Larry Hunt's Bible Commentary

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Isaiah 64

Chapter Sixty-four:

v.2:  The prophet wants God to make the nations to tremble with fear as fire makes a burning bush and boiling water tremble.  The quaking mountains also express the theme of trembling in the presence of God; perhaps the specific reference is to God’s descent on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:18.  Another continuation of the fire/quaking theme may be in v.7 where the speaker says God has “delivered us [Israelites] into the hand of our iniquity.”  There, the word “delivered” literally means “melted” according to both Barnes and the Oxford commentary.

v. 5:  Barnes and the Oxford commentary note that this verse is difficult to translate.  The NRSV translation says that the Israelites sin because God has hidden his face from them.  I have no doubt that when God hides his face from us, we are even more inclined to sin, but I do not believe that he does this before we have already given ourselves over to sin.  See notes on 63:17.

v. 8:  The same image appears in 29:16.

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