Isaiah 64:10
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

King James Bible
Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

American Standard Version
Thy holy cities are become a wilderness, Zion is become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The city of thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert, Jerusalem is desolate.

English Revised Version
Thy holy cities are become a wilderness, Zion is become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

Isaiah 64:10 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

After the long period governed by לוּא has thus been followed by the retrospect in Isaiah 64:3 (4.), it is absolutely impossible that Isaiah 64:4 (5a) should be intended as an optative, in the sense of "O that thou wouldst receive him that," etc., as Stier and others propose. The retrospect is still continued thus: "Thou didst meet him that rejoiceth to work righteousness, when they remembered Thee in Thy ways." צדק ועשׂה שׂשׂ is one in whom joy and right action are paired, and is therefore equivalent to לעשׂות שׂשׂ. At the same time, it may possibly be more correct to take צדק as the object of both verses, as Hofmann does in the sense of "those who let what is right be their joy, and their action also;" for though שׂוּשׂ (שׂישׂ) cannot be directly construed with the accusative of the object, as we have already observed at Isaiah 8:6 and Isaiah 35:1, it may be indirectly, as in this passage and Isaiah 65:18. On pâga‛, "to come to meet," in the sense of "coming to the help of," see at Isaiah 47:3; it is here significantly interchanged with בּדרכיך of the minor clause bidrâkhekhâ yizkerūkhâ, "those who remember Thee in Thy ways" (for the syntax, compare Isaiah 1:5 and Isaiah 26:16): "When such as love and do right, walking in Thy ways, remembered Thee (i.e., thanked Thee for grace received, and longed for fresh grace), Thou camest again and again to meet them as a friend."

But Israel appeared to have been given up without hope to the wrath of this very God. Isaiah 64:4 (5b). "Behold, Thou, Thou art enraged, and we stood as sinners there; already have we been long in this state, and shall we be saved?" Instead of hēn ‛attâh (the antithesis of now and formerly), the passage proceeds with hēn 'attâh. There was no necessity for 'attâh with qâtsaphtâ; so that it is used with special emphasis: "Behold, Thou, a God who so faithfully accepts His own people, hast broken out in wrath." The following word ונּחטא cannot mean "and we have sinned," but is a fut. consec., and therefore must mean at least, "then we have sinned" (the sin inferred from the punishment). It is more correct, however, to take it, as in Genesis 43:9, in the sense of, "Then we stand as sinners, as guilty persons:" the punishment has exhibited Israel before the world, and before itself, as what it really is (consequently the fut. consec. does not express the logical inference, but the practical consequence). As ונחטא has tsakeph, and therefore the accents at any rate preclude Shelling's rendering, "and we have wandered in those ways from the very earliest times," we must take the next two clauses as independent, if indeed בהם is to be understood as referring to בדרכיך. Stier only goes halfway towards this when he renders it, "And indeed in them (the ways of God, we sinned) from of old, and should we be helped?" This is forced, and yet not in accordance with the accents. Rosenmller and Hahn quite satisfy this demand when they render it, "Tamen in viis tuis aeternitas ut salvemur;" but ‛ōlâm, αἰών, in this sense of αἰωνιότης, is not scriptural. The rendering adopted by Besser, Grotius, and Starck is a better one: "(Si vero) in illis (viis tuis) perpetuo (mansissemus), tunc servati fuerimus" (if we had continued in Thy ways, then we should have been preserved). But there is no succession of tenses here, which could warrant us in taking ונוּשׁע as a paulo-post future; and Hofmann's view is syntactically more correct, "In them (i.e., the ways of Jehovah) eternally, we shall find salvation, after the time is passed in which He has been angry and we have sinned" (or rather, been shown to be guilty). But we question the connection between בהם and רדכיך in any form. In our view the prayer suddenly takes a new turn from hēn (behold) onwards, just as it did with lū' (O that) in Isaiah 64:1; and רדכיך in Isaiah 64:5 stands at the head of a subordinate clause. Hence בהם must refer back to ונחטא קצפת ("in Thine anger and in our sins," Schegg). There is no necessity, however, to search for nouns to which to refer בּהם. It is rather to be taken as neuter, signifying "therein" (Ezekiel 33:18, cf., Psalm 90:10), like עליהם, thereupon equals thereby (Isaiah 38:16), בּהן therein (Isaiah 37:16), מהם thereout (Isaiah 30:6), therefrom (Isaiah 44:15). The idea suggested by such expressions as these is no doubt that of plurality (here a plurality of manifestations of wrath and of sins), but one which vanishes into the neuter idea of totality. Now we do justice both to the clause without a verb, which, being a logical copula, admits simply of a present sumus; and also to ‛ōlâm, which is the accusative of duration, when we explain the sentence as meaning, "In this state we are and have been for a long time." ‛Olâm is used in other instances in these prophecies to denote the long continuance of the sate of punishment (see Isaiah 42:14; Isaiah 57:11), since it appeared to the exiles as an eternity (a whole aeon), and what lay beyond it as but a little while (mits‛âr, Isaiah 63:18). The following word ונוּשׁע needs no correction. There is no necessity to change it into ונּתע, as Ewald proposes, after the lxx καὶ ἐπλανήθημεν ("and we fell into wandering"), or what would correspond still more closely to the lxx (cf., Isaiah 46:8, פשׁעים, lxx πεπλανήμενοι), but is less appropriate here, into ונּפשׁע ("and we fell into apostasy"), the reading supported by Lowth and others. If it were necessary to alter the text at all, we might simply transpose the letters, and read וּנשׁוּע, "and cried for help." But if we take it as a question, "And shall we experience salvation - find help?" there is nothing grammatically inadmissible in this (compare Isaiah 28:28), and psychologically it is commended by the state of mind depicted in Isaiah 40:27; Isaiah 59:10-12. Moreover, what follows attaches itself quite naturally to this.

Isaiah 64:10 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Isaiah 1:7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate...

2 Kings 25:9 And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem...

2 Chronicles 36:19-21 And they burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire...

Psalm 79:1-7 O God, the heathen are come into your inheritance; your holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps...

Lamentations 1:1-4 How does the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations...

Lamentations 2:4-8 He has bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary...

Lamentations 5:18 Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk on it.

Daniel 9:26,27 And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself...

Daniel 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was on the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven...

Micah 3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps...

Luke 21:21,24 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the middle of it depart out...

Revelation 11:1,2 And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar...

Cross References
Isaiah 1:7
Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.

Isaiah 6:11
Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said: "Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste,

Isaiah 48:2
For they call themselves after the holy city, and stay themselves on the God of Israel; the LORD of hosts is his name.

Isaiah 52:1
Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean.

Jeremiah 52:13
And he burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down.

Lamentations 1:10
The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things; for she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, those whom you forbade to enter your congregation.

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