In my morning devotions recently I came across a beautiful phrase, the “womb of the dawn.”
There is something beautiful and clarion about these words. If I were a poet, which I am not, I would write a poem with this as the title. The phrase is found in a psalm of David (110). David, the shepherd king, spent nights with the sheep, waiting for the dawn and the beginning of a new day, David the poet and hymn writer who took images from life and creation and turned them into Psalms that generations have sung and read.
The womb of the dawn carries the idea of the place in the East where the sun is born; it is the “day break” in the east. This part of the Psalm is translated “from the east you receive your renewed vigor.”
In his blog, El Shaddai Edwards reflects, “The womb of dawn is the unfolding of the day, the flowers that open and spread their petals to grasp the sun and the freshening dew.”
Both parts of the verse contain powerful and poetic images. And these phrases create parallel and complementary pictures. The womb of the dawn and the dew of your youth refer to the beginning of the day, the dawn surrenders to the rising sun and the dew provides the moisture that freshens the new day. The womb gives birth to a new day, the dew provides the vigor to sustain the youth.
A similar image is found in Isaiah 26:19:
But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise– let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy– your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
Here the reference is to the resurrection of the dead:
- Your dead will live
- Their bodies will rise
- The earth will give birth to her dead
- Wake up and shout for joy, you who dwell in the dust
Celebrate the dew of the morning. In the dawn comes the resurrection of the dead. Life from death, light from darkness.
John Calvin notes the French translation: “Des la matrice, comme de, l’estoille du matin,” “Out of the womb, as if from or out of the star of the morning.”
I love this insight. It is in the east, at the womb of the dawn, that the morning star shines its brightest. The bright and morning star is no less than the person of Jesus Christ. He is the one who brought life from death, who turned the darkness of the tomb into the resurrection morning.
Jesus identifies himself as “the bright Morning Star” (Rev. 22:16) as he speaks prophetically of his soon dawning: “Behold [LOOK!], I am coming soon!” (Rev. 22:7). This is the opening verse of his prophecy of his return (vs. 12-16). This prophecy ends with his self-identifying as the bright Morning Star.
The morning star (Venus) is the brightest at the dawn. When you see the morning star, you know the sun will rise soon. The long night of suffering is about to end.
We witness this dawning in the word about the coming of the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:3-5}:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
The darkness of the night will soon pass. The pain and death, sorrow and tears, mourning and crying will come to an end with the rising of the Son. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus is making all things new. Jesus is the bright Morning Star that will mark the coming return of the “Light of the World.” The bright Morning Star—the star in the east, the womb of the dawn—shows that the Son is rising soon.
The womb of the dawn brings hope
Isaiah captures a similar celebrative movement :
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.(Isaiah 61:3 KJV)
So how do I imagine this on a personal level?
- In the midst of watching my nation die, there is hope of a revival and reformation.
- When a son is diagnosed with cancer, there is hope he will be cancer free … and in fact he now is!
- When a baby grandson dies at six months old, the pain, tears, mourning, and darkness are so great. Yet, there is hope because of the womb of the dawn, the resurrection has come.
- Darrow Miller
 DBL Hebrew