King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 63

Christ’s victory over his enemies. (1-6) His mercy toward his church. (7-14) The prayer of the church. (15-19)

Isaiah 63 Audio:

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Christ’s victory over his enemies

1 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.

2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?

3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

His mercy toward his church

7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.

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

9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?

12 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?

13 That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble?

14 As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.

The prayer of the church

15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?

16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

18 The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.

19 We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Edom. Edom and Bosra (a strong city of Edom) are here taken in a mystical sense for the enemies of Christ and his Church. Ch. — S. Jerom with reason finds it difficult to explain it of Christ, as it regards the Machabees. Houbigant. — The first six verses are applied to our Saviour’s ascension, which excites the admiration of angels. Ps. xxiii. 7. Judas, the Machabee, the glorious figure of Christ, is introduced speaking in this and the following chapter. He conquered Idumea, (1 Mac. v. 3. and 2 Mac. x. 10.) and fought to save the people. 1 Mac. ix. 21. C. — The highest order of angels asks this question, admiring the beauty of Christ, though imbrued in blood after his victory. S. Dionys. Hierar. vii. W.

Ver. 3. Press. Christ suffered, (S. Cyr.) and punished his enemies, Apocalypse xiv. 19. Judas received God’s sword from Jeremias, (2 Mac. xv. 15.) and liberated his people.

Ver. 5. Me. I depended on the goodness of my cause, and on God’s aid. C. lix. 15. C.

Ver. 6. Drunk with the wine of my fury. Ps. lxxiv. 9. Ezec. xxiii. 31. H.

Ver. 7. I, Isaias; or rather the hero mentions what induced him to rise up. 1 Mac. xvi. 10. C. — The Jews confess God’s mercies. S. Jer.

Ver. 8. Deny, or prove degenerate. C. — God approves the conduct of the Machabees. H.

Ver. 9. Presence, in high authority. Ex. xxxiii. 20. C. — The angel guardian of the Church. Particular guardians also see God’s face. Mat. xviii. W.

Ver. 10. One; Moses. Num. xiv. 29. and xx. 3, 12.

Ver. 11. Flock. Ps. lxxvi. 21. — One. Moses inspired by God. C.

Ver. 13. Not, the road was so plain. Wisd. xix. 7. H.

Ver. 15. Back. This is spoken by the prophet in the person of the Jews, at the time when for their sins they were given up to their enemies. Ch. — Judas uses the same language at Maspha. 1 Mac. iii. 50. C.

Ver. 16. Abraham, &c. That is, Abraham will not now acknowledge us for his children, by reason of our degeneracy; but thou, O Lord, art our true father and our redeemer, and no other can be called our parent in comparison with thee. Ch. — Abraham is not able to save us. C. — The patriarchs may justly disregard us, as degenerate children; yet we hope in God’s mercies. Thus S. Jerom, &c. explain the passage, which does not favour the errors of Vigilantius and of Luther, who maintain that the saints departed do not know what passes in this world. S. Aug. (Cura xv.) shews the contrary, from the example of Lazarus, Luke xvi. They know each other, though they had not lived together, (S. Greg. Dial. iv. 33.) and beheld in the light of God what regards their clients. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xxii. 29. We cannot decide how the martyrs do help those whom it is certain they assist. S. Aug. cura xvi. c. Faust. xx. 21. S. Jer. c. Vigil. S. Greg. 3 ep. 30. and 7 ep. 126. &c. W.

Ver. 17. Hardened, &c. The meaning is, that God, in punishment of their great and manifold crimes, and their long abuse of his mercy and grace, had withdrawn his graces from them, and so given them up to error and hardness of heart. Ch. — They had abused his patience, to sin the more. Theodoret — The Jews are accustomed to attribute all to God, though they agree with us in reality God might prevent any sin. C. — But he chooses to leave man to the free exercise of his liberty. He hardens (H.) “not by infusing malice, but by not shewing mercy; and those to whom he shews it not, are undeserving.” S. Aug. ep. ad Sixt. cxciv. 14. — God is never the author of error. Man takes occasion from his indulgence to become obdurate. S. Jer. W.

Ver. 18. Nothing; holding them in the greatest contempt. Epiphanes though he should make them easily change their religion. His persecution lasted only three years and a half. — Sanctuary. 1 Mac. i. 23. 49. 57. and iii. 45.

Ver. 19. Name. We seem to have no distinction, temple, &c. C. — Prot. “We are thine. Thou never bearest rule over them. They were,” &c. H.