1:2 Listen, O heavens,
pay attention, O earth! 1
For the Lord speaks:
63:16 For you are our father,
though Abraham does not know us
and Israel does not recognize us.
You, Lord, are our father;
you have been called our protector from ancient times. 6
We are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the product of your labor. 8
1 sn The personified heavens and earth are summoned to God’s courtroom as witnesses against God’s covenant people. Long before this Moses warned the people that the heavens and earth would be watching their actions (see Deut 4:26; 30:19; 31:28; 32:1).
2 tn Or “sons” (NAB, NASB).
sn “Father” and “son” occur as common terms in ancient Near Eastern treaties and covenants, delineating the suzerain and vassal as participants in the covenant relationship. The prophet uses these terms, the reference to heavens and earth as witnesses, and allusions to deuteronomic covenant curses (1:7-9, 19-20) to set his prophecy firmly against the backdrop of Israel’s covenantal relationship with Yahweh.
3 sn The normal word pair for giving birth to and raising children is יָלַד (yalad, “to give birth to”) and גָּדַל (gadal, “to grow, raise”). The pair גָּדַל and רוּם (rum, “to raise up”) probably occur here to highlight the fact that Yahweh made something important of Israel (cf. R. Mosis, TDOT 2:403).
4 sn Against the backdrop of Yahweh’s care for his chosen people, Israel’s rebellion represents abhorrent treachery. The conjunction prefixed to a nonverbal element highlights the sad contrast between Yahweh’s compassionate care for His people and Israel’s thankless rebellion.
5 sn To rebel carries the idea of “covenant treachery.” Although an act of פֶּשַׁע (pesha’, “rebellion”) often signifies a breach of the law, the legal offense also represents a violation of an existing covenantal relationship (E. Carpenter and M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 3:707).
6 tn Heb “our protector [or “redeemer”] from antiquity [is] your name.”
7 tn On the force of וְעַתָּה (vÿ’attah) here, see HALOT 902 s.v. עַתָּה.
8 tn Heb “the work of your hand.”