Isaiah 63

1 WHO is this that cometh from Edom, with sprinkled garments from Bozrah? this, that is magnificent in His apparel; marching on in the greatness of His strength? I, who speak in justice, mighty to save.
2 Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments as of him that treadeth the wine-vat?

VERSES 1-3. These things are said concerning the Lord, and His combats against all the hells; and whereas He fought against them from the human, in which was the Essential Divine it is therefore said–“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with sprinkled garments from Bozrah?” whereby is signified combating from the Good of Love and from Truth, which are from the Divine; for “Edom” denotes what is red, and “Bozrah” the vintaging, and red” is predicated of Good, and “vintaging” of Truth; and whereas those things are meant by “Edom” and by “Bozrah,” therefore in what follows He is called “red as he that treadeth the wine-vat;” and, whereas the Divine Good and the Divine Truth, which is here understood, is the Word in the letter, and this is signified by the “garments” of the Lord, therefore it is said,–“Who hath sprinkled His garments;” likewise, “Who is magnificent in His apparel;” and whereas all strength is contained in the Word, in the letter, therefore it is said, “walking [or marching on] in the greatness of His strength;” judgment from His Divine upon the good find upon the evil, salvation in consequence thereof, is understood by “I who speak in justice, mighty [or great] to save:” The violence offered to the Word by the Jewish nation, is signified by “Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments as of him that treadeth the wine-vat!”– “red as to the apparel” being predicated of the violence offered to the Divine Good of the Word, which was understood above by “Edom,” and “the garments as of him that treadeth in the wine-vat” being predicated of the violence offered to the Divine Truth therein, which was understood above by “Bozrah;” the “garments”, of the Lord, signify the Word in the letter, to which violence was offered by the adulterations and falsifications thereof. The prostration of the hells, and of the falses thence derived, by virtue of His own proper power, is signified by “I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the peoples there was not a man with Me;” the casting of them down into the hells, who were in direful evils, and falses thence derived, is signified by “I trod them down in Mine anger, and I trampled! them in My wrath ;” “anger” being predicated of evils, and “wrath” of falses; and they are attributed to the Lord, although it is they who are in evils and falses thence derived, and that are angry and wrathful against the Lord; and whereas the judgment whereby the hells were subjugated was accomplished by the Lord, by temptations admitted into His Human, even to the last, which was the passion of the cross, therefore it is said-“Their victory was sprinkled upon My garments, and I -have stained all Mine apparel;” for the Lord, by all things of His passion, and by the last upon the cross, represented the violence offered by the Jewish nation to the Word, or to Divine Truth; concerning which, see above, n. 183, 195, at the end; 627, at the end; 655,805. A.E. 922.
Verses 1, 2, 3, 5. Who is this that cometh from Edom! &c.-That “Edom” is the Lord as to the Divine Good of the Divine-Natural is evident, for the subject here treated of [in the supreme sense] is the conjunction of Good and Truth in the Humanity of the Lord; and the combats of temptations by which He conjoined them. That the “garments” here mentioned are the Truths of the natural man, or inferior Truths respectively, may be seen, n. 2576; and that “red” is the Good of the natural principle, n. 3300. That the Lord, by His own power, through combats in temptations, conjoined Truths therein to Good, is described by His “treading the wine-press alone,” and by “His looking, and there was none to help,” &c. “His own arm” signifies His own power. A. C. 3322.
The subject here treated of is concerning the Lord, and His combats against the hells, and concerning the subjugation of them. The Lord Himself, as to His Divine Human, is here understood by “Edom, who had sprinkled garments from Bozrah,” and by His “garments·” is understood the Word in the letter; for “garments” signify Truths investing, and, when predicated of the Lord, they signify Divine Truths, consequently the Word; inasmuch as all Divine Truths are therein, as may be seen, n, 195. The Word, in the sense of the letter, is here also understood by “garments,” because in the letter are Truths investing; for the sense of the letter serves for a vestment or clothing to the spiritual sense, and inasmuch as the Word, as to that sense, was torn asunder by the Jewish people, and thereby the Divine Truth adulterated, it is therefore said-“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with sprinkled garments from Bozrah?”-“their victory was sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all Mine apparel;” the “garments of Bozrah” signifying the ultimate of the Word, which is the literal sense thereof; and “their victory upon My garments” denoting the sinister interpretation and application of the Word by those who wrest the sense of the letter to favour their own loves, and the principles thence conceived, as was done by the Jews, and is done by many at this day; this is understood by “their victory upon My garments.” That the Lord alone fought, is signified by “I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the peoples there was not a man with Me;” the “wine-press” denotes combat from Divine Truths against falses, because in wine-presses the wine is pressed out from the grapes, and by “wine” is signified Divine Truth; hence to “tread alone, and of the peoples there was not a man with Me,” signifies that the Lord alone fought, without aid from anyone. That the Lord subjugated the hells, is understood by “I trod them down in Mine anger, and I trampled them in My wrath;”-” I have trodden” and “I have trampled” being expressions applicable to the wine-press, and signifying that He destroyed them; “anger” and “wrath” are expressions relating to destruction, and are attributed, in the sense of the letter, to the Lord, when notwithstanding there is not anything of anger and of wrath in Him, but in those who are against Him; wherefore, in this and in many other places, these things are said according to appearances. That they were subjugated and condemned to hell, is signified, in verse 6, by ” I brought down their victory to the earth;”–“to the earth” denoting into damnation, thus into hell’; that by the “earth” is also signified damnation, may be seen, n. 304, at the end. A. E. 359.

