Isaiah 63:1
Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah with crimson-stained garments? Who is this robed in splendor, marching in the greatness of His strength? "It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
A Mighty SaviourCharles Haddon Spurgeon Isaiah 63:1
Edom on the Skirts of PalestineR. Tuck Isaiah 63:1
Mighty to SaveAlexander MaclarenIsaiah 63:1
The Coming SaviourW.M. Statham Isaiah 63:1
The Conqueror from EdomR. Tuck Isaiah 63:1
A Mighty SaviourIsaiah 63:1-6
Christ has Achieved SalvationT. De W. Talmage, D. D.Isaiah 63:1-6
Christ's Power to SaveEssex Congregational RemembrancerIsaiah 63:1-6
Christ's Struggle and TriumphBp. Phillips Brooks.Isaiah 63:1-6
Christ's VictoryE. C. S. Gibson. M. A.Isaiah 63:1-6
Glorious Almightiness of the RedeemerU. R. Thomas, B. A.Isaiah 63:1-6
Jehovah's Triumph Over His People's FoesProf. S. R. Driver, D. . D.Isaiah 63:1-6
Might and MercyJulius Brigg.Isaiah 63:1-6
Mighty to SaveF. W. Brown.Isaiah 63:1-6
No Man May Punish Christ's Enemies, But HimselfB. Robinson.Isaiah 63:1-6
Omnipotent to SaveW. Craig.Isaiah 63:1-6
The Conqueror from EdomBp. Phillips Brooks.Isaiah 63:1-6
The Earlier and the Later RedemptionW. Clarkson Isaiah 63:1-6
The Glory of Christ in His HumiliationJ. Witherspoon.Isaiah 63:1-6
The HeroHomilist., HomilistIsaiah 63:1-6
The Method of Christ's SalvationBp. Phillips Brooks.Isaiah 63:1-6
The Righteous SaviourBp. Phillips Brooks.Isaiah 63:1-6
The Saviour -- God of IsraelProf. J. Skinner, D. D.Isaiah 63:1-6
The Second AdventH. Melvill, B. D.Isaiah 63:1-6
Who is the Hero?Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.Isaiah 63:1-6

Mighty to save. The question is asked, Who is this?" and the answer is given in Eastern figures of speech, which represent Christ's character and work.

I. THE SAVIOUR COMES WITH A GREAT SACRIFICE. With "dyed garments;" for the cross lies at the foundation of the world's recovery. We are weary of all theories of atonement from Anselm's day downwards, but the atonement remains as the central truth of our religion. It rests on our Lord's own authority as well as upon St. Paul's; for he said himself, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins."

II. THE SAVIOUR COMES IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. He is the express Image of the Father. "Glorious in his apparel," so that through all the ages men may see truth turned into life. Once in all history we see One who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." Christ was "clothed with light as with a garment,"


1. Mighty - in his own revealed grace and power.

2. Mighty - in that every degree of guilt and sin is reached by his infinite arm.

3. Mighty - in that he saves right through, which is the meaning of the word "to the uttermost." - W.M.S.

Who is this that cometh from Edom?
A passage of unique and sublime dramatic power. The impotence of Israel's enemies to retard or interfere with their deliverance has been insisted on before (Isaiah 41:15 f., 49:25, 26, 51:23, 54:17); and it is here developed under a novel and striking figure. The historical fact upon which the representation rests is the long-standing and implacable enmity subsisting between Israel and Edom. The scene depicted is, of course, no event of actual history; it is symbolical; an ideal humiliation of nations, marshalled upon the territory of Israel's inveterate foe, is the form under which the thought of Israel's triumph is here expressed. The prophet sees in imagination a figure, as of a conqueror, his garments crimsoned with" blood, advancing proudly, in the distance from the direction of Edom, and asks, "Who is this that cometh?" etc. In reply, he hears from afar the words, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save," i.e. I who have announced (Isaiah 45:19) a just and righteous purpose of deliverance, and am able to give "it effect. The answer is not yet sufficiently explicit, so he repeats the question in a more direct form, "Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel?' etc. (vers. 2, 3). Not Edom only, then, but other nations also have been trodden down and subdued (vers. 4-6). In the hour when the contest Israel contra mundum was to be decided, no human agent, willingly or consciously, came forward to assist; nevertheless, God's purposes were not frustrated: Israel's opponents were humbled and defeated; but human means, in so far as use was made of them, were the unconscious instruments of Providence. And thus the blood-stained colour of the Victor's garments is explained: it is a token of Jehovah's triumph over His people's foes, primarily, indeed, over those foes who would impede the release of the Jews from Babylon, or molest them when settled again in Palestine, but by implication also, over other foes who might rise up in the future to assail the people of God.

