Isa 64:1-12. Transition from
Complaint to Prayer.
1. rend … heavens—bursting forth
to execute vengeance, suddenly descending on Thy people's foe (Ps
18:9; 144:5; Hab 3:5, 6).
flow down—(Jud 5:5; Mic
2. Oh, that Thy wrath would consume Thy foes
as the fire. Rather, "as the fire burneth the dry
3. When—Supply from Isa 64:2, "As when."
terrible things—(Ps 65:5).
we looked not for—far exceeding the
expectation of any of our nation; unparalleled before (Ex 34:10; Ps
camest down—on Mount Sinai.
mountains flowed—Repeated from Isa 64:1; they pray God to do the very
same things for Israel now as in former ages. Gesenius, instead of "flowed" here, and "flow" in
64:1, translates from a
different Hebrew root, "quake … quaked"; but "fire"
melts and causes to flow, rather than to quake
4. perceived by the ear—Paul (1Co 2:9) has for this, "nor have entered
into the heart of man"; the virtual sense, sanctioned by his inspired
authority; men might hear with the outward ear, but they could only by
the Spirit "perceive" with the "heart" the spiritual significancy of
God's acts, both those in relation to Israel, primarily referred to
here, and those relating to the Gospel secondarily, which Paul refers
O God … what he …
prepared—rather, "nor hath eye seen a god beside thee
who doeth such things." They refer to God's past
marvellous acts in behalf of Israel as a plea for His now interposing
for His people; but the Spirit, as Paul by inspiration shows,
contemplated further God's revelation in the Gospel, which
abounds in marvellous paradoxes never before heard of by carnal ear,
not to be understood by mere human sagacity, and when foretold by the
prophets not fully perceived or credited; and even after the
manifestation of Christ not to be understood save through the inward
teaching of the Holy Ghost. These are partly past and present, and
partly future; therefore Paul substitutes "prepared" for "doeth,"
though his context shows he includes all three. For "waiteth" he has
"love Him"; godly waiting on Him must flow from love, and not
5. meetest—that is, Thou makest peace,
or enterest into covenant with him (see on Isa
rejoiceth and worketh—that is, who
with joyful willingness worketh [Gesenius] (Ac 10:35; Joh 7:17).
those—Thou meetest "those," in
apposition to "him" who represents a class whose characteristics "those
that," &c., more fully describes.
remember thee in thy ways—(Isa 26:8).
sinned—literally, "tripped," carrying
on the figure in "ways."
in those is continuance—a plea to
deprecate the continuance of God's wrath; it is not in
Thy wrath that there is continuance (Isa 54:7, 8; Ps 30:5;
103:9), but in Thy
ways ("those"), namely, of covenant mercy to Thy people (Mic 7:18-20;
Mal 3:6); on the strength of
the everlasting continuance of His covenant they infer by faith, "we
shall be saved." God "remembered" for them His covenant (Ps 106:45), though they often "remembered
not" Him (Ps 78:42).
Castellio translates, "we have sinned
for long in them ('thy ways'), and could we then be saved?" But they
hardly would use such a plea when their very object was to be
6. unclean thing—legally unclean, as a
leper. True of Israel, everywhere now cut off by unbelief and by God's
judgments from the congregation of the saints.
extended to every particular act of theirs, even to their
prayers and praises. True of the best doings of the unregenerate (Php 3:6-8; Tit 1:15; Heb 11:6).
filthy rags—literally, a "menstruous
rag" (Le 15:33; 20:18; La 1:17).
fade … leaf—(Ps 90:5, 6).
7. stirreth—rouseth himself from
take hold—(Isa 27:5).
8. father—(Isa 63:16).
clay … potter—(Isa 29:16;
45:9). Unable to mould
themselves aright, they beg the sovereign will of God to mould them
unto salvation, even as He made them at the first, and is their
9. (Ps 74:1, 2).
we are … thy people—(Jer 14:9,
10. holy cities—No city but Jerusalem is
called "the holy city" (Isa 48:2; 52:1); the plural, therefore, refers
to the upper and the lower parts of the same city Jerusalem
[Vitringa]; or all Judea was holy to
God, so its cities were deemed "holy" [Maurer]. But the parallelism favors Vitringa. Zion and Jerusalem (the one
city) answering to "holy cities."
11. house—the temple.
beautiful—includes the idea of
glorious (Mr 13:1; Ac 3:2).
burned—(Ps 74:7; La 2:7; 2Ch
36:19). Its destruction under
Nebuchadnezzar prefigured that under Titus.
"objects of desire"; our homes, our city, and all its dear
12. for these things—Wilt Thou,
notwithstanding these calamities of Thy people, still refuse Thy