3 I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the peoples there was not a man with Me: and I trod them down in Mine anger, and I trampled them in My wrath; and their victory was, sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all Mine apparel.

Verse 3. By “treading the wine-press” is signified exploration, at the time of Judgment, as to the quality of their works; for by “treading the vine-press” is signified to explore, and by “the clusters which are trodden” are understood works, as may be seen above, n. 649. By “treading the wine-press” is not only signified, in an opposite sense, to explore evil works, but also to sustain them with others, and likewise to remove them, and to cast them into hell, as may be seen from Isaiah:- “I trod them down in Mine anger, and I trampled them in My wrath.” (lxiii, 3.) Again :-“Jehovah hath trodden the wine-press of the virgin of the daughter of Judah;” (Lam. i. 15.) speaking of what takes place at the Judgment. A. R. 652.

4 For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and the year of My redeemed was come.
5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I was astonished that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine own arm wrought salvation for Me, and Mine indignation, it sustained Me.
6 And I trod down the peoples in Mine anger, and I inebriated them in My wrath; and I brought down their victory to the earth.

Verses 4, 6. By the combats which were temptations admitted into Himself the Lord subjugated the hells, and thus accomplished the Last Judgment. This is the Judgment which is understood by “the day of anger and of wrath of Jehovah,” in the Word of the Old Testament; but the Last Judgment which is at this day performed by the Lord, is understood by “the day of His anger” in the Apocalypse. That a Last Judgment was performed by the Lord, when He was in the world, may be seen in the work concerning the Last Judgment, n. 46. “The year of the redeemed,” signifies judgment upon the good who are saved. A. E. 413. See also T. C. R. 116.

7 The mercies of Jehovah I will record, and the praises of Jehovah, according to all that Jehovah hath rendered unto us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel, which He hath rendered to them, according to His compassions, and the multitude of His mercies.
8 For He said, Surely they are My people, sons that will not deceive; so He was their Saviour.

Verses 7-9. The divine Mercy in the Divine Human is here called ” the Angel of the faces of Jehovah.” That the “face of Jehovah,” or of the Lord, is mercy, and also peace and goodness, because these are of Mercy, might be shewn from many passages, as from the following:-Numb. vi. 25, 26; Psalm lxvii. 1; lxxx. 3, 7, 19. That the “face of Jehovah,” or of the Lord, is Divine Love, is evident from His face when He was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, when “His face shone like the sun.” (Matt. xvii. 2.) That “those who see the Lord, see the Father,” is expressly declared in John xiv. 8, 9. A. C. 5585.

9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His faces saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He took them up, and He bare them, all the days of old.

Verse 9. Treating concerning the Lord, who is called “the Angel of the faces of Jehovah,” by virtue of the Divine Truth from His Divine Love; for by an “angel,” in the Word, is signified Divine Truth, whence angels are also called “gods,” as may be seen, n. 130, 200, 302; and by the “faces of Jehovah” is understood the Divine Love which is in the Lord, whence it is also said-“In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He took them up, and He bare them, all the days of old [or of eternity];” these things being of the Divine Love. The Lord, as to His Human, was Divine Truth, from which He combated with the hells, and by which He subjugated them; and, therefore, He is here called an “Angel,” which is His Divine Human. A. E. 412.