(Prof. S. R. Driver, D. . D.)

The image presented is one of the most impressive and awe-inspiring in the Old Testament, and it is difficult to say which is most to be admired, the dramatic vividness of the vision, or the reticence which conceals the actual work of slaughter and concentrates the attention on the Divine Hero as He emerges victorious from the conflict.

(Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.)

It was a serious misapprehension of the spirit of the prophecy which led many of the Fathers to apply it to the passion and death of Christ. Although certain phrases, detached from their context, may suggest that interpretation to a Christian reader, there can be no doubt that the scene depicted is a "drama of Divine vengeance" (G. A. Smith), into which the idea of propitiation does not enter. The solitary Figure who speaks in vers. 3-6 is not the servant of the Lord, or the Messiah, but Jehovah Himself (comp. the parallel, Isaiah 59:16); the blood which reddens His garments is expressly said to be that of His enemies; and the "winepress" is no emblem of the spiritual sufferings endured by our Lord, but of the "fierceness and wrath of Almighty God' (Revelation 19:15) towards the adversaries of His Kingdom. While it is true that the judgment is the prelude to the redemption of Israel, the passage before us exhibits only the judicial aspect of the Divine dealings, and it is not permissible to soften the terrors of the picture by introducing soteriological conceptions which lie beyond its scope.

(Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.)

What does it mean — the prophetic Genius waiting, watching, and questioning; the mighty stranger coming fresh from victorious battle, with the robe red as if with the stain of grapes, coming up from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? Edom, remember, was the country where the Israelites' most inveterate enemies lived. No other nation pressed on them so constantly or gave them such continual trouble as the Edomites. And Bozrah was the capital city of Edom, the centre of its power. When the conqueror comes from Edom, then, and finds Israel anxious and eager upon the mountain, and shows her his stained robe in sign of the struggle which he has gone through, and then tells her that the victory is complete, that because he saw that she had no defender he has undertaken her defence and trodden Edom under foot for her, we can -,understand something of the power and comfort of such a poetic vision to the Hebrew's heart. There may have been some special event which it commemorated. Some special danger may have threatened on the side of the tumultuous Edomites, and some special unexpected deliverer may have appeared who saved the country, and was honoured by this song of praise. But every such special deliverance to the deep religious and patriotic feeling of the Jew had a much wider meaning. Every partial mercy to his nation always pointed to the one great mercy which was to embrace all others, to the coming of the Messiah, whose advent was to be the source of every good, and the cure of every evil. And so these words of Isaiah mount to a higher strain than any that could have greeted an Israelite warrior who aright have made a successful incursion into Edomite soil. The prophet is singing of the victorious Messiah. This Hebrew Messiah has come, and is more than the Hebrew Messiah: He is the Christian's Christ, He is our Saviour.

(Bp. Phillips Brooks.)

