63 Who is this who comes from Edom, With crimson-stained garments from Bozrah [in Edom], This One (the Messiah) who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His might? “It is I, [the One] who speaks in righteousness [proclaiming vindication], mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? 3 “I have trodden the wine trough alone, And of the peoples there was no one with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My clothes. 4 “For the day of vengeance [against ungodliness] was in My heart, And My year of redemption [of those who put their trust in Me—the year of My redeemed] has come. 5 “I looked, but there was no one to help, And I was amazed and appalled that there was no one to uphold [truth and right]. So My own arm brought salvation to Me, And My wrath sustained Me. 6 “I trampled the peoples in My anger And made them drunk with [the cup of] My wrath, And I spilled their lifeblood on the earth.”
God’s Ancient Mercies Recalled
7 I will tell of the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, According to all that the Lord has done for us, And His great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has shown them according to His compassion And according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses. 8 For He said, “Be assured, they are My people, Sons who will not be faithless.” So He became their Savior [in all their distresses]. 9 In all their distress He was distressed, And the [a]angel of His presence saved them, In His love and in His compassion He redeemed them; And He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled And grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore He changed into their enemy, And He fought against them. 11 Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses [and they said], Where is He who brought our fathers up out of the [Red] Sea, with the shepherds of His flock [Moses and Aaron]? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in their midst, 12 Who caused His glorious arm and infinite power to go at the right hand of Moses, Dividing the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, 13 Who led them through the depths [of the Red Sea], Like a horse in the wilderness, [so that] they did not stumble? 14 Like the cattle that go down into the valley [to find better pasture and rest], The Spirit of the Lord gave them rest. So You led Your people [O Lord] To make for Yourself a beautiful and glorious name [preparing the way for the acknowledgment of Your name by all nations].
“You Are Our Father”
15 Look down from heaven and see from Your lofty dwelling place, holy and glorious. Where are Your zeal and Your mighty acts [Your miracles which you did for Your people]? The stirring of Your heart and Your compassion are restrained and withheld from me. 16 For [most certainly] You are our Father, even though Abraham [our ancestor] does not know us And Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord, are [still] our Father, Our Redeemer from everlasting is Your name. 17 O Lord, why do You cause us to stray from Your ways And harden our heart from fearing You [with reverence and awe]? Return for Your servants’ sake, the tribes of Your heritage. 18 Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for [only] a little while; Our adversaries have trampled it down. 19 We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, Like those who were not called by Your name.
Prayer for Mercy and Help
64 Oh, that You would tear open the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence— 2 As [sure as] fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil— To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! 3 When You did awesome and amazing things which we did not expect, You came down [at Sinai]; the mountains quaked at Your presence. 4 For from days of old no one has heard, nor has ear perceived, Nor has the eye [b]seen a God besides You, Who works and acts in behalf of the one who [gladly] waits for Him. 5 You meet him who rejoices in doing that which is morally right, Who remembers You in Your ways. Indeed, You were angry, for we sinned; We have long continued in our sins [prolonging Your anger]. And shall we be saved [under such circumstances]? 6 For we all have become like one who is [ceremonially] unclean [like a leper], And all our deeds of righteousness are like filthy rags; We all wither and decay like a leaf, And our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing], like the wind, takes us away [carrying us far from God’s favor, toward destruction]. 7 There is no one who calls on Your name, Who awakens and causes himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have handed us over to the [consuming and destructive] power of our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing].
8 Yet, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our Potter, And we all are the work of Your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord, Do not remember our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing] forever. Now look, consider, for we are all Your people. 10 [c]Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and beautiful house [the temple built by Solomon], Where our fathers praised You, Has been burned by fire; And all our precious objects are in ruins. 12 Considering these [tragedies], will You restrain Yourself, O Lord [and not help us]? Will You keep silent and humiliate and oppress us beyond measure?
