Isaiah 63:4
For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
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(4) The day of vengeance is.—Better, in both clauses, was, as pointing to the motive of the action, of which the blood-stained garments were the result.

The year of my redeemed . . .—Better, the year of my redemption, scil., the work of redeeming my people.

63:1-6 The prophet, in vision, beholds the Messiah returning in triumph from the conquest of his enemies, of whom Edom was a type. Travelling, not as wearied by the combat, but, in the greatness of his strength, prepared to overcome every opposing power. Messiah declares that he had been treading the wine-press of the wrath of God, Re 14:19; 19:13, and by his own power, without any human help, he had crushed his obstinate opposers, for the day of vengeance was determined on, being the appointed season for rescuing his church. Once, he appeared on earth in apparent weakness, to pour out his precious blood as an atonement for our sins; but he will in due time appear in the greatness of his strength. The vintage ripens apace; the day of vengeance, fixed and determined on, approaches apace; let sinners seek to be reconciled to their righteous Judge, ere he brings down their strength to the earth. Does Christ say, I come quickly? let our hearts reply, Even so, come; let the year of the redeemed come.For the day of vengeance - (See the notes at Isaiah 34:8).

And the year of my redeemed is come - The year when my people are to be redeemed. It is a year when their foes are all to be destroyed, and when their entire liberty is to be effected.

4. is—rather, "was." This assigns the reason why He has thus destroyed the foe (Zep 3:8).

my redeemed—My people to be redeemed.

day … year—here, as in Isa 34:8; 61:2, the time of "vengeance" is described as a "day"; that of grace and of "recompense" to the "redeemed," as a "year."

The day of vengeance, designed and purposed by me to take vengeance on the enemies of my church; or particularly the posterity of Esau.

Day and

year is all one, save the latter may have some respect to the length of their captivity.

Is in mine heart; or, was in my heart; a desire of execution, Psalm 40:8. I have meditated or studied revenge; being long forborne, hath wrought in me resolutions of revenge; therefore wonder not that I am so bloody: noting the severity of his proceedings against his enemies.

My redeemed: the Jews have this title, because he redeemed them out of Egypt, and would also out of Babylon.

Is come; is at hand: see Psalm 102:13 Isaiah 34:8. The former part of the verse shows that Christ is still about his work, though he defer the execution till the fit time come; he may allude to the year of jubilee. For the day of vengeance is in my heart,.... Resolved on with him, fixed by him, and which is desirable to him; he has it at heart, and longs as it were till the time is come to avenge the blood of his saints on the Romish antichrist, whom he will destroy with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming; see 2 Thessalonians 2:8 and when he shall pour out all his vials on the antichristian states, and revenge the cause and quarrel of his people, Revelation 16:1,

and the year of my redeemed is come; the time when those who are already redeemed by the blood of Christ, and so are his property, whom he claims as his own, being the purchase of his blood, shall be redeemed again from antichristian bondage and slavery, shall be called and brought out of Babylon; and when those, who have led them captive, shall go into captivity themselves: this will be a jubilee year to the saints; a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; when, being rid of all their persecuting enemies, they will enjoy the utmost peace, prosperity, and safety; see Revelation 13:10.

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.

4. the day of vengeance] announced in ch. Isaiah 61:2.

is in mine heart] i.e. in my purpose.

the year of my redeemed] Another rendering, preferred by many authorities, is the year of my redemption: the plural being taken as expressing the abstract idea, in accordance with a common Hebr. usage. The year of redemption is the same as the year of Jehovah’s favour in ch. Isaiah 61:2; it is the time of Israel’s victory and salvation, a year that has no end.Verse 4. - For the day of vengeance is in my heart. Translate, for a day of vengeance was in my heart (comp Isaiah 34:8; Isaiah 61:2). "A day" is time enough for God to take vengeance, to kill, and to destroy. He hastens over work that is necessary, but uncongenial. But he lengthens out the time of release and redemption for his loved ones. The "day of vengeance" ushers in the "year of redemption." Is come; rather, was come. The Divine speaker goes back to the time preceding the actual punishment of the nations. The concluding strophe goes back to the standpoint of the captivity. "Go forth, go forth through the gates, clear the way of the people. Cast up, cast up the road, clear it of stones; lift up a banner above the nations! Behold, Jehovah hath caused tidings to sound to the end of the earth. Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. And men will call them the holy people, the redeemed of Jehovah; and men will call thee, Striven after, A city that will not be forsaken." We cannot adopt the rendering proposed by Gesenius, "Go ye into the gates," whether of Jerusalem or of the temple, since the reading would then be שׁערים בּאוּ (Genesis 23:10) or בשּׁערים (Jeremiah 7:2). For although בּ עבר may under certain circumstances be applied to entrance into a city (Judges 9:26), yet it generally denotes either passing through a land (Isaiah 8:21; Isaiah 34:10; Genesis 41:46; Leviticus 26:6, etc.), or through a nation (2 Samuel 20:14), or through a certain place (Isaiah 10:28); so that the phrase בּשּׁער עבר, which does not occur anywhere else (for in Micah 2:13, which refers, however, to the exodus of the people out of the gates of the cities of the captivity, שׁער ויּעברוּ do not belong together), must refer to passing through the gate; and the cry בשׁערים עברוּ means just the same as מבּבל צאוּ ("Go ye forth from Babylon") in Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11.

