Hebrew Highlights 133 - Light
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron coming to you from Jerusalem.
ISA 60:1-5, "Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. "For behold, darkness will cover the earth, And deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you. "And nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. "Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. "Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you.”
You may recognize this as one of the most exciting promises to Israel. And, in this case, there can be no mistake that the subject is the physical Israel, not the spiritual counterpart.
A few words really pop out; shine, light, glory, risen, brightness, and radiant. If you think about it, the probability of 6 words pertaining to light showing up in 5 verses must be pretty small. Let’s take a look at the Hebrew originals, and see if we can turn on a few bulbs in this chandelier.
The first phrase says, “Kumi ori, ki va orech”. “Kumi” is the same thing you would say to your little girl in the morning when it’s time to get up for school. The roots of our 2 light words are the same, “or”, which is the same light used when God first created it in Genesis. Literally translated, it would say, “Get up, light up, for your light came.” However, the Hebrew picture we get is not complete without the phrase that follows; “kavod Adonai alaich zarach.” Literally, it says the Glory of the Lord has shined on you. So, it is easy for a Hebrew speaker to get the picture of God’s bride, all dressed in white, standing in front of a big towering window with thick dark velvet curtains. She pulls them open, and the light of the morning sun floods her face and body. To anyone looking into the window from the garden, the reflected rays of the sun would make her appear almost like an angel surrounded by white flames.
This picture is strengthened by the next sentence in the passage, “"For behold, darkness will cover the earth, And deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.” Replace the words “alaich yizrach”, or “rise upon you” with the more literal “fluoresce upon you”. Remember that in thick darkness, even the smallest candle seems bright. But here, the word “yizrach” immediately invokes a flash of bright sunlight. Darkness would have nowhere to hide. It would quite literally disappear, as the Glory of the Lord appears.
Now to the next phase of the promise, "And nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” Standing all alone, this line could say, “gentiles will march to your light, and kings to the reflection of your fire.” The word “noga” is used only ten times in the Old Testament, and 9 out of the 10 are clearly connected to the fire of suns, stars, or the pillar of fire leading the children of Israel in the wilderness. Another place the New American Standard translators decided on brightness is ISA 62:1, “For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning.”
Those of living in Zion can testify that not unlike ourselves, Zion’s righteousness and salvation are still on pilot light. But we look forward to this prophecy being fulfilled soon. The next phrase from our original verses reads, "Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms.” Now, if we do lift our eyes, we can see this word coming true. When Isaiah wrote this, the people of Israel were not yet scattered. It is today that we see them coming together back to the Holy Land from the four corners of the Earth. And, they are coming with a lot of children.
Perhaps the most revelatory of the pictures is the excerpt, "Then you will see and be radiant.” In Hebrew, the word radiant could also be gleaming, beaming, or glowing. The wonderful thing is that while giving off light, the bride will herself begin to see things in a bright light. As any Bible teacher will tell you, and I myself can testify, no one gets more out of a teaching than the preacher himself does. Any light is brightest in the area nearest to it.
The fact that God called the people of Israel to be the light of the world is no great secret. And the fact that they will again take up the torch is proven in Romans 11, among other places.
What’s so wonderful about Isaiah 60:1-5 is the shear abundance and magnitude of the illumination, which is both showered upon, and reflected from His people Israel. The world seems to us to be getting darker and darker, and so it is. We probably haven’t even begun to understand what deep darkness really is. For this reason also, when God’s light floods in, it will be even brighter than bright.
Another part of the good news in Isaiah 60 is that this final glorious revival of Israel, and its subsequent effect on the world will not be temporary or fade away. Let’s take a sneak peak at a fantastically encouraging verse found slightly later in the chapter and in history. ISA 60:19 "No longer will you have the sun for light by day, Nor for brightness will the moon give you light; But you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, And your God for your glory.”
Hallelujah! I don’t know about you, but this study has definitely been enlightening for me. I am radiating with joy at the thought of a bright future for God’s people.
Shalom Shalom from the already glowing Jerusalem