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Passage: Isaiah 60:1-7

Isaiah 60:1-7 – The Nations Come with Gold and Frankincense

Summary

When God redeems Israel, a light will go forth to attract nations and kings. All will see the glory of the Lord.

Analysis

In First Isaiah, God promised that "the people who walked in darkness" would see a great light with the birth of a new king of peace (9:2-7). In Second Isaiah, God announced that Israel would be a "light to the nations" (49:6). Now, in this text of Third Isaiah, the "light has come," and all nations will be attracted to "the brightness of your dawn."

The coming of the nations to the light of God and Israel is a theme of the Zion tradition used throughout this book (see Theological Themes). God acts to redeem God's chosen people, but also to attract the nations who come to see the amazing work that God is doing. In this text, the nations come to return the children of Israel who had been taken into exile.

The nations and kings come and pour out their wealth before God, even entering into the worship of God. The gifts of gold and frankincense serve to foreshadow the gifts brought by the magi, also attracted by the light, to pay homage to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:10-11).