by Wes Hicks

A Beautiful Light: An Aesthetic Reading of Isaiah 60–62

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you (Isa 60:1).[1] 

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted … (Isa 61:1). 

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent … until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch (62:1).

I write at Easter 2020, and I hear Isaiah’s words in a new light. Or perhaps, a new darkness, for our world is in the shadow of COVID-19, even as we face more familiar shadows. These verses are well known to many of us. With Isaiah 61, this is not surprising. Jesus read from the passage, and announced its fulfilment, as he inaugurated his ministry. When he finished, the “eyes of all … were fixed on him … [All] were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth” (Luke 4:16–22). In recalling Isaiah, Jesus evoked something in his hearers’ imagination that stirred the heart—the cherished words of promise. I pray he will use these words again today.

In Jesus’ time, Isaiah 60–62 was known, as it typically is now, to be one poetic unit, the work of a prophetic voice in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile.[2] With scholarly tradition, I will refer to the speaker(s) as “Third” or “Trito” Isaiah (TI, Isa 56–66).[3] Isaiah is a text of profound poetic beauty, historical insight, and theological depth.[4] Yet, as Walter Brueggemann observes, it is not first history or theology—it is prophecy, a re-description of Israel’s experience in which the character and purposes of God are communicated in human speech.[5] The Isaianic tradition stands in Israel’s painful story and speaks forward, not finally of judgment, but of YHWH’s fidelity.[6] It holds forth an “offer of a counter-world, counter to denial and despair, counter-rooted in YHWH’s steadfast purpose for a new Jerusalem … new covenant … all things new.”[7]

TI carries this voice into a special situation of faith. Jerusalem is broken. Its destruction in 587 BCE was wholesale. The city was pillaged and burned, with most of its leaders executed or exiled.[8] Its population fell from 250,000 to around 20,000; many were killed in battle, others fled or died of starvation or disease. The remnant consisted of the poor and some leaders, including priests, who continued to facilitate liturgies of lamentation.[9] In 538 BCE, Cyrus released Israel’s exiles to return home, but only some did.[10] “Deutero” Isaiah (DI, Isa 40–55) prophesied hope to the generation in Babylon. TI’s community waits for this hope to be fulfilled.

This article offers an aesthetic reading of Isaiah 60–62, a meditation on a promise through the narrated, aesthetic experience of TI’s city, “Zion.” I use “aesthetic” in its archaic sense, which has to do with the study of sensation, but am also attentive to the aesthetic as it concerns beauty. This reflection engages with lived, “felt” experiences the prophet conveys and affects through his poetry, and with his central motif—a movement from “darkness” to “light.”

Reading the Bible in this way is not new. We encounter Scripture through the senses; reading is affective as well as cognitive. From Augustine to von Balthasar, the church has known the role of the senses in directing the soul to God.[11] We are invited to experience God— to pant after him and to eat the bread of life.[12] This is certainly true of the prophets. For Brueggemann, “the task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to [that] of the dominant culture around us.”[13] He calls this prophetic imagination. The prophets stand in broken realities and hold forth YHWH’s counter-world in symbols which serve to lead their people in.[14]

Isaiah 60–62 is one of the great works of prophetic imagination in Scripture. Reading it with the senses offers us a window into what Zion’s experience truly was in TI’s time. We may find her condition echoed in ours today. In this article we will explore the depths of Zion’s “darkness,” witness YHWH’s “dawn,” and glimpse what happens in the “daylight,” as his glory pours over the earth. We will end with a reflection on the moment of dawn in the light of Easter, in a year in which much of our world is in deepest night.


For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples … (Isa 60:2)

Isaiah 60–62 usher us into a great “darkness,” to witness the rising of an incomparable light. If we are to know the weight of the promise, we must sit with this darkness first. TI’s poetry is a window into what has been, is, and will be for his people. His vision is cosmic and profound, sinking through deepening levels of pain before resting in the resignation of a human spirit. Zion is depicted as a woman lying in ashes of mourning. That image will anchor our reflection.

The Violent Memory

Zion’s darkness begins with a memory. In other words, her present includes an ongoing, lived experience of things that once separated her from “light.” TI gives us glimpses into this past. Each memory has to do with violence. Zion remembers being struck down. Her “ancient ruins,” “former devastations,” “ruined cities,” and “devastations of many generations” (61:4) are monuments to her destruction. She is defeated. Her enemy plundered (62:8), oppressed (60:14, 17), and despised her (60:14). She is humiliated.

