Isaiah 63:15

15 Look down from heaven and see, from your lofty throne, holy and glorious. Where are your zeal and your might? Your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us.

Isaiah 63:15 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?
English Standard Version (ESV)
15 Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and beautiful habitation. Where are your zeal and your might? The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion are held back from me.
New Living Translation (NLT)
15 LORD, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now?
The Message Bible (MSG)
15 Look down from heaven, look at us! Look out the window of your holy and magnificent house! Whatever happened to your passion, your famous mighty acts, Your heartfelt pity, your compassion? Why are you holding back?
American Standard Version (ASV)
15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where are thy zeal and thy mighty acts? the yearning of thy heart and thy compassions are restrained toward me.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
15 Look down and see from heaven, from your holy and beautiful dwelling. Where is your determination and might? Where is the longing of your heart and your compassion? Don't hold back.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
15 Look down from heaven and see from Your lofty home-holy and beautiful. Where is Your zeal and Your might? Your yearning and Your compassion are withheld from me.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
15 Lord, look down from heaven. Look down from your holy and glorious throne. Where is your great love for us? Where is your power? Why don't you show us your tender love and concern?

Isaiah 63:15 Meaning and Commentary

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.


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.

Isaiah 63:15 In-Context

13 who led them through the depths? Like a horse in open country, they did not stumble;
14 like cattle that go down to the plain, they were given rest by the Spirit of the LORD. This is how you guided your people to make for yourself a glorious name.
15 Look down from heaven and see, from your lofty throne, holy and glorious. Where are your zeal and your might? Your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us.
16 But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.
17 Why, LORD, do you make us wander from your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes that are your inheritance.

Cross References 5

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 26:15; Psalms 80:14; Lamentations 3:50
  • 2. S 1 Kings 22:19; S Psalms 123:1
  • 3. S Isaiah 9:7; S Isaiah 26:11
  • 4. S 1 Kings 3:26; S Psalms 25:6; Jeremiah 31:20; Hosea 11:8
  • 5. S Genesis 43:31; Isaiah 64:12
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