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Christ In Type And Prophecy: Volumes 1&2 by Rev. A.J. Maas S.J.

1. THE CHAPTER AND ITS CONTEXT.—In ch. 58 and 59 the prophet presents, as it were, a solemn Day-of-Atonement service. When the work of expiation was over, the high-priest resumed the garments of glory and beauty of which he had divested himself (Lev. 16:23, 24), and in jubilee years, at the close of the day, the trumpet was sounded, proclaiming release and restoration of forfeited rights throughout the land. Similarly does the prophet in ch. 60 describe the time of restoration (cf. Acts 3:21). It is a period of creation in which the human world is raised out of confusion and desolation, out of darkness and death into which it had fallen. A new Paradise is planted in which the fruits of righteousness spring forth, and the holy people is seen prepared as a bride for the bridegroom, the true parent of all the living.

But ch. 60 does not bear merely a general resemblance to the restoration that took place in jubilee years after the yearly atonement described in the preceding chapters; there are several particular points in which ch. 60 is placed in opposition to the prophetic Atonement-Service. a. In ch. 59:9, 10 the people has been waiting in vain for light in dark places; in ch. 60:1, 3, 9 their light is come, and they are bidden to arise from the dead and shine. b. In ch. 59:4, 8, 9, 14 justice and peace stand at a distance; in ch. 60:17 they govern the Holy City. c. In ch. 59:11, 6, 7 salvation is far off, while violence reigns and causes waste and destruction; in ch. 60:18 the walls of the city proclaim salvation, there is no more violence to be heard of in the land, nor wasting and destruction. d. In ch. 59:19 reverence for the name of the Lord and his glory is promised, in ch. 60:1, 2, 9 all this has been realized. e. In ch. 59:20 the redeemer is foreseen, in ch. 60:16 the work of redemption has been accomplished.

2. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PROPHECY.—a. The Messianic nature of the prophecy is clear from the parallel description of Jerusalem as the centre of a theocracy to which all the nations shall submit (cf. 2:3; 11:10; 25:6; 42:6; 44:5; 49:6, 22; 54:15)

b. The light of the Lord spoken of in the prophecy is opposed to the darkness that covers the earth, and to the cloud that oppresses the people. The general darkness and the cloud enveloping the whole earth are not removed, according to the analogy of the Old Testament, except by the Messianic light. Hence the light predicted for Jerusalem in this prophecy is the light of the Messias.

c. The references to the patristic use of the chapter may be found in Kilber’s Analysis Biblica, 2d ed., i. p. 389.

d. The testimony of the Synagogue regarding the Messianic interpretation of Is. 60 is too clear to be rejected.

Verse 1. The Targum reads: “Arise, shine, O Jerusalem, for the time of thy redemption is come, and the glory of the Lord is revealed upon thee.” The Midrash on Num. 8:2 (sect. 15) says: “If you are careful in observing the lighting of the lamps, I will let shine for you a great light in the future, as it is said: Arise, be enlightened, for thy light is come.” Cf. Ber. R. i. with reference to Dan. 2:2; Ber. R. 2; Bemidbar R. 21. There are some very interesting remarks on the subject in Yalkut. Thus vol. i. (par. 363, p. 99 c), commenting on Ex. 25:3, curiously describes how God will in the world to come return to Israel the various things which they have offered for the tabernacle. Here the oil is brought into connection with the Messias in reference to Ps. 131 (132):17 and Is. 60:1. Again on p. 215 c (at the commencement of the parasha Behaalothekha) we have first a very curious comparison between the work of the tabernacle and that of the six days of creation, after which the question is put: Why did Moses make seven lights and Solomon seventy? To this the reply is given, that Moses rooted up seven nations before Israel, while Solomon reigned over all the seventy nations which, according to Jewish ideas, constitute the world. After this it is added, that God had promised that as Israel had lighted for his glory the lights in the sanctuary, so would he in the latter days fill Jerusalem with his glory, according to the promise in Is. 60:1, and also set up lights in the midst of it, according to Sophonias 1:12. The Messianic interpretation of Is. 60 is brought out still more clearly in the comments of Yalkut on that chapter. Part of it is curious enough to find place here. After explaining that the light for which Israel is looking is the light of the Messias, and that Gen. 1:4 really refers to it, it adds that God looked forward to the age of the Messias and his works, before the creation of the world, and that he hid the light for the Messias and his generation under his throne of glory. On Satan’s questioning him for whom the light is destined, he receives the answer: For him who in the latter days will conquer thee, and cover thy face with shame. On which Satan requests to see him, and when he is shown him, falls on his face and says: I confess that this is the Messias who will in the latter days cast me, and all the Gentiles, into Gehenna, according to Is. 25:8. In that hour all the nations will tremble and say before God: Who is this into whose hand we fall, what is his name, and what is his purpose? On which God replies: This is Ephraim, the Messias (the second Messias, the son of Joseph); my righteousness is his name. In the same volume ii. of the Yalkut (par. 359, p. 56 d) there are other remarkable discussions about the Messias, in connection with the wars in the days when the Messias will be revealed, and about Israel’s final salvation. One of the passages reminds one almost of the history of the temptation, beginning line 22 from the top: “It is a tradition of our Rabbis that in the hour when king Messias comes, he stands on the roof of the temple, and proclaims to them that the hour of their deliverance has come, and that if they believe they will rejoice in the light that has risen upon them, as it is written: Arise, be enlightened, for thy light is come (Is. 60:1). This light will be for them alone, as it is written: For darkness shall cover the earth (v. 2). In that hour also will God take the light of the Messias and of Israel, and all will walk in the light of the Messias and of Israel, as it is written: And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light (v. 3). And the kings of the nations will lick the dust from under the feet of the Messias, and will fall on their faces before him and before Israel, and say: Let us be servants to thee and to Israel” (cf. Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. ii. pp. 728 f.).

