|<< Isaiah 64 >>|
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
64:1 Rent - A metaphor taken from men, that when they would resolutely help one in distress, break and fling open doors and whatever may hinder. Flow down - That all impediments might be removed out of the way: possibly an allusion to God's coming down upon mount Sinai, in those terrible flames of fire.
2 As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!
64:2 Fire - Come with such zeal for thy people, that the solid mountains may be no more before thy breath, than metal that runs, or water that boils by the force of a vehement fire. Known - That thine enemies may know thy power, and that thy name may be dreaded among them.
3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.
64:3 Terrible things - This may relate to what he did among the Egyptians, tho' it be not recorded, and afterward in the wilderness. Looked not for - Such things as we could never expect. Mountains - Kings, princes, and potentates, may metaphorically be understood by these mountains.
4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
64:4 Besides thee - This is to be applied to all the wonderful works, that God at all times wrought for his people: and thus they are a plea with God, that they might well expect such things from him now, that had done such wonderful things for their fathers. Waiteth - This may be taken with reference both to the state of grace and glory, those incomprehensible things that are exhibited through Christ in the mysteries of the gospel.
5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.
64:5 Meetest - As the father the prodigal. Worketh - That rejoices to work righteousness. Continuance - To those that work righteousness. Be saved - In so doing, in working righteousness.
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
64:6 Unclean - Formerly there were some that feared thee; but now we are all as one polluted mass, nothing of good left in us by reason of an universal degeneracy. And all - The very best of us all are no better than the uncleanest things. Taken - Carried away to Babylon, as leaves hurried away by a boisterous wind.
7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
64:7 That calleth - That call upon thee as they ought. Take hold - Either to stay thee from departing from us, or to fetch thee back when departed.
8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
64:8 Our father - Notwithstanding all this thou art our father both by creation, and by adoption, therefore pity us thy children.
9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
64:9 Thy people - Thou hast no people in covenant but us, and wilt thou not leave thyself a people in the world?
10 Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.
64:11 Pleasant things - The king's palace, and the houses of the nobles, and other pieces of state and magnificence.
12 Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?
64:12 Wilt thou - Do none of these things move thee to take vengeance? Thy peace - Wilt thou be as one that regards not?