Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel…
The land of Edom was the country inhabited by the descendants of Esau. The original enmity between Esau and Jacob was kept up by the two races. The Edomites were regarded by the Israelites as their hereditary enemies, and no doubt the feeling was reciprocated. The Edomites had special opportunities for harassing Israel, by reason of the proximity of their country. Bozrah was one of the chief cities, if not the chief city, of Edom. We may try to realize the scene so graphically sketched in this passage. At a time when war had been raging, and enmity was at its height, one of the Israelites is represented as walking on the hill that overlooked the plains of Edom. He heard sounds of triumph; turning to the direction whence the sounds proceeded, he saw in the distance the dust arising from a crowd of people, shouting and rejoicing as they came marching on. They evidently came from the chief city of Edom. Now he discerns one in the very midst of the crowd, all stained with the blood of battle, but crowned with the victor's crown, and having a mien and attitude that tell of readiness to do and dare even yet greater things. The man glories in the triumph that has been won over the national foe, and hasting down to join the victors, he asks, in admiration rather than in inquiry, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?' Quickened spiritual vision sees the Messianic meaning of this prophetic picture. We take our stand in the garden, where was Joseph's new tomb, on the greatest Sunday morning that ever dawned on sinful earth. Forth from the grave came One, stained indeed with the marks of conflict, but glorious in his victory; able to "speak in righteousness," able to "save."
I. WHENCE HE COMES. "From Edom and Bozrah," the land and chief town of Israel's enemies, the Champion came. The great enemy of the human family is sin, and the sign of the worst that sin can do is the grave. "Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." Christ came forth from the grave, bursting asunder its bars and gates, as the assurance that he was, once and for ever, Conqueror over sin, and Conqueror for us.
II. HOW HE APPEARS. "With dyed, stained garments." These indicate that he has waged a fierce, bloody contest. Even in our day, rent and blood-stained garments would tell of a great fight; but these were surer signs in Isaiah's days, when battles were direct band-to-hand encounters. In the Apocalypse, John saw our Redeemer - the Word of God - and he was "clothed with a vesture dipped in blood." The greatness, the severity, the seriousness, of our Redeemer's conflict may be seen by considering
(1) the power and bitterness of the foes he encountered;
(2) the wounds they gave; and
(3) the fact that they actually had him down.
Illustrate this third point by reference to Bunyan's figure of the fight between the pilgrim Christian and Apollyon, in the Valley of Humiliation.
III. WHAT HE CAN DO. He travels "in the greatness of his strength." He is "mighty to save." He is proved to be strong; shown to be "able to save." He is a proved Samson; a tested David. He is worthy to be trusted with the whole work of redeeming us from sin,
(1) its penalty;
(2) its power;
(3) its consequences.
In conclusion, it may be urged:
1. That Christ is willing to apply to us the full benefits of his redemptive victory.
2. That Christ has, since his resurrection, made some glorious displays of his power to save. Illustrations: St. Paul, the jailor at Philippi, John Newton, Africaner, etc.
3. That there is no limit to the power of his saving grace. Each one of us may say, "He is able to save even me. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
WEB: Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this who is glorious in his clothing, marching in the greatness of his strength? "It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."