These memories imply that Zion believes her suffering to be something that was done to her. She lives with the pain of injustice; her salvation will be “vindication” (62:1–2, cf. 61:8–9). Yet how is she to hold this promise? For surely the darkest aspect of her memory is that she was, in a sense, struck down by YHWH (60:10). YHWH’s anger, followed always by a turning to mercy, is a key theme in Isaiah.[15] Zion must ask if he is the perpetrator of her suffering, or else a distant One who has “observed silently, permitting exploitation and abuse without protest or intervention.”[16] No answer is given here.

Outer Ruin

Zion was struck down—now, she is ruined. There is an “outer” aspect of her ruin in this poetry, that is, a part which is visible and that she feels in relation to others. TI paints her condition in a series of states. We see some in what is and others reflected in what he promises will be.

Zion is afflicted (61:1), indicating an ongoing experience of oppression.[17] She carries the shame of poverty and disinheritance, which leave her standing with YHWH publicly open to question.[18] She feels unwanted and unbeautiful (61:3–4; 62:10), rejected by the nations (60:14, 15), and ashamed (61:7). This is a tender wound, for she is not only ashamed before the world. She feels unlovely before YHWH and unworthy of attention.[19]

Inner Ruin

Yet, there is a deeper part of Zion’s ruin that is a result of time. Here we find statements of perpetual identity, implying sustained suffering and lost hope: the language of forsakenness, barrenness, and “thick darkness.”


“You shall no more be termed Forsaken …” (62:4). In the ancient world, a name held a person’s character and being.[20] A sense of forsakenness has lodged in Zion’s identity. She has not been a destination for a long time (60:15; 62:10). She is forgotten to some.[21] The promise of company following her adornment (60:2–8, 15) implies the nations are not drawn to her. That her children stay away is an even deeper source of pain. The reference in 62:5 to her sons “marrying her” indicates she is unsure they love her enough to come home.[22]

Yet, the cry of forsakenness finally rests with YHWH. She feels the absence of his glory, favour, and covenant love. His silence is experienced as widowhood or divorce.[23] TI’s charge to “remind” him (62:6–7) suggests a failure to fulfil his word. Perhaps he has forgotten.[24] More powerful than captivity or being lost, Paul Hanson writes, “is the thought that those able to help have abandoned the search.”[25] How could YHWH, whose presence defines Zion, forsake her?


“Your land shall no more be termed Desolate …” (62:4). Zion’s second name depicts a wasteland. TI paints two aspects of her desolation. One is a lack of vitality. Without walls, she is vulnerable. She is stripped of grain and wine, symbols of sustenance and joy (62:8–9).[26] Her “affliction” suggests economic powerlessness, and she is further weakened by childlessness.[27] Yet her desolation reaches further, to a withering of creative power. Here is the language of barrenness—of an inability to produce something of value. Zion’s barrenness is reflected in promises of new life.[28] In the present, she is unable to bring forth anything new.


We come to TI’s central image—of darkness. Isaiah 60:2 uses “darkness” (hoshekh), a physical absence of light, and “thick darkness” (‘araphel), evoking a black cloud, an impenetrable mass. "For darkness shall cover the earth ..." Here lightlessness envelops the earth like a garment. This darkness preceded the creation (Gen 1:2), and the echo is likely intentional. Hoshekh signals the absence of YHWH’s creative power, in contrast to the coming "light."[29]

Yet, Zion’s night is deeper: “… and thick darkness the peoples.” ‘Araphel is an almost animate darkness. In Scripture it is used of night, and this too is likely intentional. The night’s darkness is secrecy, chaos, and loss of control.[30] ‘Araphel summons fear. It is also used of the darkness that surrounds YHWH, that is, of his hiddenness (cf. Exod 20:21). And here is the core of Zion’s darkness. She is blind, without comprehension, unable to see a possibility of change. She cannot get through it. She cannot reach him.

The Resignation of Death

The night is deep. Zion is without knowledge of YHWH’s presence, without the vitality and creative power that flow from his being, and without vision to perceive a new situation. She mourns. Claus Westermann locates this poetry between two community laments (Isa 59 and 63).[31] I want to suggest what we read is akin to a particular aspect of grief—a “passive” stage of depression. Zion is still—a ruin with no sign of life. She is silent, unable to praise YHWH. Hanson suggests that “when” is a question ever on her lips as she waits “for injustice to cease, the power of occupying armies to be broken, racism and discrimination to end.”[32] But I see a different figure. The fact TI must cry out for her (62:1, 6) indicates she is unexpectant. Zion has cried her tears. Still, silent, she gives up her spirit.

