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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Isaiah 63



Verses 1-6

The Divine Warrior

1.The prophet asks who is this warrior coming from Edom? The Warrior replies, He is the Divine Deliverer.

2. The prophet asks why is His raiment red?

3-6. The Warrior explains, He is returning from vengeance upon the enemies of His people.

1. Travelling] lit. 'bending,' denoting movement in marching (RV). In righteousness] i.e. in faithfulness to promises. Speak, etc.] cp. Isaiah 45:19.

3. The winepress is the symbol of slaughter in battle (Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:18-20).

Alone, etc.] i.e. no human agent assisted.

People] RV 'peoples.' I will tread, etc.] RV 'trod.. trampled.. is sprinkled.. have stained.'

4. Is] RV 'was.' Year] see Isaiah 61:2.

5. The absence of human aid (Isaiah 63:3) further emphasised (Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 59:16).

6. Will tread.. make] RV 'trod.. made.'

People] RV 'peoples.' The divine vengeance falls upon the nations in general, but upon Edom in particular (Isaiah 63:1), the prophet fixing his thoughts upon this nation because of the long-remembered hostility of Edom in the day of Jerusalem's calamity (see prefatory note to Isaiah 34). Drunk] a figure for stupefying disaster (Isaiah 51:17). Will bring, etc.] RV 'poured out their lifeblood on the earth.' The imagery of Christ's final triumph and judgment is taken from this passage (Revelation 19:13), which is thus shown to be a prophecy that will receive its full fulfilment in the punishment of the enemies of God's Church at the last day. The Warrior, who in Isaiah 63:3 is represented as treading the winepress alone, thus stands for the Son of God, to whom alone the Father has committed all judgment (John 5:22). The prophecy is also sometimes applied by analogy to Christ's victory over the powers of evil in His Passion (John 12:31-32), wherein He contended alone (Matthew 27:46).

Verses 7-12

Past Deliverances and Present Needs

Isaiah 63:7-14. Commemoration of Jehovah's mercies to Israel in the past.

Isaiah 64:5 a. Prayer that He will interpose to deliver His people from their present calamities.

Isaiah 64:5-12. Acknowledgment that these are due to their sins. Appeal to Jehovah that He will look upon the pitiable state of His people and sanctuary.

Verses 7-19

8. Lie] RV 'deal falsely.'

9. He was afflicted] so Heb. traditional reading, meaning that He felt His people's pains as His own (Judges 10:16). But Heb. written text 'he was no adversary' (RM), but, on the contrary, their deliverer. The angel] see Exodus 23:20; Exodus 32:34; Exodus 33:2.

Bare them] see Deuteronomy 1:31; Deuteronomy 32:11.

10. Cp. Psalms 78:40.

11. He (Israel) remembered] The thought of past mercies evoked penitence (Psalms 78:35). Shepherd] RV 'shepherds.' Within him] i.e. Israel, e.g. Exodus 35:31; Numbers 11:25.

12. RV 'That caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses.' Arm] see Isaiah 51:9 (also in connexion with the exodus).

13. In the wilderness] i.e. in a grassy plain.

14. RV 'As the cattle that go down.' This refers to the settlement in Canaan.

15. Strength] RV 'mighty acts.' Sounding of thy bowels] stands for sympathetic pity (Isaiah 16:11). Read, 'the sounding.. and thy mercies toward me are restrained.'

16. The patriarchs might disown their descendants, but Jehovah's love is sure. The thought is similar to Isaiah 49:15. The passage is remarkable as one of the very few in OT. where God is addressed as Father (Isaiah 64:8). 17f. A bold expostulation. Hardened, etc.] Have their sins caused God to give them up and become their adversary, as in Pharaoh's case?

18. A little while] whereas Jehovah had promised them an everlasting inheritance!

19. RV 'We are become as they over whom thou never barest rule; as they that were not called' etc.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 63:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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