A Rebellious People
65 “I let Myself be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I let Myself be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To the nation [Israel] which did not call on My Name. 2 “I have spread out My hands all the day long to a rebellious and stubborn people, Who walk in the way that is not good, [following] after their own thoughts and intentions, 3 The people who continually provoke Me to My face, Sacrificing [to idols] in gardens and making offerings with incense on bricks [instead of at the designated altar]; 4 Who sit among the graves [trying to conjure up evil spirits] and spend the night in the secret places [where spirits are thought to dwell]; Who eat swine’s flesh, And their pots hold the broth of [d]unclean meat; 5 Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me, For I [e]am too holy for you [and you might defile me]!’ These [people] are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day. 6 “Indeed, it is written before Me, I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay it [directly] into their [f]arms, 7 Both your own wickedness and the wickedness of your fathers,” says the Lord. “Since they too have made offerings with incense on the mountains And scorned and taunted Me on the hills, I therefore will measure [punishment for] their former work [directly] into their [g]arms.”
8 This is what the Lord says,
“As the new wine is found in the cluster, And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing and benefit in it,’ So I will do for the sake of My servants In order not to destroy all of them. 9 “I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, And an heir of My mountains from Judah; Even My chosen ones shall inherit it, And My servants will live there. 10 “And [the plain of] Sharon will be a place for flocks to graze, And the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, For My people who seek Me [who long for Me and require My presence in their lives]. 11 “But you who abandon (turn away from) the Lord, Who forget and ignore My holy mountain (Zion), Who set a table for Gad [the Babylonian god of fortune], And who fill a jug of mixed wine for Meni [the god of fate], 12 I will destine you for the sword, [says the Lord], And all of you will bow down to the slaughter, Because when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not listen or obey. But you did [what was] evil in My sight And chose that in which I did not delight.”
13 Therefore, the Lord God says this,
“Listen carefully, My servants will eat, but you will be hungry; Indeed, My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty; Indeed, My servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. 14 “Indeed, My servants will shout for joy from a happy heart, But you will cry out with a heavy heart, And you shall wail and howl from a broken spirit. 15 “And you will leave your name behind to My chosen ones [who will use it] as a curse, And the Lord God will put you to death, But He will call His servants by another name [a much greater name, just as the name Israel was greater than the name Jacob]. 16 “Because he who blesses himself on the earth Will bless himself by the God of truth and faithfulness; And he who swears [an oath] on the earth Will swear by the God of truth and faithfulness; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight.
New Heavens and a New Earth
17 “Behold, I am creating new heavens and a new earth; And the former things [of life] will not be remembered or come to mind. 18 “But be glad and rejoice forever over what I create; Behold, I am creating Jerusalem to be a source of rejoicing And her people a joy. 19 “I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. 20 “No longer shall there be [h]in it an infant who lives only a few days, Or an old man who does not finish his days; For the youth who dies at the age of a hundred, And the one who does not reach the age of a hundred Will be thought of as accursed. 21 “They will build houses and live in them; They will plant vineyards and eat the fruit. 22 “They will not build and another occupy; They will not plant and another eat [the fruit]. For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen [people] will fully enjoy [and long make use of] the work of their hands. 23 “They will not labor in vain, Or bear children for disaster; For they are the descendants of those blessed by the Lord, And their offspring with them.
24 “It shall also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.25 The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox [there will no longer be predator and prey]; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain (Zion),” says the Lord.
Heaven Is God’s Throne
66 This is what the Lord says,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where, then, is a house that you could build for Me? And where will My resting place be? 2 “For all these things My hand has made, So all these things came into being [by and for Me],” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look [graciously], To him who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who [reverently] trembles at My word and honors My commands.
3 “He who kills an ox [for pagan sacrifice] is [as guilty] as one who kills a man; He who sacrifices a lamb, as one who breaks a dog’s neck; He who offers a grain offering, as one who offers swine’s blood; He who offers incense, as one who blesses an idol. Such people have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their repulsive acts; 4 So I will choose their punishments, And will bring the things they dread upon them Because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen or obey. But they did evil in My sight And chose that in which I did not delight.” 5 Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble [with awe-filled reverence] at His word: “Your brothers who hate you, who exclude you for My Name’s sake, Have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they will be put to shame. 6 “The sound of an uproar from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, providing retribution to His enemies.
