Shining a light on the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly®

Probation After Death

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Written in the eighth century bc,  this text is regarded by some scriptural authorities as part of King Hezekiah’s coronation ritual. Others believe it was intended to celebrate the birth of a new descendant of David and the promise of an end to oppression. (Early Christians declared the prophecy fulfilled at Jesus’ birth; see example in Matthew 4:16, citation 11.) For both Christians and Jews the passage reflects renewed hope in God’s deliverance and provision.

Resources quoted in this issue

RR: Buttrick, George Arthur, Nolan B. Harmon, et al., eds. The Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Vol. 4, Psalms, Proverbs. Nashville: Abingdon, 1951–57; Barnes, Albert. Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible. New York, 1834–85. Also available at; Amplified® Bible, copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.; Spurgeon, Charles H. The Treasury of David. 7 vols. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1882–86. Also available at

Cit. 11: Benson, Joseph. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. New York: T. Carlton & J. Porter, 1857. Also available at 

Cit. 15: Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible: The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1955. Revised and updated by Saint Andrew, 2001. Reprinted as The New Daily Study Bible: The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001–04; Vine, W. E., and W. E. Vine. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. Westwood, NJ: Barbour &, 1985. Also available at; Stott, John R. W. The Message of Ephesians. Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1979. 

Letters & Conversations
April 18, 2022

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