Isaiah 63:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
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.

King James Bible
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?

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Look down from heaven, and behold from thy holy habitation and the place of thy glory: where is thy zeal, and thy strength, the multitude of thy bowels, and of thy mercies? they have held back themselves from me.

English Revised Version
Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy mighty acts? the yearning of thy bowels and thy compassions are restrained toward me.

Webster's Bible Translation
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 towards me? are they restrained?

Isaiah 63:15 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The next v. commemorates the way in which He proved Himself a Saviour in heart and action. "In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His face brought them salvation. In His love and in His pity He redeemed them, and lifted them up, and bare them all the days of the olden time." This is one of the fifteen passages in which the chethib has לא, the keri לו. It is only with difficulty that we can obtain any meaning from the chethib: "in all the affliction which He brought upon them He did not afflict, viz., according to their desert" (Targ., Jer., Rashi); or better still, as tsâr must in this case be derived from tsūr, and tsăr is only met with in an intransitive sense, "In all their distress there was no distress" (Saad.), with which J. D. Michaelis compares 2 Corinthians 4:8, "troubled on every side, yet not distressed." The oxymoron is perceptible enough, but the להם (צר לא), which is indispensable to this expression, is wanting. Even with the explanation, "In all their affliction He was not an enemy, viz., Jehovah, to them" (Dderlein), or "No man persecuted them without the angel immediately," etc. (Cocceius and Rosenmller), we miss להם or אתם. There are other still more twisted and jejune attempts to explain the passage with לא, which are not worth the space they occupy. Even in the older translators did not know how to deal with the לא in the text. The Sept. takes tsăr as equivalent to tsı̄r, a messenger, and renders the passage according to its own peculiar interpunctuation: οὐ πρέσβυς οὐδὲ ἄγγελος ἀλλ ̓ αὐτὸς ἔσωσεν αὐτούς (neither a messenger nor an angel, but His face, i.e., He Himself helped them: Exodus 33:14-15; 2 Samuel 17:11). Everything forces to the conclusion that the keri לו is to be preferred. The Masora actually does reckon this as one of the fifteen passages in which לו is to be read for לא.

(Note: There are fifteen passages in which the keri substitutes לו for לא. See Masora magna on Leviticus 11:21 (Psalter, ii. 60). If we add Isaiah 49:5; 1 Chronicles 11:20; 1 Samuel 2:16, there are eighteen (Comm. on Job, at Job 13:15). But the first two of these are not reckoned, because they are doubtful; and in the third, instead of לּו being substituted for לא, לא is substituted for לו (Ges. Thes. 735, b). 2 Samuel 19:7 also is not a case in point, for there the keri is לוּ for לא.)

Jerome was also acquainted with this explanation. He says: "Where we have rendered it, 'In all their affliction He was not afflicted,' which is expressed in Hebrew by lo, the adverb of negation, we might read ipse; so that the sense would be, 'In all their affliction He, i.e., God, was afflicted.' " If we take the sentence in this way, "In all oppression there was oppression to Him," it yields a forcible thought in perfect accordance with the Scripture (compare e.g., Judges 10:16), an expression in harmony with the usage of the language (compare tsar-lı̄, 2 Samuel 1:26), and a construction suited to the contents (לו equals ipsi). There is nothing to surprise us in the fact that God should be said to feel the sufferings of His people as His own sufferings; for the question whether God can feel pain is answered by the Scriptures in the affirmative. He can as surely as everything originates in Him, with the exception of sin, which is a free act and only originates in Him so far as the possibility is concerned, but not in its actuality. Just as a man can feel pain, and yet in his personality keep himself superior to it, so God feels pain without His own happiness being thereby destroyed. And so did He suffer with His people; their affliction was reflected in His own life in Himself, and shared Him inwardly. But because He, the all-knowing, all-feeling One, is also the almighty will, He sent the angel of His face, and brought them salvation. "The angel of His face," says Knobel, "is the pillar of cloud and fire, in which Jehovah was present with His people in the march through the desert, with His protection, instruction, and guidance, the helpful presence of God in the pillar of cloud and fire." But where do we ever read of this, that it brought Israel salvation in the pressure of great dangers? Only on one occasion (Exodus 14:19-20) does it cover the Israelites from their pursuers; but in that very instance a distinction is expressly made between the angel of God and the pillar of cloud.