Very often now this sounds strange and incomprehensible; this absorption of every struggle between the good and the evil that is going on in the world into the one great struggle of the life and death of Jesus Christ; but it follows necessarily from any such full idea as we Christians hold of what Jesus Christ is and of what brought Him to this world. If He be really the Son of God, bringing in an utterly new way the power of God to bear on human life; if He be the natural-Creator-King of humanity, come for the salvation of humanity; then it would seem to follow that the work of salvation must be His, and His alone: and if we see the process of salvation, the struggle of the good against the evil, going on all over the world, we shall be ready still to feel that it is all under His auspices and guidance; that the effort of any benighted soul in any darkest heathen land to get away from its sins, and cast itself upon an assured mercy of its God, is part of His great work, is to the full intelligent faith of the well-taught Christian believer just what the struggle of a blind plant underground to reach the surface is to the free aspiration of the oak-tree, which in the full glory of the sunlight reaches out its eager branches toward the glorious sun — a result of the same power, and a contribution to the same victorious success. All forces strive after simplicity and unity. Operations in nature, in mechanics, in chemistry, which men have long treated as going on under a variety of powers, are gradually showing themselves to be the fruits of one great mightier power, which in many various forms of application is able to produce them all. This is the most beautiful development of our modern science. The Christian belief in Christ holds the same thing of the spiritual world, and unites all partial victories everywhere into one great victory which is the triumph of its Lord. On no other ground can Christianity stand with its exclusive claims, and Christianity is in its very nature exclusive. In the susceptibility of all men to the same influences of the highest sort, there comes out the only valuable proof of the unity of the human race, I think. Demonstrate what you may about the diversity of origin or structure of humanity, so long as the soul capable of the great human struggle and the great human helps is in every man, the human race is one, On the other hand, demonstrate as perfectly as you will the identity of origin and structure of all humanity, yet if you find men so spiritually different in two hemispheres that the same largest obligations do not impress and the same largest loves do not soften them, what does your unity of the human race amount to? Here, it seems to me, Christ in His broad appeal to all men of all races, is the true assorter of the only valuable human unity. If this be so, then wherever there is good at work in the world, we Christians may see the progress of the struggle, and rejoice already in the victory of Christ.

(Bp. Phillips Brooks.)

Let us go on and look, as far as we may, into the method of this salvation; first, for the world at large, and then for the single soul. And in both let us follow the story of the old Jewish vision. Who is this that cometh from Edom?" Sin hangs on the borders of goodness everywhere, as just across the narrow Jordan valley Edom always lay threateningly upon the skirts of Palestine. How terribly constant it was! How it kept the people on a strain all the while! The moment that a Jew stepped across the border, the Edomites were on him. The moment a flock or beast of his wandered too far, the enemy had seized him. If in the carelessness of a festival the Israelites left the border unguarded, the hated Edomites found it out and came swooping down just when the mirth ran highest and the sentinels were least careful. If a Jew's field of wheat was specially rich, the Edomite saw the green signal from his hilltop, and in the morning the field was bare. There was no rest, no safety. They had met the chosen people on their way into the promised land, and tried to keep them out; and now that they were safely in, there they always hovered, wild, implacable, and watchful. There could be no terms of compromise with them. They never slept. They saw the weak point in a moment; they struck it quick as lightning strikes. The constant dread, the nightmare, of Jewish history is this Edom lying there upon the border, like a lion crouched to spring. There cannot be one great fight, or one great war, and then the thing done for ever. It is an endless fight with an undying enemy! Edom upon the borders of Judah!

1. We open any page of human history and what do we see? There is a higher life in man. Imperfect, full of mixture, just like that mottled history of Hebrewdom; yet still it is in human history what Judea was in the old world — the spiritual, the upward, the religious element; something that believes in God and struggles after Him. Not a page can you open but its mark is there. "Sometimes it is an aspiration after civilization, sometimes it is a doctrinal movement, sometimes it is a mystical piety that is developed; sometimes it is social; sometimes it is ascetic and purely individual; sometimes it is a Socrates, sometimes it is a St. Francis, sometimes it is a Luther, sometimes it is a Florence Nightingale. It is there in some shape always: this good among the evil, this power of God among the forces of men, this Judah in the midst of Asia. But always right on its border lies the hostile Edom, watchful, indefatigable, inexorable as the redoubtable old foe of the Jews. If progress falters a moment, the whole mass of obstructive ignorance is rolled upon it. If faith leaves a loophole undefended, the quick eye of Atheism sees it from its watch-tower and hurls its quick strength there, If goodness goes to sleep upon its arms, sleepless wickedness is across the valley, and the fields which it has taken months of toil to sow and ripen are swept off in a night. Is not this the impression of the world, of human life, that you get, whether you open the history of any century or unfold your morning newspaper? The record of a struggling charity is crowded by the story of the prison and the court. The world waits at the church door to catch the worshipper as he comes out. The good work of one century relaxes a moment for a breathing spell, and the next century comes in with its licentiousness or its superstition. Always it is the higher life pressed, watched, haunted by the lower: always it is Judah with Edom at its gates. No one great battle comes to settle it for ever: it is an endless fight with an undying enemy.