The call to go out of Babylon forms the conclusion of the prophecy here, just as it does in Isaiah 48:20-21; Isaiah 52:11-12. It is addressed to the exiles; but who are they to whom the command is given, "Throw up a way," - a summons repeatedly found in all the three books of these prophecies (Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 57:14)? They cannot be the heathen, for this is contradicted by the conclusion of the charge, "Lift ye up a banner above the nations;" nor can we adopt what seems to us a useless fancy on the part of Stier, viz., that Isaiah 62:10 is addressed to the watchmen on the walls of Zion. We have no hesitation, therefore, in concluding that they are the very same persons who are to march through the gates of Babylon. The vanguard (or pioneers) of those who are coming out are here summoned to open the way by which the people are to march, to throw up the road (viz., by casting up an embankment, hamsillâh, as in Isaiah 11:16; Isaiah 49:11; maslūl, Isaiah 35:8), to clear it of stones (siqqēl, as in Isaiah 5:2; cf., Hosea 9:12, shikkēl mē'âdâm), and lift up a banner above the nations (one rising so high as to be visible far and wide), that the diaspora of all places may join those who are returning home with the friendly help of the nations (Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 49:22). For Jehovah hath caused tidings to be heard to the end of the earth, i.e., as we may see from what follows, the tidings of their liberation; in other words, looking at the historical fulfilment, the proclamation of Cyrus, which he caused to be issued throughout his empire at the instigation of Jehovah (Ezra 1:1). Hitzig regards השׁמיע as expressing what had actually occurred at the time when the prophet uttered his predictions; and in reality the standpoint of the prophets was so far a variable one, that the fulfilment of what was predicted did draw nearer and nearer to it ἐν πνεύματι. But as hinnēh throughout the book of Isaiah, even when followed by a perfect, invariably points to something future, all that can be said is, that the divine announcement of the time of redemption, as having now arrived, stands out before the soul of the prophet with all the certainty of a historical fact. The conclusion which Knobel draws from the expression "to the end of the earth," as to the Babylonian standpoint of the prophet, is a false one. In his opinion, "the end of the earth" in such passages as Psalm 72:8; Zechariah 9:10 ('aphsē-'ârets), and Isaiah 24:16 (kenaph hâ'ârets), signifies the western extremity of the orbis orientalis, that is to say, the region of the Mediterranean, more especially Palestine; whereas it was rather a term applied to the remotest lands which bounded the geographical horizon (compare Isaiah 42:10; Isaiah 48:20, with Psalm 2:8; Psalm 22:28, and other passages). The words that follow ("Say ye," etc.) might be taken as a command issued on the ground of the divine hishimiă‛ ("the Lord hath proclaimed"); but hishimiă‛ itself is a word that needs to be supplemented, so that what follows is the divine proclamation: Men everywhere, i.e., as far as the earth or the dispersion of Israel extends, are to say to the daughter of Zion - that is to say, to the church which has its home in Zion, but is now in foreign lands - that "its salvation cometh," i.e., that Jehovah, its Saviour, is coming to bestow a rich reward upon His church, which has passed through sever punishment, but has been so salutarily refined. Those to whom the words "Say ye," etc., are addressed, are not only the prophets of Israel, but all the mourners of Zion, who become mebhasserı̄m, just because they respond to this appeal (compare the meaning of this "Say ye to the daughter of Zion" with Zechariah 9:9 in Matthew 21:5). The whole of the next clause, "Behold, His reward," etc., is a repetition of the prophet's own words in Isaiah 40:10. It is a question whether the words "and they shall call thee," etc., contain the gospel which is to be proclaimed according to the will of Jehovah to the end of the earth (see Isaiah 48:20), or whether they are a continuation of the prophecy which commences with "Behold, Jehovah hath proclaimed." The latter is the more probable, as the address here passes again into an objective promise. The realization of the gospel, which Jehovah causes to be preached, leads men to call those who are now still in exile "the holy people," "the redeemed" (lit. ransomed, Isaiah 51:10; like pedūyē in Isaiah 35:10). "And thee" - thus does the prophecy close by returning to a direct address to Zion-Jerusalem - "thee will men call derūshâh," sought assiduously, i.e., one whose welfare men, and still more Jehovah, are zealously concerned to promote (compare the opposite in Jeremiah 30:17) - "a city that will not be forsaken," i.e., in which men gladly settle, and which will never be without inhabitants again (the antithesis to ‛ăzūbhâh in Isaiah 60:15), possibly also in the sense that the gracious presence of God will never be withdrawn from it again (the antithesis to ‛ăzūbhâh in Isaiah 62:4). נעזבה is the third pers. pr., like nuchâmâh in Isaiah 54:11 : the perfect as expressing the abstract present (Ges. 126, 3).

The following prophecy anticipates the question, how Israel can possibly rejoice in the recovered possession of its inheritance, if it is still to be surrounded by such malicious neighbours as the Edomites.

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