Consequently the cloud and the angel were two distinct media of the manifestation of the presence of God. They differed in two respects. The cloud was a material medium - the evil, the sign, and the site of the revealed presence of God. The angel, on the other hand, was a personal medium, a ministering spirit (λειτουργικὸν πνεῦμα), in which the name of Jehovah was indwelling for the purpose of His own self-attestation in connection with the historical preparation for the coming of salvation (Exodus 23:21). He was the mediator of the preparatory work of God in both word and deed under the Old Testament, and the manifestation of that redeeming might and grace which realized in Israel the covenant promises given to Abraham (Genesis 15). A second distinction consisted in the fact that the cloud was a mode of divine manifestation which was always visible; whereas, although the angel of God did sometimes appear in human shape both in the time of the patriarchs and also in that of Joshua (Joshua 5:13.), it never appeared in such a form during the history of the exodus, and therefore is only to be regarded as a mode of divine revelation which was chiefly discernible in its effects, and belonged to the sphere of invisibility: so that in any case, if we search in the history of the people that was brought out of Egypt for the fulfilment of such promises as Exodus 23:20-23, we are forced to the conclusion that the cloud was the medium of the settled presence of God in His angel in the midst of Israel, although it is never so expressed in the thorah. This mediatorial angel is called "the angel of His face," as being the representative of God, for "the face of God" is His self-revealing presence (even though only revealed to the mental eye); and consequently the presence of God, which led Israel to Canaan, is called directly "His face" in Deuteronomy 4:37, apart from the angelic mediation to be understood; and "my face" in Exodus 33:14-15, by the side of "my angel" in Exodus 32:34, and the angel in Exodus 33:2, appears as something incomparably higher than the presence of God through the mediation of that one angel, whose personality is completely hidden by his mediatorial instrumentality. The genitive פניו, therefore, is not to be taken objectively in the sense of "the angel who sees His face," but as explanatory, "the angel who is His face, or in whom His face is manifested." The הוּא which follows does not point back to the angel, but to Jehovah, who reveals Himself thus. But although the angel is regarded as a distinct being from Jehovah, it is also regarded as one that is completely hidden before Him, whose name is in him. He redeemed them by virtue of His love and of His chemlâh, i.e., of His forgiving gentleness (Arabic, with the letters transposed, chilm; compare, however, chamūl, gentle-hearted), and lifted them up, and carried them (נשּׂא the consequence of נטּל, which is similar in sense, and more Aramaean; cf., tollere root tal, and ferre root bhar, perf. tuli) all the days of the olden time.

The prayer passes now quite into the tone of Psalm 78 and 106, and begins to describe how, in spite of Jehovah's grace, Israel fell again and again away from Jehovah, and yet was always rescued again by virtue of His grace. For it is impossible that it should leap at once in והמּה to the people who caused the captivity, and ויּזכּר have for its subject the penitential church of the exiles which was longing for redemption (Ewald). The train of thought is rather this: From the proofs of grace which the Israel of the olden time had experienced, the prophet passes to that disobedience to Jehovah into which it fell, to that punishment of Jehovah which it thereby brought upon itself, and to that longing for the renewal of the old Mosaic period of redemption, which seized it in the midst of its state of punishment. But instead of saying that Jehovah did not leave this longing unsatisfied, and responded to the penitence of Israel with ever fresh help, the prophet passes at once from the desire of the old Israel for redemption, to the prayer of the existing Israel for redemption, suppressing the intermediate thought, that Israel was even now in such a state of punishment and longing.

Isaiah 63:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Deuteronomy 26:15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel, and the land which you have given us...

Psalm 33:14 From the place of his habitation he looks on all the inhabitants of the earth.

Psalm 80:14 Return, we beseech you, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;

Psalm 102:19,20 For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth...

Lamentations 3:50 Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.

the habitation

Isaiah 57:15 For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place...

Isaiah 66:1 Thus said the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build to me?...

1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain you...

2 Chronicles 30:27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard...

Psalm 113:5,6 Who is like to the LORD our God, who dwells on high...

Psalm 123:1 To you lift I up my eyes, O you that dwell in the heavens.


Isaiah 51:9,10 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old...

Psalm 89:49 Lord, where are your former loving kindnesses, which you swore to David in your truth?

sounding, or, multitude. thy bowels

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them...

Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, they may forget...

Psalm 25:6 Remember, O LORD, your tender mercies and your loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

Jeremiah 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still...

Hosea 11:8 How shall I give you up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver you, Israel? how shall I make you as Admah? how shall I set you as Zeboim?...

Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high has visited us,

Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him...


Psalm 77:7-9 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favorable no more...

Cross References
Deuteronomy 26:15
Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.'

Psalm 68:5
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

Psalm 80:14
Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,

Psalm 123:1
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

Isaiah 9:7
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 16:11
Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab, and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.

Isaiah 26:11
O LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.

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