Isaiah 63

1Christ sheweth his power to save, and his vengeance upon his enemies. 7A thankful commemoration of God's old lovingkindnesses to his people. 15A prayer for the return of his mercy to them.

1WHO1is this that cometh 2from Edom, 3with dyed garments from 4Bozrah? this that is 5glorious in his apparel, 6travelling 7in the greatness of his strength? 8I 9that speak in righteousness, 10mighty to save.

1 Some take these to be the words of the Prophet Isaiah, who, seeing in a vision the just judgments of God upon His enemies, wonders greatly, and stands as amazed; but others are of the opinion that the church speaks here, wondering at the great power of Christ against His enemies, in His death and resurrection from the dead.

2 That is, from the land of the Edomites, or, from the Edomites. Understand this of the enemies of God’s people in general, but especially of their spiritual enemies, namely, the devil and the servants of antichrist, as Isa. 34:5.

3 Hebr. leavened of garments. See the annotation at Psalm 71 on verse 4; Psalm 73 on verse 21. The Greek translators and others: with red dyed garments, signifying His wrath against His enemies, with whose blood His garments were sprinkled. Compare Rev. 19:13.

4 This was the capital city in the land of the Edomites, whereof also mention is made in Isa. 34:6; Jer. 49:13, 22. And here by Bozrah may be understood the capital city of all the enemies of the church of God.

5 Understand here by the ornament the holiness of Christ, and His royal glory in His triumph over the enemies.

6 The Hebrew word signifies as much as to march up and down in a strange country, as Jer. 48:12.

7 Namely, in the strength of His Godhead.

8 Here Christ, the great Prophet Who would come into the world, makes answer, as was promised in Deut. 18:15.

9 Or, that speak with or of righteousness, that is, Who threatens the enemies of God’s people with the righteous judgment of God.

10 Or, that am sufficient to deliver; for, unto Him is given all power both in heaven and on earth; He is an almighty God with the Father and the Holy Ghost.

211Wherefore art thou reda in thine apparel, and thy garments like him 12that treadeth in the winefatb?

11 Here the church speaks again, or the prophet, to Christ, saying: Wherefore art thou, etc. The meaning is: Why are the garments, which Thou hast on, red? Compare Rev. 19:13.

a Rev. 19:13.

12 Understand additionally: and Whose garments are sprinkled with red wine. This similitude is elsewhere used, signifying vengeance, Lam. 1:15; Rev. 14:19, 20.

b wine-vat, wine press

313I have trodden 14the winepress alone; 15and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and 16their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

13 Here Christ speaks again, answering the previous question concerning His power in subduing His enemies and redeeming the His elect.

14 Namely, the press of God’s wrath, as may be gathered from Rev. 14:19; 19:15. The sense is: I, without the help of man, have executed alone the will and command of My heavenly Father, concerning the punishing and destroying of the enemies of His church.

15 Or, there hath been none of the nations by me, to help Me to fight against the enemies and to conquer them. Understand here both spiritual and corporal enemies.

16 Or, their strength, that is, their blood, wherein the strength of man consist; or, their blood, that is, the blood of their strong heroes. Other, and their victory is sprinkled upon my garments, that is, their blood, a token of My victory over them.

4For 17thec day of vengeance is in mine heart, and 18the year of my redeemed is come.

17 Namely, that day which was ordained by God for vengeance to punish the enemies of the church and to deliver the elect. See Isa. 34:8; 61:2.

c Isa. 61:2.

18 That is, the year or the time of those who would be ransomed or redeemed by Me. It seems that the prophet has respect to the spiritual Year of the Jubilee.

519Andd I looked, and there was none to help; 20and I wondered that there was none to uphold: 21therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and 22my fury, it upheld me.

19 Or, When I looked about, and that there was no helper, etc. Christ alone is our Helper, Savior and Redeemer, Who has delivered us from the power of the devil, and of eternal death. See Isa. 59:16; 61:2.

d Isa. 59:16.

