Isaiah 64:1
Parallel Verses
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
Commentary
Barnes' 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 :

continued...

Isaiah 64:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Putting 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
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Spirit to convince the World of Sin "I will send the Comforter to you. And He, when He is come, will convict the world in respect of sin."--JOHN xvi. 7, 8. God's one desire, the one object of Christ's being manifested, is to take away sin. The first work of the Spirit on the world is conviction of sin. Without that, no deep or abiding revival, no powerful conversion. Pray for it, that the gospel may be preached in such power of the Spirit, that men may see that they have
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness," &C.
Matt. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," &c. This is a part of Christ's long sermon. He is dissuading his disciples and the people from carnal carefulness and worldly mindedness. The sermon holds out the Christian's diverse aspects towards spiritual and external things. What is the Christian's disposition in regard to the world, how should he look upon food, raiment, and all things necessary in this life? "Be careful for nothing." "Take no thought for your life,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification, by Faith in Jesus Christ;
SHEWING, TRUE GOSPEL-HOLINESS FLOWS FROM THENCE; OR, MR. FOWLER'S PRETENDED DESIGN OF CHRISTIANITY, PROVED TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN TO TRAMPLE UNDER FOOT THE BLOOD OF THE SON OF GOD; AND THE IDOLIZING OF MAN'S OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS AS ALSO, HOW WHILE HE PRETENDS TO BE A MINISTER OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, HE OVERTHROWETH THE WHOLESOME DOCTRINE CONTAINED IN THE 10TH, 11TH, AND 13TH, OF THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES OF THE SAME, AND THAT HE FALLETH IN WITH THE QUAKER AND ROMANIST, AGAINST THEM. BY JOHN BUNYAN
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
Exodus 19:18
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.

Judges 5:5
"The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD, This Sinai, at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.

Psalm 18:9
He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet.

Psalm 68:8
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.

Psalm 144:5
Bow Your heavens, O LORD, and come down; Touch the mountains, that they may smoke.

Isaiah 41:15
"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.

Isaiah 63:19
We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, Like those who were not called by Your name.

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