The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.... The abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, and the force of the Gentiles shall come unto thee” (Isaiah 60:3-5). HP 313.6

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Ellen G. White
Welfare Ministry, 277-83

Not to Take Means From the Cause—The tithe is set apart for a special use. It is not to be regarded as a poor fund. It is to be especially devoted to the support of those who are bearing God's message to the world, and it should not be diverted from this purpose.—Review and Herald, Supplement, December 1, 1896. WM 277.1

The cause of God should not be overlooked that the poor may receive our first attention. Christ once gave His disciples a very important lesson on this point. When Mary poured the ointment on the head of Jesus, covetous Judas made a plea in behalf of the poor, murmuring at what he considered a waste of money. But Jesus vindicated the act, saying: “Why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on Me.” “Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” By this we are taught that Christ is to be honored in the consecration of the best of our substance. Should our whole attention be directed to relieving the wants of the poor, God's cause would be neglected. Neither will suffer if His stewards do their duty, but the cause of Christ should come first.—Testimonies for the Church 4:550, 551. WM 277.2

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