20 Namely, according to My human nature. See Mat. 26:38.

21 That is, My Divine power has sustained Me in My sore passion, that I have not fainted under the heavy burden of God’s wrath, but bare the same, and has delivered My people from it, and conquered all their enemies.

22 Namely, the fury wherewith I am incensed against the enemies of My church.

6And 23I will tread down the people in mine anger, and 24make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down 25their strength to the earth.

23 That is, I have conquered the spiritual enemies, being moved thereto by My zeal for God’s glory and for the salvation of His elect.

24 Namely, with the cup of My wrath, to their destruction. See this similitude likewise in Psalm 60:3; Isa. 24:20; 49:26; 51:17, 21; Jer. 51:57, and elsewhere.

25 See verse 3.

726I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and 27the praises of the LORD, 28according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.

26 This speaks the people of God, being now instructed concerning Christ and His great acts, thanking Him withal for the mercies which they had received of Him, wishing and praying that they might be continued unto them.

27 Or, the manifold or various praise, namely, the praise for the good which the Lord has done unto me.

28 Hebr. as according to all, namely, according to all the good. See Psalm 13 on verse 6 about the signification of the word bestow.

8For 29he said, Surely they are my people, children 30that will not lie: so 31he was their Saviour.

29 Namely, when He made a covenant with our forefathers.

30 Or, that will not be false. God speaks here after the manner of men, who hope the best of their children. And understand additionally: but they shall serve me sincerely, as true Israelites in whom there is no guile. Other, they shall not degenerate or be corrupted, namely, after I shall have begotten them again by Mine Holy Spirit.

31 That is, He has delivered them from their enemies.

932In all their affliction he was afflicted, and 33the angel of his presence saved them: 34ine his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and 35he bare them, and carried them 36all the days of old.

32 That is, He was distressed or grieved, because of the miseries which they endured in Egypt. Thus Christ is persecuted in His holy members, Acts 9:4. See also Zech. 2:8; Mat. 25:45. Other, In all their distress was no distress. Understand additionally: but a gracious, Fatherly chastening. Or thus: In all their distress he was no enemy or adversary, but the angel of his face saved them. The meaning is: He distressed them indeed, but not as being their enemy.

33 That is, the Angel, Who is before His face, Who takes care of their salvation, namely, Christ. See the annotation at Exod. 23 on verse 20.

34 That is, He redeemed them because He loved them, Deut. 7:7, 8.

e Deut. 7:7, 8, 9.

35 As if he said: He laid them on His back and carried them as an eagle carries her young. Compare this with Deut. 32:11, and see likewise Isa. 46:4.

36 Hebr. all the days of antiquity or age, as verses 11, 16, 19; that is, from that time that I called them to be My people. See of the Hebrew word the annotation at Jer. 2 on verse 20.

1037Butf they rebelled, and 38vexed 39his holy Spirit: 40therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

37 Or, But they, they waxed rebellious. In Num. 14:22 it is said that they tempted the Lord ten times. See the annotation there. See likewise Psalm 78:40, 57; 95:9.

f Num. 14:11; Psalm 78:57; 95:9, etc.

38 Other, grieved. See Gen. 6 on verse 6.

39 Hebr. the spirit of his holiness. This Spirit they grieved, in regard they willfully resisted the will of God, which the Holy Ghost had revealed unto them by the Word. See Eph. 4:30.

40 That is, He behaved Himself as if He had been their Enemy when He smote them in the wilderness. See Psalm 78:31, 33, 59, 60, etc.

11Then he remembered 41the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, 42Where is he that brought them up 43out of the sea 44with the shepherd 45of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within 46him?

41 Wherein He indeed smote them for their sins, but yet He had compassion again on them, so that He did not utterly destroy them.

42 These and the following words the church of God seems to speak unto God by way of complaint. Others take them to be the words of God, as if God said: Whereby would the glory of the Lord appear? Namely, if I would so proceed to punish My people according to their merits. Thus here the prophet would introduce God the Lord, disputing as it were with Himself about His own honor. Compare Exod. 32:11, 12.

