The mountains would tremble 3 before you!
64:2 (64:1) As when fire ignites dry wood,
or fire makes water boil,
let your adversaries know who you are, 4
and may the nations shake at your presence!
you came down, and the mountains trembled 6 before you.
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who intervenes for those who wait for him.
who observe your commandments. 10
Look, you were angry because we violated them continually.
How then can we be saved? 11
64:6 We are all like one who is unclean,
all our so-called righteous acts are like a menstrual rag in your sight. 12
We all wither like a leaf;
our sins carry us away like the wind.
or makes an effort 14 to take hold of you.
For you have rejected us 15
and handed us over to our own sins. 16
We are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the product of your labor. 18
64:9 Lord, do not be too angry!
Do not hold our sins against us continually! 19
Take a good look at your people, at all of us! 20
Zion has become a desert,
Jerusalem 22 is a desolate ruin.
the place where our ancestors praised you,
has been burned with fire;
all our prized possessions have been destroyed. 24
How can you be silent and continue to humiliate us?
1 sn In BHS the chapter division occurs in a different place from the English Bible: 64:1 ET (63:19b HT) and 64:2-12 (64:1-11 HT). Beginning with 65:1 the verse numbers in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible are again the same.
2 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
3 tn Or “quake.” נָזֹלּוּ (nazollu) is from the verbal root זָלַל (zalal, “quake”; see HALOT 272 s.v. II זלל). Perhaps there is a verbal allusion to Judg 5:5, the only other passage where this verb occurs. In that passage the poet tells how the Lord’s appearance to do battle caused the mountains to shake.
4 tn Heb “to make known your name to your adversaries.” Perhaps the infinitive construct with preposition -לְ (lamed) should be construed with “come down” in v. 1a, or subordinated to the following line: “To make known your name to your adversaries, let the nations shake from before you.”
5 tn Heb “[for which] we were not waiting.”
7 tn Heb “from ancient times they have not heard, they have not listened.”
8 tn Heb “meet [with kindness].”
9 tn Heb “the one who rejoices and does righteousness.”
10 tn Heb “in your ways they remember you.”
11 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “look, you were angry and we sinned against them continually [or perhaps, “in ancient times”] and we were delivered.” The statement makes little sense as it stands. The first vav [ו] consecutive (“and we sinned”) must introduce an explanatory clause here (see Num 1:48 and Isa 39:1 for other examples of this relatively rare use of the vav [ו] consecutive). The final verb (if rendered positively) makes no sense in this context – God’s anger at their sin resulted in judgment, not deliverance. One of the alternatives involves an emendation to וַנִּרְשָׁע (vannirsha’, “and we were evil”; LXX, NRSV, TEV). The Vulgate and the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa support the MT reading. One can either accept an emendation or cast the statement as a question (as above).
12 tn Heb “and like a garment of menstruation [are] all our righteous acts”; KJV, NIV “filthy rags”; ASV “a polluted garment.”
13 tn Or “calls out in”; NASB, NIV, NRSV “calls on.”
14 tn Or “rouses himself”; NASB “arouses himself.”
15 tn Heb “for you have hidden your face from us.”
16 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and you caused us to melt in the hand of our sin.” The verb וַתְּמוּגֵנוּ (vattÿmugenu) is a Qal preterite 2nd person masculine singular with a 1st person common plural suffix from the root מוּג (mug, “melt”). However, elsewhere the Qal of this verb is intransitive. If the verbal root מוּג (mug) is retained here, the form should be emended to a Polel pattern (וַתְּמֹגְגֵנוּ, vattÿmogÿgenu). The translation assumes an emendation to וַתְּמַגְּנֵנוּ (vattÿmaggÿnenu, “and you handed us over”). This form is a Piel preterite 2nd person masculine singular with a 1st person common plural suffix from the verbal root מִגֵּן (miggen, “hand over, surrender”; see HALOT 545 s.v. מגן and BDB 171 s.v. מָגָן). The point is that God has abandoned them to their sinful ways and no longer seeks reconciliation.
17 tn On the force of וְעַתָּה (vÿ’attah) here, see HALOT 902 s.v. עַתָּה.
18 tn Heb “the work of your hand.”
19 tn Heb “do not remember sin continually.”
20 tn Heb “Look, gaze at your people, all of us.” Another option is to translate, “Take a good look! We are all your people.”
21 tn Heb “holy” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV, NLT); NIV “sacred.”
23 tn Heb “our source of pride.”
24 tn Or “all that we valued has become a ruin.”
25 tn Heb “because of these”; KJV, ASV “for these things.”