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The Day of Vengeance

63 Who is this coming from the city of Bozrah[a] in Edom?[b]

    He is dressed in garments of bright scarlet,[c]
    robed in a garment dyed bright red,
    marching like a champion in his great power and might.
“It is I! I am the one who announces righteousness,
    I am mighty and ready to save!”[d]
Why are your robes so red,
    like those of one treading grapes?
“I have been treading in the winepress alone,
    and there was no one there from the nations to help me.
    I stomped on the nations in my anger
    and trampled them down in my wrath.
    Their blood soaked my clothing and stained all my robes.
For a day of vengeance[e] was in my heart,
    and the time for my redeeming work had come.
I looked, but there was no one to help me.
    I was amazed that there was no one to support me.
    So my own power[f] accomplished salvation,
    and my wrath[g] sustained me.
So I trampled down nations in my anger
    and shattered them[h] in my fury
    and spilled their blood on the ground.”

God’s Endless Mercy

I will tell again of the faithful, gracious acts[i] of Yahweh
    and praise him for everything[j] he has done for us—
    the wonderful goodness,[k] the riches of his mercy,
    which he has shown to the house of Israel,
    and the abundance of his endless love.
For he said,
    “Truly, they are my loyal children who will not act deceitfully.”
    He became their Savior.[l]
When they suffered, he suffered with them.
    The Angel of His Presence[m] saved them.
    Out of his enduring love and compassion
    he redeemed them.
    He lifted them up, carried them in his arms,[n]
    and cared for them all the days of old.
10 But they rebelled against him
    and grieved his Holy Spirit.[o]
    Only then did he turn against them.
    He became their enemy and fought against them.

The Day of Remembrance

11 Then they remembered God’s deeds in days past,
    the days of Moses and his people.
    And they asked:
    “Where now is Yahweh, who brought them miraculously
    through the Red Sea
    along with Moses, the shepherd-leader[p] of his flock,
    and put his Holy Spirit among them?[q]
12 Where now is the one
    who linked his magnificent power to Moses,[r]
    who divided the waters before them
    to gain everlasting fame for himself?
13 Who led them through the depths of the sea?
    They were as sure-footed as horses on dry, level ground—
    they did not stumble.
14 As a herder leads his cattle to find rest in a fertile valley,
    the Spirit of Yahweh led them into rest.[s]
    In the same way, you led your people
    to win for yourself a glorious name!”[t]

The Day of Prayer

15 Lord, look down from heaven,
    from your holy, glorious dwelling place, and see us.
    What happened to your passion for us
    and your mighty acts of power?
    Why are you withholding from us
    your feelings[u] of tender compassion?[v]
16 For you are our loving Father.
    Even if our ancestors, Abraham and Jacob,[w]
    don’t acknowledge us,
    you, O Yahweh, are our loving Father![x]
    From ancient times your name is our Redeemer.
17 Yahweh, why do you allow us[y] to wander from your ways
    and harden our hearts to be so stubborn
    that we do not obey you?[z]
    Please come back to us,
    for the sake of those who serve you,
    for the sake of your people,
    the tribes that are your inheritance.
18 For a short time
    your holy people possessed a holy place.[aa]
    But now our enemies have invaded and trampled down
    your sacred sanctuary.
19 You treat us as though we had never been your people,
    called by your name, or ruled by you.


  1. Isaiah 63:1 Bozrah means “sheepfold” or “fortress.”
  2. Isaiah 63:1 Although Edom was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan, the general consensus of scholars is that Edom here is a symbolic term for the enemies of God—a collective archetype of that which stands in God’s way. It is possible, since Edom is a variant form of Adam, sharing the same Hebrew root, that we are seeing how God triumphs over “Adam” by the crimson blood of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ. Additionally, the Edomites were bitter enemies of the Jews and typify the warfare of flesh vs. the spirit (Gal. 5:17). Isaiah sees this mystery man coming on the road from Bozrah to Zion, clothed in crimson garments, having conquered his enemies, not weary or fainting. He comes in the greatness of his strength.
  3. Isaiah 63:1 Or “majestic in attire.”
  4. Isaiah 63:1 This points to Jesus Christ, who is mighty to save those who come to him in faith. Alone, he conquered sin, death, Satan, sickness, fear, and the grave. Isaiah’s focus seems to be on the finished work of Jesus on the cross. See John 19:30; Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 2:15; 1 John 2:14-18.
  5. Isaiah 63:4 A “day of vengeance” has multiple applications. It can refer to the release of the Jews from Babylon, the release of the church from the Dark Ages, the release of creation from the bondage of corruption brought by sin (Rom. 8:19-21), or, as some would claim, a future war of Armageddon. But the context favors a prophetic fulfillment when Jesus Christ was crucified and rendered judgment on principalities and powers by the blood of his cross and his triumphant resurrection.
  6. Isaiah 63:5 Or “my own arm,” a symbol of God power.
  7. Isaiah 63:5 Some Hebrew manuscripts have (weṣidqathi): “My victorious [right hand] sustained me.”
  8. Isaiah 63:6 As translated from most Hebrew manuscripts and Targum (Aramaic); however, some manuscripts read “I made them drunk with my fury.”
  9. Isaiah 63:7 Literally “the loving-kindnesses.”
  10. Isaiah 63:7 Or “the praiseworthy deeds.”
  11. Isaiah 63:7 See Ps. 145:7.
  12. Isaiah 63:8 See Matt. 1:21-23.
  13. Isaiah 63:9 Or “Neither an elder or an angel, but the Lord himself saved them.” See Ex. 23:20-23; 33:14-15; Deut. 4:37. The Angel of His Presence is literally “the Angel of His Faces.” God has many faces that he reveals to his people. Most scholars conclude that this phrase, a hapax legomenon, is not referring to one of the angelic host but to the Lord himself. Others see this angel as Gabriel, for he is described as the angel who comes from the presence (face) of God (Luke 1:19).
  14. Isaiah 63:9 See Deut. 1:31; 32:10-12.
  15. Isaiah 63:10 The Holy Spirit has feelings that can be hurt, leaving him grieved. See Gen. 6:6; Ps. 78:40; Eph. 4:30.
  16. Isaiah 63:11 Or “shepherds” (plural), indicating that it would be Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel.
  17. Isaiah 63:11 See Num. 11:17.
  18. Isaiah 63:12 Or “who made his majestic arm march at the right hand of Moses.” This may be a figurative way of saying that God put his power in Moses’ right hand.
  19. Isaiah 63:14 See Ps. 23:1-3.
  20. Isaiah 63:14 See Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 2:5-11.
  21. Isaiah 63:15 Or “yearnings.” God has deep feelings toward us, for the Hebrew is literally “[Don’t hold back] the agitation of your intestines.”
  22. Isaiah 63:15 The Hebrew word for compassion is a homonym that can also be translated “womb.” They both speak of nurturing love, care, and tenderness.
  23. Isaiah 63:16 Or “Israel.”
  24. Isaiah 63:16 See Deut. 32:6.
  25. Isaiah 63:17 The Hebrew word is tatenu (“make us”). Similar to the tolerative form of the Hiphil of ta’ah in Jer. 50:6, it is best seen as “allow us” versus causative, in its usual form, “make us.”
  26. Isaiah 63:17 Or “fear you.”
  27. Isaiah 63:18 Or “Jerusalem.”