2. How is it in these little worlds, which we are carrying about? You have your good, your Spirituality, your better life; something that bears witness of God. How evil crowds you! You cannot fight it out at once and have it done. You go on quietly for days, and think the enemy is dead. Just when you are safest, there he is again, more alive than ever. We live a spiritual life like the life that our fathers used to live here in New England, who always took their guns to church with them and smoothed down the graves of their beloved dead in the churchyard that the hostile and watchful Indians might not know how weak they were. This is the great discouraging burden of our experience of sin. "We look and there is none to help. We wonder that there is none to uphold." No power of salvation comes out of the good half of the heart to conquer and to kill the bad. We grow not to expect to see the bad half conquered. Every morning we lift up our eyes, and there are the low, black hill-tops across the narrow valley, with the black tents upon their sides, where Edom lies in wait. Who shall deliver us from the bad world and our bad selves? What then? It is time for the sunrise when the night gets as dark as this. It is time for the Saviour when the world and the soul have learnt their helplessness and sin. "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength?" The whole work of the Saviour has relation to and issues from the fact of sin. If there had been no sin there would have been no Saviour. He comes from the right direction, and He has an attractive majesty of movement as He first appears. This, as to the watcher on the hill-tops of Judea, so to the soul that longs for some solution of the spiritual problem, some release from the spiritual bondage, is the first aspect of the approaching Christ. He comes from the right way, and He seems strong.

(Bp. Phillips Brooks.)

Let us look at what He says to His anxious questioner; what account of Himself He gives; what He has done to Edom; and especially what mean these blood-stains on His robes.

1. We ask Him, "Who is this?" and He replies, "I that come in righteousness, mighty to save." That reassures us, and is good at the very outset. The Saviour comes in the strength of righteousness. Righteousness is at the bottom of all things. Any reform or salvation of which the power is righteousness must go down to the very root of the trouble; must extenuate and cover over nothing; must expose and convict completely, in order that it may completely heal. And this is the power of the salvation of Christ. Edom must be destroyed, not parleyed with; sin must be beaten down, not conciliated; good must thrive by the defeat, and not merely by the tolerance of evil.

2. The questioner wonders, as the Saviour comes nearer, at the strange signs of battle and agony upon His robes. "Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat?" And the answer is, "I have trodden the winepress:" "I will tread them in Mine anger," etc. It is no holiday monarch coming with a bloodless triumph. It has been no pageant of a day, this strife with sin. The robes have trailed in the blood. The sword is dented with conflict. The power of God has struggled with the enemy and subdued him only in the agony of strife. What pain may mean to the Infinite and Divine, what difficulty may mean to Omnipotence, I cannot tell. Only I know that all that they could mean they meant here. This symbol of the blood bears this great truth, which has been the power of salvation to millions of hearts, and which must make this Conqueror the Saviour of your heart too, the truth that only in self-sacrifice and suffering could even God conquer sin. Sin is never so dreadful as when we see the Saviour with that blood upon His garments. And the Saviour Himself, surely He is never so dear, never wins so utter and so tender a love, as when we see what it has cost Him to save us. Out of that love born of His suffering comes the new impulse after a holy life; and so when we stand at last purified by the power of grateful obedience, it shall be said of us, binding our holiness and escape from our sin close to our Lord's struggle with sin for us, that we have "washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

3. But He says something more. Not merely He has conquered completely and conquered in suffering: He has conquered alone. He brings out victory in His open hand. From His hand we take it by the power of prayer, and to Him alone we render thanks here and for ever.

4. Yet once more. What was the fruit of this victory over Edom which the Seer of Israel discovered from his mountain-top? It set Israel free from continual harassing and fear, and gave her a chance to develop along the way that God had marked out for her. Freedom! That is the word. It built no cities; it sowed no fields; it only broke off the burden of that hostile presence and bade the chosen nation go free into its destiny. And so what is the fruit of the salvation that the Divine Saviour brings to the souls of men? It does not finish them at once; it does not fill and stock their lives with heavenly richness in a moment. But it does just this. It sets them free; it gives them a new chance.

