Isaiah 63:8
For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Savior.
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(8) For he said . . .—The words throw us back to the starting-point of God’s covenant with His people, based, so to speak, on the assumption that they would not fail utterly in the fulfilment of their promises. (Comp. Exodus 19:3-6.)

Isaiah 63:8-9. For he said — Namely, within himself, of old, when he made a covenant with our fathers, and brought them out of Egypt; Surely they are my people — In covenant with me: though they are unworthy of me, yet I cannot but look upon them as my people. Children that will not lie — That will keep my covenant; that will not deal falsely with me, to whom they are under such unspeakable obligations. This is spoken by God, after the manner of men, who are always apt to hope the best concerning their children, even though, in times past, they may have been refractory and disobedient. So he was their Saviour — Namely, on these hopes and conditions he undertook to be their Saviour: or, he alone was their Saviour. When there was none to save, none to uphold, then he saved them. In all their affliction he was afflicted — When there was a necessity of correcting them, in order to their amendment, he had a compassionate sense of the evils which they suffered: see Deuteronomy 32:36; Jdg 10:16; Psalm 106:44-45. And the angel of his presence saved them — From the house of bondage, through the Red sea, and in the wilderness. The same angel that conducted them in all their journeys, and brought them into Canaan, as Captain of the Lord’s host, (Joshua 5:15,) even the Lord Jesus Christ, who appeared to Moses in the bush, (Exodus 3:2-6, compared with Acts 7:35,) in whom God’s name was, Exodus 23:20-21. Whom the Jews tempted in the wilderness, for they tempted Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:9; and who was the spiritual rock that followed them, typified by the natural rock cleft to afford them water: who was before Abraham, John 8:58, and before all things, Colossians 1:17 : see note on Exodus 23:20-21 : called the angel, messenger, or mediator of the covenant, Malachi 3:1; and here the angel of his presence; and his presence, Exodus 33:14, as appearing continually before his face to intercede for his church. In his love and in his pity he redeemed them — This shows the ground of his kindness: they were a stubborn, superstitious, idolatrous people, yet Christ’s love and pity saved them notwithstanding. And he bore them, and carried them — As a father his child, or an eagle her young ones; he carried them in the arms of his power, and on the wings of his providence: see notes on Deuteronomy 1:31; and Deuteronomy 32:10-12; and Isaiah 46:4. And this he did all the days of old, for many ages past; from the days of Abraham or Moses; from their bondage in Egypt to their settlement in Canaan, and through their succeeding generations. And this his ancient kindness is thus mentioned to induce him to continue it, and still to uphold, protect, and preserve his church till he should bring her to his Father.63:7-14 The latter part of this chapter, and the whole of the next, seem to express the prayers of the Jews on their conversation. They acknowledge God's great mercies and favours to their nation. They confess their wickedness and hardness of heart; they entreat his forgiveness, and deplore the miserable condition under which they have so long suffered. The only-begotten Son of the Father became the Angel or Messenger of his love; thus he redeemed and bare them with tenderness. Yet they murmured, and resisted his Holy Spirit, despising and persecuting his prophets, rejecting and crucifying the promised Messiah. All our comforts and hopes spring from the loving-kindness of the Lord, and all our miseries and fears from our sins. But he is the Saviour, and when sinners seek after him, who in other ages glorified himself by saving and feeding his purchased flock, and leading them safely through dangers, and has given his Holy Spirit to prosper the labours of his ministers, there is good ground to hope they are discovering the way of peace.For he said - Yahweh had said. That is, he said this when he chose them as his unique people, and entered into solemn covenant with them.

Surely they are my people - The reference here is to the fact that he entered into covenant with them to be their God.

Children that will not lie - That will not prove false to me - indicating the reasonable expectation which Yahweh might have, when he chose them, that they would be faithful to him.

So he was their Saviour - Lowth renders this, 'And he became their Saviour in all their distress;' connecting this with the first member of the following verse, and translating that, 'it was not an envoy, nor an angel of his presence that saved them.' So the Septuagint renders it, 'And he was to them for salvation εἰς σωτηρίαν eis sōtērian) from all their affliction.' The Chaldee render it, 'And his word was redemption (פריק pâriyq) unto them.' But the true idea probably is, that he chose them, and in virtue of his thus choosing them he became their deliverer.

8. he—Jehovah "said," that is, thought, in choosing them as His covenant-people; so "said" (Ps 95:10). Not that God was ignorant that the Jews would not keep faith with Him; but God is here said, according to human modes of thought to say within Himself what He might naturally have expected, as the result of His goodness to the Jews; thus the enormity of their unnatural perversity is the more vividly set forth.

lie—prove false to Me (compare Ps 44:17).

so—in virtue of His having chosen them, He became their Saviour. So the "therefore" (Jer 31:33). His eternal choice is the ground of His actually saving men (Eph 1:3, 4).

