Published on August 18, 2021 by Eugene Ho

Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2021 | 204 pages

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance

by Fred G. Zaspel


I don’t know of another book like this.

In Luke 1:78 Zechariah describes the fulfillment of the Messianic promise as “dayspring” or “sunrise” – “the sunrise shall visit us from on high.” I doubt many of us have taken the time to discover the significance of this rather obscure term. Where did Zechariah get that title? Did he make up this imagery himself? Or just maybe he was a better student of Scripture than the rest of us and was making an important connection that we have too often overlooked!

David Wenkel has done the heavy lifting. He insightfully connects this title to the many Old Testament prophecies of the Lord coming – for blessing and for judgment – “from the east.” Think also in terms of the layout of the tabernacle and temple, the city gates of Jerusalem, and the Lord’s return to his temple. And more. See the Table of Contents below.

A very well-informed, well-researched work in Biblical Theology. You’ll learn much from this book! Highly recommended. A genuine contribution to biblical studies.


Table of Contents


  1. Zechariah’s Use of the Term ‘Dayspring’
  2. The Question of Messianic Hope
  3. Sunrise Language and God’s Personal Presence
  4. The Sunrise and Divine Visitation
  5. Patterns of Redemptive Escalation
  6. Summary

Chapter 1: The Visitation of God from the East in the Garden of Eden

  1. The First Thing Called Good
  2. Planted in the East
  3. Cast out toward the East
  4. Grace in the East
  5. Summary

Chapter 2: The Visitation from God in the East in the Exodus

  1. The Waters Were Divided
  2. The Quail from the Sea
  3. The East Wind as the Holy Spirit
  4. Chasing the Wind
  5. Summary

Chapter 3:  The Visitation from God in the East in the Tabernacle

  1. A Place of Anticipation
  2. A Garden-Temple
  3. The Honor of Facing the Sunrise
  4. Cleansing the Tabernacle
  5. Summary

Chapter 4: The Visitation from God from the East in Solomon’s Temple

  1. Divine and Human Origins
  2. Eastward Construction
  3. Eastward Consecration
  4. Eastward Idolatry
  5. Summary

Chapter 5: The Visitation from God from the East in the Exile

  1. Isaiah’s East Wind of Exile
  2. Ezekiel’s Temple and the Sunrise
  3. Second Temple Hope
  4. Summary

Chapter 6: The Visitation from God from the East in the City of God

  1. Zion the Temple-City
  2. Zion as a New Eden
  3. Summary

Chapter 7: The Visitation from God from the East in His Anointed One

  1. One Stirred up from the East
  2. A Man Whose Name Is the Rising
  3. The Sun of Righteousness
  4. Summary

Chapter 8: The Visitation from God from the East in the Gospel of Luke

  1. Framing the Discourse
  2. Christ for Israel and the Nations
  3. Jesus Comes from the East
  4. Jesus the Wandering Stranger
  5. Jesus Arrives from the East
  6. Jesus Laments the Lack of Hospitality
  7. Jesus’ Arrival brings Judgment and Salvation
  8. Summary

Chapter 9: The Visitation from God from the East and its Transformation in Acts

  1. Divine Visitation through the Word
  2. Listening to the Word
  3. Doing Deeds according to the Word
  4. Joyful Worship in Response to the Word
  5. Summary

Chapter 10: Conclusion



Gregory R. Lanier, Associate Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, author of Old Testament Conceptual Metaphors and the Christology of Luke’s Gospel.

David Wenkel’s detailed and thorough study is now the essential starting point of future work on the “sunrise” or “dawn” metaphor in Luke’s Benedictus(Luke 1:68-79). He provides a lucid survey of a comprehensive array of inner-biblical themes, divine portrayals, and messianic expectations that, when pulled together, provide a compelling reading of this important passage in Luke. Future readers of Luke’s Gospel will benefit from this work in the way it models how to read Scripture canonically and theologically.

Matthew S. Harmon, Professor of New Testament Studies, Grace College and Theological Seminary

Using the tools of exegesis, intertextuality, canonical interpretation, and theological analysis, David Wenkel sheds some necessary light on the identity of Jesus as the Dayspring. He explores the rich OT matrix of texts, motifs, and expectations that culminate in Jesus and how that reality shapes the life and ministry of the church. This is a fruitful study of a neglected theme that will benefit all serious students of Scripture.

Note: See our Author Interview here.

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Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2021 | 204 pages

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