Verse 2. The Talmud (Sanhedrin, fol. 99, col. 1) has the following passage: “A Sadducee once asked Rabbi Abuhu: When will the Messias come? He replied: When darkness will cover your people. Why dost thou curse me? asked the other. The Rabbi answered: The Scripture says: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth.” The Midrash on Exod. 10:23 (sect. 14) reads: “God will bring darkness over the nations; but to the Israelites he will give light, as it is said. ‘For behold, darkness shall cover the earth’ ” (cf. Hebraica, vol. iv. p. 50).

Verse 3. The Midrash on Exod. 12:2 (sect. 15) reads: “In the future God will make ten new things … The fifth is that Jerusalem will be built with sapphires, as it is said: Behold, I will lay …” and “I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones” (Is. 44:12). And these stones will shine like the sun, and the nations of the world will come and rejoice in the glory of Israel, as it is said: “And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light” (Is. 60:3; cf. Hebraica, l. c., pp. 47 f.).

Verse 4. The Midrash on Cant. 1:4 has the following illustration: A queen is introduced whose husband and sons and sons-in-law go to a distant country. Tidings are brought to her: Thy sons are come back. On which she says: Cause for gladness have I, my daughters-in-law will rejoice. Next, tidings are brought her that her sons-in-law are coming, and she is glad that her daughters will rejoice. Lastly, tidings are brought: The king, thy husband, comes. On which she replies: This is indeed perfect joy, joy upon joy. So in the latter days will the prophets come, and say to Jerusalem: Thy sons shall come from afar (v. 4); and she will say: What gladness is this to me! And thy daughters shall rise up at thy side (v. 4), and again she will say: What gladness is this to me! But when they shall say to her: Behold, thy king cometh unto thee (Zach. 9:9), then shall Sion say: This indeed is perfect joy, as it is written (Zach. 9:9): Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion … (cf. Edersheim, l. c.).

Verse 7 is Messianically applied in the Talmud (Abod. Sar. 24 a).

Verse 8 is Messianically applied in the Midrash on Ps. 47 (48):13.

Verse 19 has a Messianic application in Yalkut (vol. i. p. 103 b), where God says to Israel: In this world you are engaged (or busied) with the light of the sanctuary, but in the world to come, for the merit of this light, I send you the king Messias, who is likened to a light, according to Ps. 131 (132):17 and Is. 60:19: “The Lord shall be unto thee for an everlasting light” (cf. Edersheim, l. c).

Verse 21. The Talmud (Sanhedrin, fol. 98, col. 1; cf. Yalkut in loc.) reads: “Rabbi Yochanan said: The son of David will come only in a generation which is either wholly guiltless or wholly guilty; for concerning the former it is written: And thy people shall be all just (Is. 60:21); and concerning the latter it is written: And he saw that there was no man (Is. 59:16)” (cf. Hebraica, l. c., p. 48).

Verse 22 too has a Messianic application in the Talmudic passages already cited.

IS. 60

Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about and see: all these are gathered together, they are all come to thee; thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha; all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord. All the flocks of Cedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nabaioth shall minister to thee; they shall be offered upon my acceptable altar, and I will glorify the house of my majesty. Who are these that fly as clouds and as doves to their windows? For the islands wait for me, and the ships of the sea in the beginning, that I may bring thy sons from afar: their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the Lord thy God, and to the holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.

And the children of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister to thee; for in my wrath have I struck thee, and in my reconciliation have I had mercy upon thee. And thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night, that the strength of the Gentiles may be brought to thee, and their kings may be brought. For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; and the Gentiles shall be wasted with desolation. The glory of Libanus shall come to thee, the fir-tree, and the box-tree, and the pine-tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place of my feet. And the children of them that afflicted me shall come bowing down to thee, and all that slandered thee shall worship the steps of thy feet, and shall call thee the city of the Lord, the Sion of the holy One of Israel. Because thon wast forsaken and hated, and there was none that passed through thee, I will make thee to be an everlasting excellence, a joy unto generation and generation. And thou shalt suck the milk of the Gentiles, and thou shalt be nursed with the breast of kings; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: and I will make thy visitation peace, and thy overseers justice.

Iniquity shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction in thy borders, and salvation shall possess thy walls, and praise thy gates. Thou shalt no more have the sun for thy light by day, neither shall the brightness of the moon enlighten thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee for an everlasting light, and thy God for thy glory. Thy sun shall go down no more, and thy moon shall not decrease; for the Lord shall be unto thee for an everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. And thy people shall be all just, they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hand to glorify me. The least shall become a thousand, and a little one a most strong nation; I the Lord will suddenly do this thing in its time.

1. The prophet foretells that all the Gentiles will be admitted into the new city of God, and that it will be their duty to enter it.

2. The prophet foretells, at least implicitly, that the Gentiles will manifest a more active interest in the building of the new city of God than will be shown by the Jews.

3. We may even infer from the prophecy, at least in the light of its fulfilment, that the Gentiles of the West will have a larger part in the membership of the new Jerusalem than the Gentiles of the East.

4. The Church rightly applies the prophecy to the adoration of the Magi, because their coming formed the beginning of the conversion of the Gentiles. But it must also be noted that the Feast of Epiphany is a day of thanksgiving not only for the conversion of the Magi, but for the conversion of the Gentiles in general.

5. We need not restrict the complete fulfilment of the prophecy to the second advent of the Christ; the Church has more than verified the most glowing prophetic utterances.

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