This darkness is where a word will appear. Brueggemann writes of prophetic grief that it is the embrace of ending that permits beginnings.[33] Zion embraces an ending. What YHWH brings about will be utterly new. It will have a cosmic effect, and it will be entirely his doing.[34]


Zion sleeps. Her streets are empty and silent, her broken walls silhouetted like failed guardians against the night. The air is cold. All memory of sunlight and laughter, all promises of glory, and even the passion of grief, have left her. She is still—a smouldering wick in a black desert.

A king in a distant land sits in the same unyielding darkness. No speech is heard in his halls, no sound of celebration. The strength has left his once mighty bones. He releases a soft breath.

The world is quiet.


Suddenly, the text floods with light.

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you (60:1).

TI’s dawn is a theophany, a visible manifestation of God to humanity.[35] One cannot exaggerate the force of the contrast in this image: the quick rise of the Middle Eastern sun, the bright stone of the temple, and Jerusalem’s shadows vanishing.[36] This is no ordinary light; it is the glory of YHWH, whom no human being can look upon and live. It answers the strains of Isaiah 58–59.

[T]hose in the west shall fear the name of the LORD,
and those in the east, his glory;
for he will come like a pent-up stream
that the wind of the LORD drives on (59:19).

Isaiah 62 anticipates the dawn as salvation “shining out” like a “burning torch” (lappiyd, 62:1). Lappiyd is rarely used in Scripture. It describes the flaming torch of YHWH where he seals a covenant after a “deep and terrifying darkness” descends on Abram (Gen 15). It is used of the flashes of lightning on the mountain where YHWH, again in “thick darkness,” marks a covenant with Moses (Exod 20). Darkness shrouds YHWH from both men as a veil of protection.

Yet, in TI’s sight, the darkness disappears—both hoshekh and ‘araphel—with vast implications. Hoshekh, the darkness that “covered the face of the deep” in the beginning, is broken by light. ‘Araphel, the cloud that hides Zion from YHWH, is expelled by his glory. This is a renewal of creation, a revelation of light that not only ignites a city but works its way into the recesses of Zion’s pain, announcing all things will be made new.

The Message of Dawn

The dawn carries a message: YHWH is here. He rises like the sun after a long night. There is a deeper sense, too, in which he is risen. Zion knew his hiddenness, but he is not dead—he is alive. YHWH’s life allows Zion’s faith to move beyond circumstance, Brueggemann writes, to the God “who is not a prisoner or victim of any circumstance”—not even the reality of death.[37]

The dawn says YHWH is with us. DI’s word to the exiles was not that they would return to Zion, but that YHWH would return to her.[38] His presence is her source of security, goodness, and being. To be without it is death. In the dawn, YHWH again says, “my people.”[39] There is a tenderness in the appearance of his glory upon and over her (60:2). He is her salvation—the root yasha’ (60:16, 18; 61:10; 62:1, 11) is expressed in the name Isaiah (and later, Jesus).

The dawn says YHWH is faithful. In this moment, Zion sees the first fruits of the exilic hope fulfilled. DI prophesied the end of the “former things” and initiation of a “new thing” of YHWH (cf. Isa 43:18-20). The dawn announces a new situation—a new kingdom.

The Effect of Dawn

The dawn sets a transformation in motion. Isaiah 61 depicts it as the proclamation of “good news” (basar) to Zion’s mourners. Basar is news that awakens joy and beautifies the face.[40] This is an image of animation. The prophet is animated by the “spirit [ruah] of the LORD” (61:1). He declares healing for the brokenhearted, liberty for captives, and release for prisoners, all implications of YHWH’s favour. The word begins to change its hearers. Ashes are exchanged for a beautiful headdress,[41] lament for the “oil of gladness,”[42] and a faint spirit for a “mantle of praise.” The mourners stand, strong, “oaks of righteousness” displaying YHWH’s glory (61:3).

This is a picture of resurrection. Isaiah 60 begins with the imperative “arise” (qum, “get up”!). In the Old Testament qum is used to spur the weary, sleeping, or despairing to action for their good. The root is found once in the New Testament—when Jesus, in Aramaic, calls a girl in the sleep of death to arise. “Talitha, cum” (Mark 5:41). Zion is pictured as a woman lying still. YHWH speaks life. Her role is to receive, but first she must choose to arise. She stands and “shines” (‘or), used of a faint person who starts to recover.[43] YHWH’s light is reflected in the face of his beloved. But his work has just begun.