5. And notice that this Conqueror who comes, comes strong "travelling in the greatness of His strength." He has not left His might behind Him in the struggle. He is all ready, with the same strength with which He conquered, to enter in and rule and educate the nation He has saved. And so the Saviour has not done all when He has forgiven you. By the same strength of love and patience which saved you upon Calvary, He will come in, if you will let Him, and train your saved life into perfectness of grace and glory.

(Bp. Phillips Brooks.)


1. Voluntary. Christ came joyfully, willingly, and self-forgetfully.

2. Sanguinary. The victory was not achieved without a severe struggle.

3. Substitutionary. The hero was travelling in his strength, and had wrought deliverance from the foe, had saved those for whom he had gone forth to the fray. So our Redeemer came to conquer sin and death, not for Himself, but for us.


1. He survived the fight. Many a warrior has won a victory, but has lost his life in winning it. Jesus laid down His life to conquer death, but He took it up again; "and behold He is alive for evermore."

2. lie subdued the foe. The hero from Edom was travelling peacefully, for the enemy had been completely vanquished, the conquest finally won of lords."

III. THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE CROWN CHRIST SECURED BY HIS GREAT CONQUEST. The conqueror from Edom appeared clothed in glorious apparel and in great strength; there was a halo of glory around his head. In this aspect we get a picture of our triumphant Lord. He assumed the vestment of our poor humanity, and was "as a root out of a dry ground;" yet He was clothed with the beautiful garments of grace and righteousness, of spotless purity. His crown .of glory consisted in the following facts —

1. That justice was satisfied.

2. That pardon was procured. The full price of redemption was paid.

3. That heaven was opened.

(F. W. Brown.)

I. The first thing is to determine the just answer to the question, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? in other words, we have to ascertain who IS THE WARRIOR DELINEATED IN THIS PROPHECY.

1. The only endeavour to refer this prediction to another than Christ, appears to be that which would assign as its subject Judas Maccabeus, because this great Jewish captain who did so valiantly for the Jews in the days of Antiochus, overcame the Idumeans in battle; and if every circumstance favoured that interpretation (and we might, perhaps, suppose that this illustrious deliverer, in common with Moses, and Joshua, and other saviours of Israel, may be regarded as a type of the Messiah), still we could only plead for the accommodation, not for the completion of the prophecy. However splendid the achievements of Judas Maccabeus, there can be no sense, commensurate with the expression, in which the chieftain could describe himself as "speaking in righteousness," and assert that the year of his redeemed was come, or affirm that his own arm had brought salvation: so that were it allowed that the prediction had a primary fulfilment in Judas Maccabeus, we should still have to search for another accomplishment. It seems, however, satisfactorily established that Idumea or Edom at the prophet's time was a different country from that which Judas conquered. This circumstance excludes Judas Maccabeus from all share in the prophecy before us; and there remains none but the Redeemer of men in whom we can look for its accomplishment.

