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A Prayer for God to Intervene

64 [a]If only you would tear open the heavens and[b] come down,
    so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
[c]just as fire sets twigs[d] ablaze
    and the fire causes water to boil—
to make known your name to your enemies,
    yes, to your enemies before you,[e]
        so that the nations might quake at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we expected,[f]
    you came down,
        and the mountains shuddered before you.

Since[g] ancient times no one has heard,
    and[h] no ear has perceived,
and[i] no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
You come to the aid of those who gladly do what’s right,
    To those who remember you in your ways.
See, you were angry,
    and we sinned against them for a long time,
        but we will be saved.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and[j] all our righteous acts are like a filthy rag;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind, our iniquities[k] sweep us away.
There is no one who calls on your name
    or rouses himself to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
    and have given us[l] into the control[m] of our iniquity.

God, our Father, will Act

But as for you,[n] O Lord, you are our Father;
    and[o] we are clay,[p]
and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hands.[q]
Don’t be angry beyond measure, Lord,
    and don’t remember our iniquity for a season.[r]
        Please look now, we are all your people.
10 Your holy cities have become a desert;
    Zion has become like[s] a desert,
        Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy Temple and our splendor,
    where our ancestors praised you,
have become[t] a conflagration of fire,
    and all our dearest places have become[u] ruins.
12 Lord, after all this, can you hold yourself back?
    Can you keep silent and punish us so severely?


  1. Isaiah 64:1 This v. is 63:19 in the MT
  2. Isaiah 64:1 So 1QIsaa; MT lacks and
  3. Isaiah 64:2 This v. is 64:1 in the MT
  4. Isaiah 64:2 Or brushwood
  5. Isaiah 64:2 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads to make your name known to your adversaries
  6. Isaiah 64:3 So 1QIsaa; MT reads did not expect
  7. Isaiah 64:4 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads And since
  8. Isaiah 64:4 So 1QIsaa; MT lacks and
  9. Isaiah 64:4 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT lacks and
  10. Isaiah 64:6 So 1QIsaa 4QIsab LXX; MT lacks and
  11. Isaiah 64:6 The 1QIsaa utilizes a masculine noun; 1QIsab MT utilize a feminine noun
  12. Isaiah 64:7 So 1QIsaa; MT reads have melted us; LXX reads have delivered us
  13. Isaiah 64:7 Lit. hand
  14. Isaiah 64:8 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read But now
  15. Isaiah 64:8 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT lacks and
  16. Isaiah 64:8 So 1QIsaa LXX; 1QIsab MT read the clay
  17. Isaiah 64:8 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads your hand
  18. Isaiah 64:9 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads for ever
  19. Isaiah 64:10 So 1QIsaa LXX; 1QIsab MT lack like
  20. Isaiah 64:11 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read Our holy and glorious Temple … has become
  21. Isaiah 64:11 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads all our dearest places has become; MTmss read our every dearest place has become