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TitleIsaiah 60
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
EditorHalverson, Taylor
Book TitleOld Testament Minute: Isaiah
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Isaiah 60

Isaiah 60:1–20 The Glory of Zion in the Last Days

Isaiah presents a remarkable prophecy concerning Zion in the last days and into eternity, when the Lord’s people “shall dwell in celestial splendor” (Latter-day Saint Bible chapter heading). Isaiah submits approximately 41 parallelisms, three stunning chiasms (one of which is particularly acclaimed [60:1–3; see appendix]), and several symbols, which provide vividness and richness to the prophecy. An important note about the Hebrew: Isaiah uses feminine forms in the Hebrew (but lost in the English translation) that refer to Zion, which is presented as a female.

Isaiah 60:2

darkness will cover the earth/gross darkness the people. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face” (Doctrine and Covenants 112:23).

Isaiah 60:1–3

shine/light/glory/risen/brightness/rising/everlasting light. Light is a prominent feature of Zion and her inhabitants. The words “risen” and “rising” (zarach/yizrach in the Hebrew) refer specifically to the sunrise. Why so much light? Because “the Lord will arise [like the sunrise] on you, and His glory will appear on you.” And “the Lord will be your everlasting light and your God your glory” (60:19).

Isaiah 60:3

kings to the brightness of your rising. Anciently, many kings from various nations oppressed and abused the Lord’s covenant people, but now kings will come to Zion attracted to her “brightness.” Kings have important roles in the building of Zion: “Kings will serve you” (60:10), “kings” will come to Zion’s gates (60:11), and kings will provide care (60:16).

Isaiah 60:4

they all gather together. Lady Zion is commanded to look around and observe her “sons” and “daughters,” referring to those who will gather to Zion. The gathering is a prominent theme in this section: “Nations will go to your light” (60:3), “They come” (60:4), “They will come up” (60:7), “Bringing your children from a distance” (60:9), “Children . . . will come” (60:14). How many will gather? “There shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:69).

Isaiah 60:5

you will see and be radiant; your heart will be in awe and grow large. Speaking symbolically, when Lady Zion sees her children return, her countenance will emanate light and her heart enlarge with love.

Isaiah 60:5–7

wealth of nations will come to you. Isaiah prophesies that the wealth of nations will be used to build Zion. Isaiah employs transportation categories of his day—“multitude of camels” (from Midian, Ephah, and Sheba) and “ships of Tarshish”—to symbolize modern forms of transportation that are being used to transport wealth to Zion. Isaiah also uses objects of wealth—“gold and frankincense,” “flocks of Kedar,” “rams of Nebaioth”—to symbolize modern assets and resources, which are being used to build Zion. The world’s peoples will help build Zion; in fact, “nations” is a prominent topic in this prophecy, as may be seen by mention of “nations” (60:3), “wealth of nations” (60:5), “islands” (60:9), “foreigners” (60:10), “nations” (60:11), “nation and the kingdom,” “nations” (60:12), “milk of nations” (60:16), and “mighty nation” (60:22).

Isaiah 60:6–7

My altar/My glorious House. God’s temples are a prominent part of Zion. The “wealth of nations” is used to build His temples, which exist throughout the world. Anciently, “gold and frankincense” and “flocks” and “rams” were important components of Solomon’s temple; now they symbolize the building and operation of God’s temples.

Isaiah 60:8

fly like a cloud/like doves. Those who gather to Zion will come quickly and easily, like a cloud flies in the sky (some have suggested in airplanes), and as doves return to their cotes for safety and security.

Isaiah 60:19

DSS Isaiah and LXX read “by night.”

Isaiah 60:20

Lord will be your everlasting light. See also Revelation 22:5.

Isaiah 60:22

The little one will become a thousand, and small one a strong nation. These words remind us of the following passage: “To prepare the weak for those things which are coming on the earth, and for the Lord’s errand in the day when the weak shall confound the wise, and the little one become a strong nation, and two shall put their tens of thousands to flight” (Doctrine and Covenants 133:58).


Scripture Reference

Isaiah 60:1