Isaiah 64
Eye Has Not Seen

Isaiah 64

1. Oh that you would rend the heavens, that you would come down, that the mountains might flow down at your presence,

Verse 1: O that you would: This wish is linked to the mysticism of the last chapter in which the messiah is pictured as wearing red garments although he is also pictured as caring for the nation throughout the ages from the Exodus from Egypt through the current time and into the future mixed with calamity and future victory. Oh that you might rend the heavens and consume your enemies now may also be our wish.

2. (As when a brush fire blazes and the fire causes the waters to boil,) to make your name known to your adversaries, that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3 When you did terrible things which we did not look for. You came down; the mountains flowed down at your presence.

Verses 2 -3 terrible things: The great events described here took place during the Exodus accompanying the Ten Plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea and the giving of the Law and other experience in the desert which were accompanied by catastrophic phenomena. See Psalm 114:3-5:

The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. 4 The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs. 5 What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
The plea here is that God will again do miraculous wonders to defeat evil on earth. In fact He planned just such events that would exceed in power what was done at the time of the Exodus and so He reveals in the next verse.

4 For from eternity men have not heard, nor envisioned, neither has any eye seen, except yours O God, what you have prepared for him who waits for you.

Verse 4: Eye has not seen: This verse is quoted by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:9,10:

1 Corinthians 2:9,10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
It is wrong to conclude in Isaiah that this verse refers to what some call "end time." It is obvious that Paul sees the fulfillment of this in the humble Messiah of Nazareth and of the call of the Gentiles into Zion as a spiritual thing which is fulfilled in his day through the gospel. "Unto us they have been revealed" And their spiritual power exceeded what was done when the shekina glory led the children of Israel for 40 years out of Egypt into the promised land.

5 You meet with him that rejoices and works righteousness, those that remember you in your ways which have continuance and in them we are saved: behold, you were angry; for we have sinned: 6. And we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7 And there is none that calls on your name, or that reminds himself to take hold of you: for you have hidden your face from us, and you are depleting us because of our iniquities. 8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand. 9 Do not be full of extreme anger, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: Behold, Look, we beseech you, we are all your people. 10 Your holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised you, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.

Verse 11: See the note on 63:18 above which in that chapter mentions the destruction of the temple as an accomplished fact. It is Isaiah's style to relate his visions as though the events had already happened. Reasons for rejecting "Deutero-Isaiah" are given above. The visions of Isaiah relate the future destruction of Jerusalem and the restoration and the birth of Zion under the Messiah, which will result in the call of the Gentiles into a Jewish root, and the new heavens and the new earth which is to follow the messianic period. Shall we say that Isaiah lived after those times too? It is simply short sighted skepticism which does not require a great deal of literary skill which creates doubt from such superficial exegesis.

12 Will you hold yourself back for these things, O LORD? will you excessively keep silence and humble us?

Verse 12: Excessive waiting: This may be Isaiah's response to the information that there is a period yet to be lived through during which the Temple itself will have been destroyed. How much longer do we have to wait and how much more must we endure. Please God come now! As John said: "Even so come Lord Jesus!" So Isaiah is hoping that the wait will not be excessive. No doubt the result will be humbling for all of us who realize that God has known all along what calamities await us while the blessings are being prepared.

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