YHWH’s glory has awakened Zion, and it continues to rise. As the poetry moves, light pours through the land, and we see the full implications of his favour. Death is worked backwards.

Zion stands in the warm light, her strength returning. Her face brightens. Then we hear another imperative. “Lift up your eyes and look around” (60:4). She looks to the horizon and sees ships—hundreds, thousands (60:4–5)! It is her children—her sons, a symbol of her vitality, and her infant daughters, a picture of innocence and beauty.[44] They have not forsaken her; they delight in her (62:5). Zion’s face becomes “radiant” (nahar)—the brightness of joy.[45] Her restoration to her children is associated with a healing of her relationship with the land, which they will possess as an inheritance (60:21; 62:8–9). This is jubilee.[46]

Zion longed for her children’s return, but what she sees next is beyond imagining. The wealth of the sea and of nations comes to her in an act of divine blessing. She trembles and rejoices.[47] And then—the nations come (60:9). They waited for YHWH. Now, seeing his light on Zion, they emerge from darkness (60:4–17). They come to him in surrender, bringing their riches as an offering.[48] Zion’s abusers fall at her feet (60:10–16; 61:5–6). They have returned what they stole. Now they rebuild what they destroyed, restoring her beauty, honour, and strength (e.g., 60:5–10).[49] In welcoming them, she becomes a part of their restoration.

The rebuilding answers Zion’s barrenness. New life springs from the ground. What is rebuilt? TI names five aspects of the city: her walls (strength, security, peace: 60:10, 18; 62:6), gates (beauty, honour, life: 60:11),[50] highway (to welcome blessing: 62:10), land (fruitfulness of her covenant relationship),[51] and temple (of YHWH’s glorious presence: 60:7, 13). Floral images depict renewing life at her centre. Still, the reversal of Zion’s barrenness is a penultimate act of resurrection, for it is not YHWH’s gifts that are her salvation. It is YHWH.

There are only a few references to worship in Isaiah 60–62. Yet, they create an architecture for the promise. The poetry moves to the place where YHWH dwells, as if to a centre of gravity. His light draws the nations, and they do not stop at the gates. They move into the city and to his temple (60:7, 13). Zion’s inversion, too, is fully realised here (61:6; 62:9).

With all creation, Zion comes to YHWH with praise (60:6, 18; 61:3, 11), acknowledging his worth and what he has done, and offers him worship—her devotion and adoration.[52] There is an intimacy here that leads TI to the metaphor of marriage.[53] TI sees a bridegroom returning to his bride. He is her salvation, and she is his reward, their everlasting union the “recompense” that is before him (62:11).[54] The poetry is saturated with mutual belonging. In Isaiah 62, the way for a wedding feast is prepared. Zion is invited into YHWH’s inner courts for a covenant meal.[55] She is secure in his covenant faithfulness (61:8; 62:8, 11) and is asked for her devotion in return.[56] She will love him, because he loved her first.[57]

Yet, finally, she will love him for who he is. In the context of covenant, TI’s references to glory and beauty speak of a longing simply to behold the beloved. They speak of wonder.[58] Zion is pleasing in YHWH’s sight. He is consumed with her beauty. He draws it out, displays her as a “crown of beauty” and “royal diadem,” delights in her, and rejoices over her as a bridegroom (62:3–5). She reflects his longing. Glorification and beautification bathe this movement of salvation in covenant intimacy.

It is all for YHWH’s glory. TI is captivated with this light.[59] At the end of Isaiah 60, sun and moon are displaced as YHWH’s glory is revealed in the “comprehensive reach of creation.”[60] Identities are re-ordered. The nations worship YHWH. Zion finds her life in communion with him. She is his beloved—his city, his people, his priesthood, and his bride. He gives her a new name: “My Delight Is in Her,” “Married,” a “Holy People, Redeemed of the Lord” (62:4, 12). The city glimmers with YHWH’s light. Her life shines forth; her darkness is defeated. She who experienced death is “Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken” (62:12).

Little Lights

We have encountered a darkness in this reading of Isaiah—a people’s sense of forsakenness by God—and we have seen a glorious light. As I sit with the promise this Easter, in this global “night” of pandemic, conflict, loss, fear, isolation, and death, I am drawn again to the image of the dawn. To close: a reflection and a prayer.