7 “Before she (Zion) was in labor, she gave birth; Before her labor pain came, she gave birth to a boy. 8 “Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land [i]be born in one day? Or can a nation be brought forth in a moment? As soon as Zion was in labor, she also brought forth her sons. 9 “Shall I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.
Joy in Jerusalem’s Future
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; Rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her, 11 That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, That you may drink deeply and be delighted with her bountiful bosom.” 12 For the Lord says this, “Behold, I extend peace to her (Jerusalem) like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on her hip and [playfully] rocked on her knees. 13 “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” 14 When you see this, your heart will rejoice; Your bones will flourish like new grass. And the [powerful] hand of the Lord will be revealed to His servants, But His indignation will be toward His enemies. 15 For indeed, the Lord will come in fire And His chariots will be like the stormy wind, To render His anger with rage, And His rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For the Lord will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all mankind, And those slain by the Lord will be many. 17 “Those who [vainly attempt to] sanctify and cleanse themselves to go to the gardens [to sacrifice to idols], Following after [j]one in the center, Who eat swine’s flesh, [k]detestable things and mice, Will come to an end together,” says the Lord.
18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. The time is coming to gather all nations and languages, and they will come and see My glory. 19 I will set up a [miraculous] sign among them, and from them I will send survivors to the nations: Tarshish, Pul (Put), Lud, Meshech, Tubal and Javan, to the distant islands and coastlands that have not heard of My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare and proclaim My glory among the nations. 20 Then they shall bring all your countrymen (children of Israel) from all the nations as a grain offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and on camels—to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 I will also take some of them as priests and Levites,” says the Lord.
22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will remain and endure before Me,” declares the Lord, “So your offspring and your name will remain and endure. 23 “And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon And from Sabbath to Sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down and worship before Me,” says the Lord. 24 “Then they will go forth and look Upon the dead bodies of the [rebellious] men Who have transgressed against Me; For their worm (maggot) will not die, And their fire will not go out; And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.”
Isaiah 64:4Or seen, O God, besides You, what He will do.... The ancient rabbis favored this translation or a variation of it, and some suggested that the unexpressed object (what) is wine preserved since the creation, or Eden. They all applied this verse to the future that follows the millennial kingdom, and was mostly a mystery to them. Heaven, or specifically the New Jerusalem, that follows the kingdom was partially revealed to John in Revelation. There is a story in the Talmud that when King Ahasuerus held a great banquet in Susa for seven days (Esth 1:5), he arrogantly asked the Jews if God could do better for them than that. They quoted this line to him in reply, and said that in the time to come if God provided nothing better for them than this feast, they could tell Him that they had already enjoyed such a feast at the table of Ahasuerus.
Isaiah 64:10After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in a.d. 70 it became a religious tradition among the rabbis to recite vv 10 and 11 and to rip a tear in their robes whenever they saw the ruins.
Isaiah 65:4Meat that is ceremonially unclean or has been kept until the third day.
Isaiah 65:5Or would transfer holiness to you (and thereby make the recipient subject to inconvenient restrictions).
Isaiah 65:6Or bosom, i.e. the fold in the outer robe where personal items are sometimes kept.
Isaiah 66:8Never in the history of the world had such a thing happened before—but God keeps His word. As foretold here and in Ezek 37:21, 22, Israel became a recognized nation, actually “born in one day.” After being away from their homeland for almost 2,000 years, the Jews were given a national homeland in Palestine by the Balfour Declaration in November 1917. In 1922, the League of Nations gave Great Britain the mandate over Palestine. On May 14, 1948, Great Britain withdrew her mandate, and immediately Israel was declared a sovereign state, and her growth and importance among nations was astonishing.
Isaiah 66:17Perhaps referring to the image of the Syrian god Adad. Some commentators also suggest that this may refer to the cultic leader in the center who shows by his example how to conduct the ceremonies.
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