10 But they rebelled, and provoked the Spirit of His holiness: so that He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them.

Verses 10, 11. In the Word of the Old Testament there is no mention made of the “Holy Spirit,” but only of the “Spirit of Holiness,” in three places,-once in David, Psalm li, 11; and twice in Isaiah, lxiii. 10, 11; whereas in the Word of the New Testament, both in the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles, it is mentioned frequently. The reason is, because there was no “Holy Spirit” before the coming of the Lord, inasmuch as it proceeds out of the Lord from the Father; for ” the Lord only is Holy;” (Rev. xv. 4.) wherefore also it is said by the angel Gabriel to the mother Mary-” The Holy Thing which shall be born of thee.” (Luke 1. 35.) It is written that “the Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified;” (John vii. 39.) and yet it is said before that “the Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth,” (Luke i. 41.) and “Zechariah,” (Luke i. 67.) and “Simeon.” (Luke ii. 25.) The reason of which seeming contradiction is, because these three persons were filled with the Spirit of Jehovah the Father, which was called the “Holy Spirit” on account of the Lord, who was already in the world. This is the reason, too, why in the Word of the Old Testament it is nowhere said that the prophets “spake from the Holy Spirit,” but from Jehovah; for, in expressing themselves on this subject, they constantly use some of these terms:-“Jehovah spake to me;”-” The word of Jehovah came to me;”-“Jehovah hath spoken;”-“The saying of Jehovah.” The reader may convince himself of this fact by reading the Prophets, and observing the very numerous passages in which these declarations occur, which are too numerous to he adduced here, in which it is never said that “the Holy Spirit spake by them.” nor that “Jehovah spake to them by the Holy Spirit.” T. C. R. 158. See also above, Chap. i. 1, Exposition.
In respect to the true Doctrine of “the Holy Spirit, and its Divine Operation,” see T.C.R. 138-158.

11 But 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 in the midst of him the Spirit of His holiness?
12 Who led them at the right hand of Moses, with His glorious arm; dividing the waters before them, to make for Himself an everlasting name:

Verse 11. Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? &c.-ln this prophetic declaration by “Moses” is understood the Lord, who is also “the Shepherd of the flock;” by “the people, whom He brought up out of the sea,” are signified those who are delivered from damnation. A.C. 8099.
Verse 12. Dividing the waters before them, &c.-As to the “sea” or the “waters,” out of whioh they were brought,” see Chap. li. 10, EXposition.

13 Who led them through the deeps; as a horse in the desert, they did not stumble:
14 As the cattle goeth down into the valley; so the Spirit of Jehovah led him: thus didst Thou guide Thy people, to make for Thyself a name of glory.

Verses 13,14. The subject of this chapter is concerning the Lord and His combats with the hells, and the subjugation of them; but, in this passage, concerning those who are in love and faith in Him, who are compared to “a horse in the desert,” and to “cattle [or a beast] in the valley;” because by a “horse” is signified the understanding of Truth, and by “cattle” [or a beast] the affection of Good; for, all comparisons in the Word are from correspondences. A. E. 355.

15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of Thy holiness and of Thy beauty: where is Thy zeal and Thy strength? [For] the yearning of Thy bowels, and Thy compassions, are restrained toward me.

Verse. 15. Zeal here stands for Mercy, which is “the yearning [commotio] of the bowels, and is predicated of Good; for it is said-“Thy zeal and Thy strength [virtues],” where “zeal” is predicated of Good and “strength” of Truth; in like manner “the yearning of the bowels ” is predicated of Good, and “compassions” of Truth. “The habitation of holiness” is the heaven where those are who are of the celestial kingdom, and “the habitation of beauty” is the heaven where those are who are of the spiritual kingdom. Hence also it is evident that in the Word where “Good” is mentioned, “Truth” is also named, on account of the heavenly marriage which is in every particular of the Word; thus also the Lord, as to His two names “JESUS” and “CHRIST” which signify the divine marriage which is in the Lord; concerning which see n. 683, 793, 8339. A. C. 8875. See also A. C. 3960, 9815.
As to the distinction between “glory” and “beauty,” see above Chap. xlvi. 13, Exposition.
“Bowels,” in the Word, signify love or mercy, by reason that the bowels or inward parts, especially the mother’s womb, represent and thence signify chaste conjugial love, and love towards infants thence derived, as in lsaiah:-“The yearning [or commotion] of Thy bowels, and Thy compassions, are restrained toward me;” and in Jeremiah:” Is not Ephraim My dear son? Is not he a pleasant child? Therefore My bowels are troubled fo. him; I will surely have compassion on him. (xxxi. 20.) Hence it appears that love Itself, or mercy itself and the Lord’s compassion towards mankind, are the things which in the internal sense, are signified by “bowels,” and by “coming forth,” or by “the offspring of the bowels ;” (Isa. xlviii. 19.) to “come forth out of the bowels,” signifies to be born, and, in a spiritual sense, to be born of the Lord, or regenerated. They who have not the Lord’s love, that is, who do not love their neighbour as themselves, have not in any respect the Lord’s life, consequently they are in no respect “born” of Him, or “come forth out of His bowels,” wherefore they cannot be heirs of His kingdom. A. C. 1803.

