63:1 Who [is] this that cometh a from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this [that is] glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? b I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
(a) This prophecy is against the Idumeans and enemies who persecuted the Church, on whom God will take vengeance, and is here set forth all bloody after he has destroyed them in Bozrah, the chief city of the Idumeans: for these were their greatest enemies,and under the title of circumcision and the kindred of Abraham. 63:2 c Why [art thou] red in thy apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine press?
(b) God answers them that asked this question, "Who is this?" etc. and says "You see now performed in deed the vengeance which my prophets threatened."
(c) Another question, to which the Lord answers. 63:4 For the day of vengeance [is] in my heart, and the d year of my redeemed is come.
(d) Showing that when God punishes his enemies, it is for the profit and deliverance of his Church. 63:5 And I looked, and [there was] none to help; and I wondered that [there was] none to uphold: therefore my own e arm brought salvation to me; and my fury, it upheld me.
63:6 And I will tread down the people in my anger, and make them f drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
(e) God shows that he has no need of mans help for the deliverance of his, and though men refuse to do their duty through negligence and ingratitude, yet he himself will deliver his Church, and punish the enemies, ( Isaiah 59:16 ).
(f) I will so astonish them and make them so giddy that they will not know which way to go. 63:7 I will g mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, [and] the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
(g) The prophet speaks this to move the people to remember Gods benefits in times past, that they may be confirmed in their troubles. 63:8 For he said, Surely they [are] my h people, children [that] will not lie: so he was their Saviour.
(h) For I chose them to be mine, that they should be holy, and not deceive my expectation. 63:9 In all their affliction he was i afflicted, and the angel k of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bore them, and carried them all the days of old.
(i) He bore their afflictions and griefs as though they had been his own. 63:11 Then he l remembered the days of old, Moses, [and] his people, [saying], Where [is] he that brought them out of the sea with the m shepherd of his flock? where [is] he that put his Holy Spirit within n him?
(k) Which was a witness of Gods presence, and this may be referred to Christ, to whom belongs the office of salvation.
(l) That is, the people of Israel being afflicted, called to mind Gods benefits, which he had bestowed on their fathers in times past. 63:13 That led them through the deep, as an o horse in the wilderness, [that] they should not stumble?
(m) Meaning, Moses.
(n) That is, in Moses that he might well govern the people: some refer this giving of the spirit to the people.
(o) Peaceably and gentle, as a horse is led to his pasture. 63:15 p Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where [is] thy q zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they r restrained?
(p) Having declared Gods benefits showed to their forefathers, he turned himself to God by prayer, desiring him to continue the same graces toward them. 63:16 Doubtless thou [art] our father, though s Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, [art] our father, our redeemer; thy name [is] from everlasting.
(q) Your great affection, which you bore for us.
(r) Meaning, from the whole body of the Church.
(s) Though Abraham would refuse us to be his children, yet you will not refuse to be our father. 63:17 O LORD, why hast t thou made us to err from thy ways, [and] hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy u servants sake, the tribes of thy inheritance.
(t) By taking away the Holy Spirit from us, by whom we were governed, and so for our ingratitude delivered us up to our own concupiscence, and punished sin by sin according to your just judgment. 63:18 The people of thy holiness have possessed [it] but a little x while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.
(u) Meaning, for the covenants sake made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob his servants.
(x) That is, in respect to the promise, which is perpetual: even though they had now possessed the land of Canaan for 1400 years: and thus they lament, to move God rather to remember his covenant, than to punish their sins.