The messenger sent from his very presence 2 delivered them.
In his love and mercy he protected 3 them;
he lifted them up and carried them throughout ancient times. 4
Where is the one who brought them up out of the sea,
along with the shepherd of 6 his flock?
Where is the one who placed his holy Spirit among them, 7
1 tn Heb “in all their distress, there was distress to him” (reading לוֹ [lo] with the margin/Qere).
2 tn Heb “the messenger [or “angel”] of his face”; NIV “the angel of his presence.”
sn This may refer to the “angel of God” mentioned in Exod 14:19, who in turn may be identical to the divine “presence” (literally, “face”) referred to in Exod 33:14-15 and Deut 4:37. Here in Isa 63 this messenger may be equated with God’s “holy Spirit” (see vv. 10-11) and “the Spirit of the Lord” (v. 14). See also Ps 139:7, where God’s “Spirit” seems to be equated with his “presence” (literally, “face”) in the synonymous parallelistic structure.
3 tn Or “redeemed” (KJV, NAB, NIV), or “delivered.”
4 tn Heb “all the days of antiquity”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “days of old.”
5 tn Heb “and he remembered the days of antiquity, Moses, his people.” The syntax of the statement is unclear. The translation assumes that “his people” is the subject of the verb “remembered.” If original, “Moses” is in apposition to “the days of antiquity,” more precisely identifying the time period referred to. However, the syntactical awkwardness suggests that “Moses” may have been an early marginal note (perhaps identifying “the shepherd of his flock” two lines later) that has worked its way into the text.
6 tn The Hebrew text has a plural form, which if retained and taken as a numerical plural, would probably refer to Moses, Aaron, and the Israelite tribal leaders at the time of the Exodus. Most prefer to emend the form to the singular (רָעָה, ra’ah) and understand this as a reference just to Moses.