16 Surely Thou art our Father, for Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us: Thou, O Jehovah! art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy name is from eternity.

Verse 16. That the Lord, as to His Divine Human, in whom is the Divine Trinity, is the “Father” see Chap. ix. 6, Exposition; see also Chap. xxii. 21-24, Exposition; and T. C. R. 83, 113, 188, 294, 299, 637.
For Abraham knoweth us not.-As to “Abraham,”, see Chap. xli. 8; li. 2, Exposition.

17 Why, O Jehovah! hast Thou made us to err from Thy ways; why hast Thou hardened our heart from the fear of Thee? Return for the sake of Thy servants, the tribes of Thine inheritance.

Verse 17. [That Jehovah is here said to “cause or make the people err from His ways, is spoken according to appearance, In a manner similar to that in which He is said to be “angry,” to “punish,” to “do evil,” to “lead into temptation,” &c. See Chap. xlv. 7, Exposition.]
Why hast Thou hardened our heart from the fear of Thee?-What is meant by “the fear of the Lord,” see Chap. xi. 3, Exposition.
Return for the sake of Thy servants, the tribes of Thine inheritance.–“Tribes” are often mentioned in the Word, because the people of Israel were divided into twelve tribes; and he who does not know the internal sense of the Word supposes that by “tribes” are understood the tribes of Israel; tribes, however, are not understood by “tribes,” nor Israel by “Israel,” but by the “tribes” are understood all who are in Truths from Good, and by “Israel” is meant the church of the Lord. He who does not know this may easily seize upon the common belief that the sons of Israel were elected above all others in the universal world, and also that at length they are to be introduced into the land of Canaan, yea, that even heaven itself is to consist chiefly of them; whereas by the names of the “tribes” they are not understood, but those who are in Truths from Good, thus those who are of the church,-by the “twelve tribes” all, and by each “tribe” some particular Truth and Good, which they who belong to the church possess. That this is the case might be proved from many passages in the Word where “tribes” are mentioned, as in Isa. lxiii. 17. A. E. 39.

18 They had, within a little, possessed the people of Thy holiness: our enemies have trodden down Thy sanctuary.

Verse 18. That “the people of holiness” signify holy Truths, see Chap. lxii. 12, Exposition.
Our enemies have trodden down Thy sanctuary.-By “enemies” are signified evils of life; by “treading down the sanctuary,” is meant to destroy the Truths of doctrine from the Word, and this by the sensual-corporeal principle; for those who are in evils of life are all sensual-corporeal. The reason why “trampling” or “treading down” signifies these things is, because treading down is effected by the soles of the feet, and by the “soles of the feet” are signified the external-sensual things of man, and by the “feet” his natural things. In the spiritual world those who have denied and despised the Truths of heaven and the church, appear to tread them down with the soles of their feet, and this because, as said above, the external-sensual [principle] of man corresponds to the “soles of the feet.” It is said that the external-sensual principle of man does this, but only the sensual [principle] with those who are merely sensual, who are those that deny the Truths of heaven and of the church, and also who believe nothing but what they can see with their eyes and touch with their hands. A. E. 632. See also above, Chap. v. 5; x. 6, Exposition.
That the internal of the natural degree is signified by the “feet,” the middle by the “soles,” and the lowest by the “shoes,” see above, Chap. xi. 15, 16, Exposition.

19 We have been as those over whom Thou hast never ruled, and who were not called by Thy name.

Verse 19. Who were not called by Thy name.-What is signified by being “called by a name,” see Chap. iv. 1, Exposition.

Author: Emanuel Swedenborg [Compiled by J. H. Smithson 1860]