New American Standard Bible
Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence--
King James Bible
Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
Darby Bible Translation
Oh, that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
World English Bible
Oh that you would tear the heavens, that you would come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence,
Young's Literal Translation
Didst Thou not rend the heavens? Thou didst come down, From thy presence did mountains flow,
Isaiah 64:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens - That is, in view of the considerations urged in the previous chapter. In view of the fact that the temple is burned up Isaiah 64:11; that the city is desolate; that the land lies waste, and that thine own people are carried captive to a distant land. The phrase 'rend the heavens,' implies a sudden and sublime descent of Yahweh to execute vengeance on his foes, as if his heart was full of vengeance, and the firmament were violently rent asunder at his sudden appearance. It is language properly expressive of a purpose to execute wrath on his foes, rather than to confer blessings on his people. The latter is more appropriately expressed by the heavens being gently opened to make way for the descending blessings. The word rendered here 'rend' (קרע qâra‛), means properly to tear asunder, as, e. g., the garments in grief Genesis 37:29; 2 Samuel 13:31; or as a wild beast does the breast of anyone Hosea 13:8. The Septuagint, however, render it by a milder word - ἀνοίξης anoixēs - 'If thou wouldst open the heavens,' etc. So the Syriac renders it by 'O that thou wouldst open,' using a word that is usually applied to the opening of a door. God is often represented as coming down from heaven in a sublime manner amidst tempests, fire, and storms, to take vengeance on his foes. Thus Psalm 18:9 :
He bowed the heavens also and came down;
And darkness was under his feet.
Compare Habakkuk 3:5-6. It should be remembered that the main idea in the passage before us is that of Yahweh coming down to destroy his foes. His people entreat him to descend with the proofs of his indignation, so that every obstacle shall be destroyed before him, Thus he is described in Psalm 144:5-6 :
Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down;
Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke;
Cast forth lightning, and scatter them,
Shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.
That the mountains might flow down at thy presence - The idea here is, that the presence of Yahweh would be like an intense burning heat, so that the mountains would melt and flow away. It is a most sublime description of his majesty, and is one that is several times employed in the Bible. Thus in relation to his appearance on Mount Sinai, in the song of Deborah Judges 5:4-5 :
The earth trembled and the heavens dropped,
The clouds also dropped water.
The mountains melted from before Yahweh,
Even Sinai from before Yahweh, the God of Israel.
So Psalm 97:5 :
LibraryPutting God to Work
"For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God beside thee who worketh for him that waiteth for him."--Isaiah 64:4. The assertion voiced in the title given this chapter is but another way of declaring that God has of His own motion placed Himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated Himself to answer the prayers of men. He has ordained prayer as a means whereby He will do things through men as they pray, which He would not otherwise do. Prayer …
Edward M. Bounds—The Weapon of Prayer
Twelfth Day for the Spirit to Convince the World of Sin
"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness," &C.
A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification, by Faith in Jesus Christ;
Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.
"The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD, This Sinai, at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet.
The earth quaked; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Bow Your heavens, O LORD, and come down; Touch the mountains, that they may smoke.
"Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff.
We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, Like those who were not called by Your name.
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