43 Namely, out of the Red Sea, Exod. 14:21, etc. The sense is: How can that be that I would now cast them off or forsake them, whereas I have at that time so faithfully brought and delivered them out of all trouble and danger?

44 Thus He calls Moses and Aaron, who led the people of Israel through the wilderness, as shepherds do their sheep. See Psalm 77:20.

45 That is, of the children of Israel.

46 Namely, the people, as verse 14.

1247That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing 48the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?

47 Or, that caused the arm of his glory to go on the right hand of Moses, that is, Who assisted Moses in his hard task by His glorious power, and Divine help.

48 Namely, of the Red Sea, Exod. 14:21, and afterward of the Jordan, Joshua 3:15, 16.

13That 49led them 50through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, 51that they should not stumble?g

49 Namely, softly and gently, as a man leads a horse by the bridle.

50 See Exod. 15:5; Psalm 106:9.

51 Other, that they stumbled not.

g Psalm 105:37.

1452As 53a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused 54him 55to rest: so didst 56thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.

52 Here the people of God speak again.

53 Whether horse or cow.

54 Or, them. Namely, the people.

55 Or, to lead softly.

56 O Lord. The congregation directs now her speech to God, and entreats Him to proceed in His usual goodness.

15¶Lookh down from heaven, and behold 57from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is 58thy zeal and 59thy strength, 60the sounding 61of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? 62are they restrained?

h Deut. 26:15.

57 That is, from heaven, which is also called thy holy habitation in Deut. 26:15.

58 Over Thy people and against Thine enemies? It is spoken of God after the manner of men. See Isa. 9:7.

59 Or, thy powers, that is, Thy mighty works or miracles, as Mat. 13:58.

60 Or, the rumbling, the stirring. Other, the multitude.

61 That is, of Thy heart.

62 Or, they are shut up against me, that is, they do not appear towards me as in former times. Other, art they shut up against me?

1663Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, 64our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

63 Or, Verily, thou art our father.

64 That is, Thou hast been of old or from everlasting our Redeemer.

17¶O LORD, why hast thou 65made us to err from thy ways, and 66hardened our heart 67from thy fear? 68Return 69for thy servants’ sake, 70the tribes 71of thine inheritance.

65 The believers speak here of the greatest part of the people. It is said of God that He makes men to err, and that He hardens their hearts, not that He infuses any error into them, but that He justly gives men over to their perverse mind, and to a spirit of error, which makes their heart fat and hard, John 12:39, 40; Rom. 11:8; 2 Thes. 2:11, but men do harden their own hearts, and do err from the way by committing sins, Psalm 95:8, 10.

66 The Hebrew word is only found here and in Job 39:16.

67 Or, that we should not fear thee? Hebr. from thy fear.

68 That is, do us good again.

69 That is, for our sake, whom Thou hast chosen for Thy servants. Or, who are Thy servants in respect of the covenant which Thou hast made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, promising them that Thou wouldest be the God of their seed.

70 Namely, the twelve tribes, into which the people of God was divided.

71 That is, which Thou hast taken for Thine inheritance, and doest possess them as Thine inheritance, as Deut. 32:9.

18The people of thy holiness have possessed 72it 73but a little while: 74our adversaries have trodden down 75thyi sanctuary.

72 Namely, Thy land, the land of Canaan, which Thou hadst given them. Or, Thy sanctuary, as here immediately follows; both the one and the other being tokens of God’s favor.

73 Understand this thus: that they have possessed it but a short time in rest and peace. Whereof their sins were the cause, as appears in Deut. 11:8, 9, 17.

74 Namely, the Babylonians.

75 That is, Thine holy temple, consisting (besides the courts) of the holy place and the holy of holies.

i Psalm 74:7.

1976We 77are thine: thou never barest rule over them; 78they were not called by thy name.

76 Namely, Thy people, or they over whom Thou bearest rule.

77 Or, We are become, namely, by reason of our sins and transgressions.

78 Or, as the Hebrew words run: upon whom thy name was not called. See this phrase in Deut. 28:10; Isa. 4:1; Dan. 9:19.