TI speaks of darkness in the present. It is still night in Zion. He knows his community’s pain, her sense of forsakenness. He speaks from inside her lament. What word is he given? He testifies to a dawn. He knows YHWH’s presence; it covers him.[61] YHWH’s Spirit anoints him, showing him the implications of YHWH’s favour and the end of Zion’s salvation in everlasting light. TI’s role is to hold this light—hold before his people the reality of a God “at the centre of a scene from which they presumed he had fled.”[62] YHWH is with us. In between promise and fulfilment, TI cries out in the night (Isa 62). He calls YHWH to reveal himself as the dawn. He calls a community to intercede for Zion. And he calls her to prepare, for her salvation is coming.

This Easter I am reminded daily of darkness. We all are. A man walks two hundred miles from Delhi to reach his family, and he falls to the earth, alone. A woman trembles in a hospital bed, alone, kept from her beloved’s touch—the world a blur of masked faces, panicked movement, and piercing alarms. My 97-year-old neighbour sits in his armchair and sighs, alone. Isolation is not new to him; he has lived in this chair for years. I hear a hundred more stories of violence, desolation, and abandonment. I see the empty streets of New York City and Milan. I hear cries of forsakenness, and I feel an ache—a thick darkness that for many covers the earth.

Then, I see Jesus Christ: hanging still, silent, under the same impenetrable cloud (Matt 27:45–46). He who knows perfect communion with the Father enters the heart of our night, experiencing “in all its fullness [and] horror the suffering of loneliness,” a feeling of utter desolation.[63] He cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (cf. Ps 22:1)

And in that very moment, I see a dawn—the dawn of grace, the dawn of the glory of God in Christ—appearing even in the deepest night. Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes:

Now we know that there is no longer any suffering on earth in which Christ, our only helper, is not with us, suffering and praying with us. On the basis of this conviction, the great psalms of trust emerge … whoever knows that God has entered into our suffering in Jesus Christ himself may say with great confidence: “For you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”[64]

In Christ, God has entered our darkness, filling even the unfathomable depths of the twenty-second psalm, the thick darkness of forsakenness, with his living presence. A light is seen on the cross, a “tattered … sign of glory.”[65] God is with us.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.[66]

May we remember today what this dawn means. Christ rises for us; his light lives in us.[67] May we hold it for those who are unable to discern God’s presence in this moment. For though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, says this beautiful light, we are not forsaken.

Ryan Lang is a PhD candidate at the University of Otago. His research explores the song of the church in the "night." He is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Laidlaw College, where he has the privilege of connecting with students as they dig deeper wells to draw from in their faith journey.

[1] All quotations from the Bible are taken from the New Revised Standard Version.

[2] We are unsure of the work's exact placement, but most interpreters agree it is post-exilic. See Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah, 1st ed. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998), 3.

[3] Bernhard Duhm first proposed a division between First, Second, and Third Isaiah—chapters 1–39, 40–55, and 56–66 respectively—in 1892, recognising their different historical contexts, literary modes, and theological concerns. See Walter Brueggemann, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 160.

[4] John Goldingay, Isaiah, NIBC (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 22–27.

[5] Brueggemann, Isaiah, 2.

[6] Walter Brueggemann, Introduction, 106-08.

[7] Ibid., 108.

[8] Elizabeth Achtemeier, The Community and Message of Isaiah 56–66: A Theological Commentary (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1982), 22.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Claus Westermann, Isaiah 40–66: A Commentary (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1969), 295.

[11] For a useful discussion see James Fodor, "The Beauty of the Remembered: Scripture Reading as a Cognitive/Aesthetic Practice," in The Beauty of God: Theology and the Arts, ed. Daniel Treier, Mark Husbands, and Roger Lundin (Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007).

[12] Larry Crabb, cited in Jo Ann Davidson, "Toward a Scriptural Aesthetic," Andrews University Seminary Studies 41, no. 1 (2003): 108.

[13] Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination, 2nd ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 3, my emphasis.

[14] Ibid., 63–64.

[15] See Brevard S. Childs, Isaiah, 1st ed. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000), 497.

[16] Brueggemann, Isaiah, 207, 19.

[17] Reflected in promises of peace, salvation, justice (60:16–18; 61:1, 8). The phrase “liberty to the captives” (61:3) likely refers to release from economic debt. See Childs, Isaiah, 506.

