|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
63:15-19 They beseech him to look down on the abject condition of their once-favoured nation. Would it not be glorious to his name to remove the veil from their hearts, to return to the tribes of his inheritance? The Babylonish captivity, and the after-deliverance of the Jews, were shadows of the events here foretold. The Lord looks down upon us in tenderness and mercy. Spiritual judgments are more to be dreaded than any other calamities; and we should most carefully avoid those sins which justly provoke the Lord to leave men to themselves and to their deceiver. Our Redeemer from everlasting is thy name; thy people have always looked upon thee as the God to whom they might appeal. The Lord will hear the prayers of those who belong to him, and deliver them from those not called by his name.
Verse 18. - The people of thy holiness; or, thy holy people (comp. Isaiah 62:9; Isaiah 63:15: 64:11). Some critics read har, "mountain," instead of ' am, "people," and translate, "But for a little while have they" (i.e. thy servants) "had possession of thy holy mountain." The general meaning is the same in either case. "Israel, God's people, has held Palestine but for a little while" - a few centuries - and now the heathen have been allowed to make themselves masters of it, (comp. Ezra 10:8).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while,.... Either the land of Canaan, which the Jews, the Lord's holy people, whom he had separated from others, possessed about fourteen hundred years, which was but a little while in comparison of "for ever", as was promised; or they enjoyed it but a little while in peace and quiet, being often disturbed by their neighbours; or else the sanctuary, the temple, as it is to be supplied from the next clause, which stood but little more than four hundred years:
our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary; the temple; the first temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar; and the second temple by the Romans; and Antiochus, and Pompey, and others, profaned it, by treading in it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. people of … holiness—Israel dedicated as holy unto God (Isa 62:12; De 7:6).
possessed—namely, the Holy Land, or Thy "sanctuary," taken from the following clause, which is parallel to this (compare Isa 64:10, 11; Ps 74:6-8).
thy—an argument why God should help them; their cause is His cause.
Isaiah 63:18 Parallel Commentaries
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