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Vengeance on Edom


“Who is this that comes from Edom,

from Bozrah in garments stained crimson?

Who is this so splendidly robed,

marching in his great might?”


“It is I, announcing vindication,

mighty to save.”



“Why are your robes red,

and your garments like theirs who tread the wine press?”



“I have trodden the wine press alone,

and from the peoples no one was with me;

I trod them in my anger

and trampled them in my wrath;

their juice spattered on my garments,

and stained all my robes.


For the day of vengeance was in my heart,

and the year for my redeeming work had come.


I looked, but there was no helper;

I stared, but there was no one to sustain me;

so my own arm brought me victory,

and my wrath sustained me.


I trampled down peoples in my anger,

I crushed them in my wrath,

and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”


God’s Mercy Remembered


I will recount the gracious deeds of the L ord,

the praiseworthy acts of the L ord,

because of all that the L ord has done for us,

and the great favor to the house of Israel

that he has shown them according to his mercy,

according to the abundance of his steadfast love.


For he said, “Surely they are my people,

children who will not deal falsely”;

and he became their savior


in all their distress.

It was no messenger or angel

but his presence that saved them;

in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;

he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.



But they rebelled

and grieved his holy spirit;

therefore he became their enemy;

he himself fought against them.


Then they remembered the days of old,

of Moses his servant.

Where is the one who brought them up out of the sea

with the shepherds of his flock?

Where is the one who put within them

his holy spirit,


who caused his glorious arm

to march at the right hand of Moses,

who divided the waters before them

to make for himself an everlasting name,


who led them through the depths?

Like a horse in the desert,

they did not stumble.


Like cattle that go down into the valley,

the spirit of the L ord gave them rest.

Thus you led your people,

to make for yourself a glorious name.

A Prayer of Penitence


Look down from heaven and see,

from your holy and glorious habitation.

Where are your zeal and your might?

The yearning of your heart and your compassion?

They are withheld from me.


For you are our father,

though Abraham does not know us

and Israel does not acknowledge us;

you, O L ord, are our father;

our Redeemer from of old is your name.


Why, O L ord, do you make us stray from your ways

and harden our heart, so that we do not fear you?

Turn back for the sake of your servants,

for the sake of the tribes that are your heritage.


Your holy people took possession for a little while;

but now our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.


We have long been like those whom you do not rule,

like those not called by your name.


6. And I will tread down the peoples. From the preceding statement he draws the conclusion, that God’s wrath is sufficiently powerful to destroy the wicked, without calling for the assistance of others; and he does so in order that the Jews may not be deterred from cherishing favorable hopes by the strength that is arrayed against them.

And will make them drunk. The expression, “make drunk,” must here be taken in a different sense from what it formerly had in some passages. We have seen that sometimes we are made drunk, when God strikes us with fury or madness, (Isaiah 29:9,) or with a spirit of giddiness, (Isaiah 19:14,) or, in a word, “gives us up to a reprobate mind.” (Romans 1:28.) But here it means nothing else than “to fill,” and to strike even to satiety, or, as we commonly say, (tout leur saoul,) “to their heart’s content;” a metaphor which the prophets frequently employ.

And will cast down their strength to the earth. That is, though they think that they are invincible, yet I will cast down and destroy them. The meaning may be thus summed up. “The Jews, when they are afflicted, must not call in question their salvation, as if God hated them, and must not be amazed at the chastisements which they endure, as if they happened by chance; for other nations, by whom they are now oppressed, shall be punished, there shall be a revolution of affairs, and they shall not escape who chant a triumph before the time. He produces as an example the Edomites, because they were nearer and better known than others, and were also the most injurious.

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