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Isaiah 63:15

Isaiah 63:15

Look down from heaven
Here begins the prayer of the church and people of God, which continues to the end of the chapter, goes through the next, and the answer to which begins at ( Isaiah 65:1 ) . Aben Ezra calls it the prayer of the wise in captivity: it seems to be the petition of some converts among the Jews, either in the first times of the Gospel, or in the latter day; who entreat that the Lord would "look down from heaven", the third heaven, the seat of his majesty, where is his throne of glory, and his presence is most visible to angels and glorified saints; this is on high, as the phrase imports; and the persons below, on earth, at his footstool, whom he is desired to look down upon, and which to do is a great condescension in him, ( Psalms 113:6 ) ( 138:6 ) , and this is to be understood, not of that general view of persons and things, which he is always taking, ( Psalms 33:13 Psalms 33:14 ) , but of a special look of love, grace, and mercy; such an one with which he looks upon his people in Christ, with complacency and delight: indeed his eyes are always on them, and never withdrawn from them; he ever looks upon them, to preserve and protect them, to communicate unto them, to support them under their afflictions, and to deliver out of them; but because of this they are not always sensible, but are ready to conclude that he looks off from them, and turns his back upon them, therefore they desire him to return, look down, and behold; see ( Psalms 80:14 ) : and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory;
this is a description of heaven, as the dwelling place of God, who is most holy, holiness itself, in whom that perfection is most glorious, and which is displayed in all his works; and hence heaven is a holy as well as a high place, and where none but holy persons dwell; and which is a glorious place, where the glory of God is displayed, the glory of Christ is seen, and which is glory itself; and from hence the holy God is desired to behold; what creatures, dust, and ashes, sinful ones, polluted worms, at his footstool, a poor and an afflicted people: where is thy zeal, and thy strength?
his "jealousy" of his great name, and of his own glory; his jealousy of his dear people, that they are not wronged and injured; his "fervent love", and warm affections for them, of which he has given pregnant proofs; which, shed abroad in the heart, warms that, and is what many waters cannot quench: this indeed is not always alike manifest, and therefore unbelief asks where it is, as if it was quite gone; or, however, faith prays for a fresh manifestation of it. The "strength" or power of God has appeared in creation, and in the sustentation of all things; in Christ, the man of his right hand; in strengthening his people, destroying their enemies, and delivering them; and yet this not appearing sometimes at once, immediately for their help and protection, they ask where it is: it follows: the sounding of thy bowels, and of thy mercies towards me?
the noise and rumbling of the bowels, to which the allusion is, are sometimes occasioned by the working of strong passions, as fear and love, and which produce what is called the yearning of the bowels; of which there are instances in Joseph, and in the harlot in Solomon's time, ( Genesis 43:30 ) ( 1 Kings 3:26 ) , the tender mercies of God, his pity and compassion, are expressed hereby, to which are owing the mission of his Son, the forgiveness of sins, and help and relief under afflictions; see ( Luke 1:77 Luke 1:78 ) ( Psalms 51:1 ) ( Jeremiah 31:20 ) ( Hosea 11:8 ) , now it is asked, where are those? are they restrained?
it was thought they were shut up in anger, and would not be let out again; see ( Psalms 77:7-9 ) ( Isaiah 64:12 ) . The phrase "towards me", in the former clause, seems, according to the accents, to belong to this; and should be read, "are they restrained towards me" {d}? or "shut up from me?" the Lord seemed to harden his heart against his church and people, and to have no heart of compassion towards them, as they imagined.


FOOTNOTES:

F4 (wqpath yla) "erga me continerent se", Montanus; "continerent?" Junius & Tremellius; "erga me sese continent?" Piscator; "cohibeant se erga me?" Gataker; so Ben Melech; "quae se erga me continent?" Vitringa.
Read Isaiah 63:15