The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Isaiah 63

Isa 63:1

Isa 63: The Edomites were enemies of Israel in Ahaz's day (2Ch 28:17). Hezekiah sent expeditions against Edom (1Ch 4:39-43). Cp Joel 3:19: Edom, desolate wilderness.

Perhaps no geographical ref, if read: "Who is this that comes, more than man, raiment more crimsoned than the grape-gatherer?" (TofE 73). But cp Isa 34: esp vv 6-8 re Edom. Also, generally, cp Psa 83 re Edom.

In // Rev 19:13,15, Christ is wearing many crowns and already bearing the title "King of kings" -- an indication that he is already enthroned at Jerusalem, and not proceeding there for the first time (WRev 224).

Isa 63:2

TREADING THE WINEPRESS: // Rev 14:19,20; 19:15.

Isa 63:3

FROM THE NATIONS: Or, "from the nation", ie, Israel. So, from Israel, none to help. But from the saints, Yes! See // in Rev 19:13-15 and cp with Rev 19:8: Christ's army, arrayed in white linen.

TROD THEM DOWN: "Trampled" (RSV). Such language necessarily involves a multitude (cp Psa 60:12).

Isa 63:4


REDEMPTION: "Redemption" is the Hebrew "gaal". A "gaal" or "kinsman-redeemer" was responsible for protecting the extended family's interests, often by redeeming property that had been sold outside the family. However, his responsibilities extended beyond financial concerns. He was also responsible for avenging the shed blood of a family member (see Num 35:19-27; Deu 19:6-12). In Isa 63:4, where vengeance is a prominent theme (note the earlier part of the verse), it is probably this function of the family protector that is in view. The LORD pictures himself as a blood avenger who waits for the day of vengeance to arrive and then springs into action on behalf of his "kinsman"!

Isa 63:9

THE ANGEL OF HIS PRESENCE: "This may refer to the 'angel of God' mentioned in Exo 14:19, who in turn may be identical to the divine 'presence' (lit 'face') ref in Exo 33:14-15; Deu 4:37. Here in Isa 63 this messenger may be equated with God's 'holy Spirit' (see vv 10,11) and "the Spirit of the LORD" (v 14). See also Psa 139:7, where God's 'Spirit' seems to be equated with His 'presence' (lit, 'face') in the synonymous parallelistic structure" (NET notes).

Isa 63:10

AND GRIEVED HIS HOLY SPIRIT: Hence Paul's exhortation in Eph 4:30.

HE HIMSELF FOUGHT AGAINST THEM: "Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth" (Rev 2:16).

Isa 63:11

MOSES... BROUGHT THEM THROUGH THE SEA, WITH THE SHEPHERD OF HIS FLOCK: "The God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep" (Heb 13:20).

SHEPHERD: Plural in Heb; prob ref the "Great Shepherd" -- plural of majesty.

Isa 63:14

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD... YOU GUIDED YOUR PEOPLE: "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth" (Joh 16:13).

Isa 63:15

Vv 15-19: A sustained appeal to God for His help (cp Isa 64:8-12).

Isa 63:16

THOUGH ABRAHAM DOES NOT KNOW US: More important than literal kinship with Abraham was spiritual kinship with the God of Abraham!

Isa 63:17

AND HARDEN OUR HEARTS: Hard-heartedness is first seen in Pharaoh (Exo 4:21; 7:3,13; 8:15,32; 9:12,34; 10:1,20,27; 11:10; 14:4,8). So when this description is used of anyone in Israel, it is very pointed: 'You are being like the oppressing Egyptians from whom I have delivered you!' Cp Deu 15:7; 2Ch 36:13; Psa 95:8; Isa 63:17; Mark 10:5; 16:14; John 12:40; Rom 2:5.

Isa 63:18

NOW OUR ENEMIES HAVE TRAMPLED DOWN YOUR SANCTUARY: A ref to Assyrian soldiers garrisoned in the Temple area: "Ahaz took some of the things from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace and from the princes and presented them to the king of Assyria, but that did not help him" (2Ch 28:21). 2Ch 28:21. Lit, "divided up a portion of the temple" -- giving it to the Assyrian soldiers as a place to rest and reside. (A similar policy was followed by the Assyrians with other vassal nations; cp also the Roman garrison next to the Temple in NT times). Cp idea, Isa 63:18; 64:11; Psa 74:3-8; 79:1; Isa 7:13; 11:9; 52:1; Mic 5:5.

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