For he said, viz. within himself of old, when he made a covenant with our fathers, and brought them out of Egypt,

Surely they are my people, in covenant; though they are unworthy of me, yet I cannot but look upon them as my people. Their enemies would persuade themselves, O they are not God’s people, but cast-outs, that none cared for or looked after; but God will own them.

Children that will not lie; that will keep my covenant; they will not deal falsely with me, that are under such obligations: or, I presume they will not; though they did go after their idols, and prove unfaithful to me in serving Baal and Ashteroth, &c., now I presume they will do so no more. Thus parents are apt tenderly to think of those children that they have been indulgent to, that they will not offer to abuse their kindness; thus God thinks the best of them. Or, he intimates here what they are obliged to do, though he knew they would do otherwise. Or, they will not degenerate after I have renewed them.

So he was their Saviour, viz. on these hopes and on these conditions he undertook the charge of them, Exodus 19:5,6 Psa 81:8-10; or, he; so he alone was their Saviour; when none to save, none to uphold, then he saved them; not Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, &c., but Christ himself. For he said, surely they are my people,.... Not in common with the rest of mankind, being his creatures, and the care of his providence; but his special people, whom he had chosen to be such, and had made a covenant with; he had avouched them for his people, and they had avouched him to be the Lord their God; and this covenant interest was the ground and foundation of the actual donation and application of all the blessings of grace and goodness to them before mentioned. These are the words of Jehovah himself, related by the prophet; and are applicable to all the elect of God, whom he has chosen in Christ; taken into the covenant of grace made with him; and who appear manifestly to be his peculiar people by their effectual calling; when it is a sure and certain thing, that they, who were not known by themselves or others to be the people of God, are evidently so; and the Lord himself makes no scruple of acknowledging them as such, even though their conduct and behaviour towards him is not altogether as it should be, and which was the case of the people of Israel; however, he is willing to hope well of them, as parents do of their children, speaking after the manner of men, and that they will behave better for the future, being by fresh mercies laid under obligation to him, as he did of Israel of old:

children that will not lie; not the children of Satan, as liars are, who was a liar from the beginning, and the father of lies; as wicked men are, who go astray from the womb, speaking lies; but children of God by adopting grace, and through faith in Christ; and therefore should not lie to God, nor to men, nor to one another, as being unbecoming their relation as children: this opinion the Lord entertains of his children, speaking after the manner of men, that they will not deal deceitfully and hypocritically with him, but serve him in sincerity, and worship him in spirit and in truth; that their hearts will be right with him, and they steadfast in his covenant: thus he hoped well of Israel of old, and so he does of all his spiritual Israel, his special people, and dear children:

so he was their Saviour; in this view and expectation of things, as he is of all men in a providential way, and especially of them that believe; he was the Saviour of literal Israel in a temporal manner, in Egypt, the Red sea, and wilderness; and of his chosen people among them, in a spiritual manner, as he is of all his elect in Christ Jesus; and even though they do not entirely answer the just expectations expressed concerning them.

For he said, Surely they are my {h} people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.

(h) For I chose them to be mine, that they should be holy, and not deceive my expectation.

8. The retrospect goes back to the beginning of the nation’s history, when Jehovah’s affection for His people was still unimpaired. Cf. Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child then I loved him.”

children (sons) that will not lie] Contrast ch. Isaiah 1:2, Isaiah 30:9.

so he was their Saviour] and he became to them a saviour. LXX. adds from the following verse: in all their distress. On metrical grounds the addition is an obvious improvement; and it leads to an interesting explanation of the first part of Isaiah 63:9 (see below).Verse 8. - He said, Surely they are my people. Israel was first recognized as "a people" in Egypt, when the creel Pharaoh, probably Sethos I., said, "The people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we "(Exodus 1:9). Soon afterwards God acknowledged them as "his people" (Exodus 3:7). The exiles probably go back in their thoughts to this time. Children that will not lie; or, deal falsely, as the same word is translated in Psalm 44:17. The meaning is, that surely they will be faithful to God, and not fall away from him into idolatry or irreligion. The seer surmises this also, and now inquires still further, whence the strange red colour of his apparel, which does not look like the purple of a king's talar or the scarlet of a chlamys. "Whence the red on thine apparel, and thy clothes like those of a wine-presser?" מדּוּע inquires the reason and cause; למּה, in its primary sense, the object or purpose. The seer asks, "Why is there red ('âdōm, neuter, like rabh in Isaiah 63:7) to thine apparel?" The Lamed, which might be omitted (wherefore is thy garment red?), implies that the red was not its original colour, but something added (cf., Jeremiah 30:12, and lâmō in Isaiah 26:16; Isaiah 53:8). This comes out still more distinctly in the second half of the question: "and (why are) thy clothes like those of one who treads (wine) in the wine-press" (begath with a pausal not lengthened, like baz in Isaiah 8:1), i.e., saturated and stained as if with the juice of purple grapes?
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