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Isaiah 60:1

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Arise - This is evidently addressed to the church, or to Zion regarded as the seat of the church. It is represented as having been in a state of affliction and calamity (compare the notes at Isaiah 3:26; Isaiah 52:1-2). She is now called on to arise from the dust, and to impart to others the rich privileges which were conferred on her.

Shine - (אורי 'ôrı̂y ). Lowth renders this, ‹Be thou enlightened.‘ Margin, ‹Be enlightened, for thy light cometh.‘ Noyes, ‹Enjoy light.‘ Septuagint Φωτίζου φωτίζου Phōtizou phōtizou - ‹Be enlightened; be enlightened, O Jerusalem.‘ Herder renders it, ‹Be light.‘ Vitringa regards the expression as equivalent to this, ‹pass into a state of light. That is, enjoy light thyself, and impart it freely to others, Gesenius renders it, ‹Shine, be bright; that is, be surrounded and resplendent with light.‘ The idea probably is this, ‹rise now from a state of obscurity and darkness. Enter into light; enter into times of prosperity.‘ It is not so much a command to impart light to others as it is to be encompassed with light and glory. It is the language of prophecy rather than of command; a call rather to participate in the light that was shining than to impart it to others. The Septuagint and the Chaldee here add the name ‹Jerusalem,‘ and regard it as addressed directly to her.

Thy light is come - On the word ‹light,‘ see the notes at Isaiah 58:8, Isaiah 58:10. The light here referred to is evidently that of the gospel; and when the prophet says that that light ‹is come,‘ he throws himself into future times, and sees in vision the Messiah as having already come, and as pouring the light of salvation on a darkened church and world (compare the notes at Isaiah 9:2).

And the glory of the Lord - There is refer once here, doubtless, to the Shechinah or visible splendor which usuallv accompanied the manifestations of God to his people (see the notes at Isaiah 4:5). As Yahweh manifested himself in visible glory to the Israelites during their journey to the promised land, so he would manifest himself in the times of the Messiah as the glorious protector and guide of his people. The divine character and perfections would be manifested like the sun rising over a darkened world.

Is risen upon thee - As the sun rises. The word used here (זרח zârach ) is commonly applied to the rising of the sun Genesis 32:31; Exodus 22:2; 2 Samuel 23:4; Psalm 104:22. The comparison of the gospel to the sun rising upon a dark world is exceedingly beautiful, and often occurs in the Bible (compare Malachi 4:2; Luke 1:78, margin.)

Upon thee - Upon thee, in contradistinction from other nations and people. The gospel shed its first beams of glory on Jerusalem.

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Arise - Call upon God through Christ, for his salvation; and,

Shine - אורי ori, be illuminated: for till thou arise and call upon God, thou wilt never receive true light.

For thy light is come - אורך בא כי ki ba orech, for thy light cometh. The Messiah is at the door; who, while he is a light to lighten the Gentiles, will be the glory - the effulgence, of his people Israel.

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
Christ's Object Lessons, 420-1

Christ does not bid His followers strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord's glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your influence. COL 420.1

The revelation of His own glory in the form of humanity will bring heaven so near to men that the beauty adorning the inner temple will be seen in every soul in whom the Saviour dwells. Men will be captivated by the glory of an abiding Christ. And in currents of praise and thanksgiving from the many souls thus won to God, glory will flow back to the great Giver. COL 420.2

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1. To those who go out to meet the Bridegroom is this message given. Christ is coming with power and great glory. He is coming with His own glory and with the glory of the Father. He is coming with all the holy angels with Him. While all the world is plunged in darkness, there will be light in every dwelling of the saints. They will catch the first light of His second appearing. The unsullied light will shine from His splendor, and Christ the Redeemer will be admired by all who have served Him. While the wicked flee from His presence, Christ's followers will rejoice. The patriarch Job, looking down to the time of Christ's second advent, said, “Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger.” Job 19:27, margin. To His faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion and familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts. COL 420.3

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 43

It is thus that God's purpose in calling His people, from Abraham on the plains of Mesopotamia to us in this age, is to reach its fulfillment. He says, “I will bless thee, ... and thou shalt be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2. The words of Christ through the gospel prophet, which are but re-echoed in the Sermon on the Mount, are for us in this last generation: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1. If upon your spirit the glory of the Lord is risen, if you have beheld His beauty who is “the chiefest among ten thousand” and the One “altogether lovely,” if your soul has become radiant in the presence of His glory, to you is this word from the Master sent. Have you stood with Christ on the mount of transfiguration? Down in the plain there are souls enslaved by Satan; they are waiting for the word of faith and prayer to set them free. MB 43.1

We are not only to contemplate the glory of Christ, but also to speak of His excellences. Isaiah not only beheld the glory of Christ, but he also spoke of Him. While David mused, the fire burned; then spoke he with his tongue. While he mused upon the wondrous love of God he could not but speak of that which he saw and felt. Who can by faith behold the wonderful plan of redemption, the glory of the only-begotten Son of God, and not speak of it? Who can contemplate the unfathomable love that was manifested upon the cross of Calvary in the death of Christ, that we might not perish, but have everlasting life—who can behold this and have no words with which to extol the Saviour's glory? MB 43.2

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 395

There is a large vineyard to be cultivated; but while Christians are to work among unbelievers, they are not to appear like worldlings. They are not to spend their time talking politics or acting politics; for by so doing they give the enemy opportunity to come in and cause variance and discord. Those in the ministry who desire to stand as politicians, should have their credentials taken from them; for this work God has not given to high or low among His people. GW 395.1

God calls upon all who minister in word and doctrine to give the trumpet a certain sound. All who have received Christ, ministers and lay members, are to arise and shine; for great peril is right upon us. Satan is stirring up the powers of earth. Everything in this world is in confusion. God calls upon His people to hold aloft the banner bearing the message of the third angel.... GW 395.2

God's children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. They are not to link their interests with the interests of the world. “Give proof of your allegiance to Me,” He says, “by standing as My chosen heritage, as a people zealous of good works.” Do not take part in political strife. Separate from the world, and refrain from bringing into the church or school ideas that will lead to contention and disorder. Dissension is the moral poison taken into the system by human beings who are selfish. God wants His servants to have clear perceptions, true and noble dignity, that their influence may demonstrate the power of truth. GW 395.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 368

Why not awake the voice of our spiritual songs in the travels of our pilgrimage? Why not come back to our simplicity and life of fervor? The reason why we are not more joyful is that we have lost our first love. Let us then be zealous and repent, lest the candlestick be moved out of its place. 6T 368.1

The temple of God is opened in heaven, and the threshold is flushed with the glory which is for every church that will love God and keep His commandments. We need to study, to meditate, and to pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of song and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and precious songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assemblies of the saints. Murmuring and complaining over little disappointments and difficulties will cease. As we apply the golden eyesalve we shall see the glories beyond. Faith will cut through the heavy shadow of Satan, and we shall see our Advocate offering up the incense of His own merits in our behalf. When we see this as it is, as the Lord desires us to see it, we shall be filled with a sense of the immensity and diversity of the love of God. 6T 368.2

God teaches that we should assemble in His house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for all who love Him. There they will assemble in the sanctuary from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to another, to unite in loftiest strains of song, in praise and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever. 6T 368.3

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