[18] Reflected in promises of land and wealth (60:5, 9, 11, 17, 21; 61:2, 7).

[19] Reflected in promises of beauty (60:15, 61:3, 62:3, 62:5) and a place in the temple (60:17, 21; 61:3, 6, 10, 11; 62:1–2). See Julian Morgenstern, "Isaiah 61," Hebrew Union College Annual 40 (1969): 112–13, 19–21.

[20] James Muilenburg, “Introduction to and Exegesis of Isaiah 40–66,” in Interpreter’s Bible, edited by G. A. Buttrick (Nashville: Abingdon, 1952-57), 718.

[21] Reflected in promises of renewed attention (61:9, 11; 62:1, 11).

[22] Childs, Isaiah, 496.

[23] Brueggemann, Isaiah, 217–22.

[24] Ibid., 222.

[25] Paul D. Hanson, Isaiah 40–66 (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1995), 226.

[26] Muilenberg, “Introduction,” 711.

[27] Brueggemann, Isaiah, 215. The images are reflected in promises of strength (60:10, 22; 61:3–4). See Morgenstern, "Isaiah 61," 113.

[28] See 60:22; 61:3–4, 11; 62:4–5.

[29] Muilenberg, “Introduction,” 697-99.

[30] In 62:1, it also carries a note of injustice. See Brueggemann, Isaiah, 210.

[31] Westermann, Isaiah, 300.

[32] Hanson, Isaiah, 222.

[33] Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination, 56.

[34] Brueggmann, Isaiah, 209–11.

[35] Oxford Dictionaries, “Theophany,” Oxford Dictionaries: Language Matters, n.d.,

[36] Goldingay, Isaiah, 342.

[37] Brueggemann, Isaiah, 211.

[38] Achtemeier, Community and Message, 33.

[39] Ibid.

[40] H. F. W. Gesenius, "בָּשַׂר," in Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1857).

[41] Such as the turban of a priest or bridegroom or a woman’s millinery (cf. Ezek 24:17–23). See John Goldingay, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Isaiah 56–66 (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), 304.

[42] Perfumed oil is a substance of beautification, used particularly in preparation for banquets, making the hair and face shine and scenting the air around the anointed (cf. Ps 104:14–15). See Shalom M. Paul, Isaiah 40–66: Translation and Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman's, 2012), 541.

[43] H. F. W. Gesenius, "אוֹר," in Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1857).

[44] Achtemeier, Community and Message, 84.

[45] H. F. W. Gesenius, "נָהַר," in Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1857).

[46] Brueggemann, Isaiah, 214.

[47] Ibid., 207.

[48] John Goldingay, The Theology of the Book of Isaiah (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014), 81.

[49] See also Isa 60:13–14, 17; 61:1–7; 62:4, 12.

[50] Muilenberg, “Introduction,” 703.

[51] Brueggemann, Isaiah, 221. On the connection between the spiritually health community and the secure and productive land see also Hanson, Isaiah, 223.

[52] Oxford Dictionaries, “Worship,” Oxford Dictionaries: Language Matters, n.d.,

[53] The metaphor is explicit in 61:10–11 and 62:4–5 and implicit elsewhere (60:1–2, 16, 21–22; 61:3; 62:3, 9, 11–12).

[54] See Paul, Isaiah, 136–37, 559.

[55] Achtemeier, Community and Message, 99.

[56] Goldingay, Isaiah, 20–22.

[57] Achtemeier, Community and Message, 81.

[58] Goldingay, Isaiah, 20–22.

[59] Brueggemann says of this prophet that “glorifying and glorification are always on his lips.” Brueggemann, Introduction, 300.

[60] Brueggemann, Isaiah, 210.

[61] On the special anointing of this prophet, see Goldingay, Isaiah, 346.

[62] Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination, 68.

[63] Gordon Huelin, The Light of the Cross (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1969), 57.

[64] Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible, English ed., Deitrich Bonhoeffer Works 5 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996),170–71.

[65] Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Theological Education at Finkenwalde: 1935–1937, English ed., Deitrich Bonhoeffer Works 14 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013), 363.

[66] The first stanza of John Bowring’s 1825 hymn, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” cited in Samuel M. Zwemer, The Glory of the Cross (London and Edinburgh: Oliphants, 1954), v.

[67] From Bonhoeffer’s draft sermon on Isaiah 60:1–6, in Bonhoeffer, Theological Education, 597-98.