2. When it is admitted that the prophecy delineates Christ, we have to determine whether it be to an action already achieved or yet to be performed by the Saviour, that so sublime a description refers. It can only have been through inattention or oversight that any have supposed the prediction to relate to the death and passion of the Mediator. You observe that though the Redeemer is introduced as stained with blood, it is with the blood of His enemies, not with His own. There is a little obscurity in the answer arising from our translator having used the future tense instead of the past; and, according to Bishop Lowth, it should be, "I trod them in anger, and trampled them in indignation, and their life blood was sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My apparel." It was not, therefore, the winepress which He trod in His agony at the crucifixion, whence He brought these dyed garments; He must have been engaged in shedding the blood of others rather than pouring forth His own, ere He breaks forth on the seer's vision travelling in the greatness of His strength. The only circumstance associated with the first advent of Christ to which the prophecy can be fairly thought to refer, is the destruction of Jerusalem at that terrible visitation in which the Redeemer came down in vengeance, and dealt with His enemies with the strongest retribution. Yet, whatever there might have been in the desolations of Judea answering to the fearful expressions which Christ applies to this act, it certainly was not from Edom and Bozrah that He came, when returning from the overthrow of Jerusalem. Of course it was not from the literal Edom, and the literal Bozrah, but neither was it from the figurative. We believe that Edom and Bozrah are here used to denote nations that have been opposed to Christ and His people, and never was there a fiercer opposition than that of the Jews ere their city was destroyed; still it is quite at variance with the rules of Scripture metaphor, that the posterity of Jacob should be described by terms which belong rightly to the posterity of Esau. We may add that Christ's description of vengeance taken is immediately followed by thankful acknowledgments of great good to the house of Israel. If the prophecy have reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, how comes it to be instantly succeeded by a hymn of praise for God's mercy to the Jews? On these various accounts we do not hesitate to assert that the prediction finds no fulfilment in the events of past days; that the future must be charged with its accomplishment, and that the fearful form on which the prophet looked, the form of a warrior, fresh from the victory, must be that of Christ appearing, as He shall appear, at the close of this dispensation, when He has swept a clear scene for setting up His kingdom, and purged the earth from the pollutions of crime. And to those who are familiar with the prophecies which describe the last times, it will immediately suggest itself, that the sudden transition from the assertion of the destruction of antichristian powers, to the offering up of the thanksgiving of the Jews, is in admirable keeping with the whole tenor of prophecy. It seems clearly the import of yet unfulfilled predictions of Scripture, that the restoration of the Jews to their own laud, that great event on which hangs the conversion of the nations, shall not be accomplished without the opposition and overthrow of the confederated powers of antichrist. If, therefore, we consider the final destruction of the antichristian powers as the slaughter of Idumea, from which Christ is returning, it is quite natural that the praises of the house of Israel should immediately succeed the account of the overthrow.

II. Our business is to show THE JUSTICE OF THE INTERPRETATION which would associate the prophecy with the Saviour's second advent.

1. We shall examine what Scripture makes known with regard to the second advent.

2. We shall endeavour to establish the thorough agreement between all we are thus taught, and the prophecy of ore" text.(1) This coming is represented as accompanied by terrific judgements. It appears from the Book of Revelation that immediately before the millennium, the scene that is to be introduced by the coming of Christ, there will be a gathering of the kings of the earth to battle for the great day of God Almighty. This is the confederacy of antichristian powers. We not only find that when Christ appears the second time it will be to take vengeance on His enemies, but we seem to be furnished with a thorough answer to the question, "Who is this that cometh from Edom. etc.(2) The only point which seems to need illustration, ere we proceed to fix the meaning of the text, is the use of the terms Edom and Bozrah, to denote the confederated powers of antichrist. It is common in Scripture to take the name belonging to some great foe, and to give it to others whose wickedness is the only connection with the parties so called (e.g. Isaiah 1:10). The antichristian power which was allowed for years to persecute and to harass the Church, and is at last to be thrown down with violence, is expressly denominated "Babylon." In like manner, names such as Edom and Moab, belonging originally to the declared foes of God and His people, are used for others who imitate these foes in their enmity. If you examine the predictions which relate to these nations you will find prophecy, according to the character which it usually presents, passing on from the past to what we must believe yet to come; or, rather, describing the fall of those that first bore the name in language inappropriate, unless designed to apply to others who by their wickedness should deserve the same punishment. So far as Edom and Bozrah are concerned, the expressions are evidently too strong to refer to those places literally; and it is impossible to read them and not see that they relate to a yet future judgment.(3) As to the text, we must ascertain the period of the judgment it announces. No sooner has Isaiah asserted that the visited land is given up to Christ, as the avenger, than he breaks out into the exclamation, "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose;" and proceeds with a glowing account of the Mediator's kingdom. Hence it will appear evident that the judgments described are those which shall introduce the millennium, the thirty-fifth chapter having reference to this scene of blessedness; and, therefore, the thirty-fourth chapter delivering, as it does, a fearful visitation connected with subsequent happiness, must be expected to coincide with other predictions respecting Christ's second coming. But why are we anxious to prove that the thirty-fourth chapter of Isaiah predicts the judgment that attends the Redeemer's advent? Simply because, if this be proved, we shall also prove that by the names Edom and Bozrah are denoted those antichristian powers that shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming. In the fifth and sixth verses of the thirty-fourth chapter, it is on Idumea and Bozrah that the prophet fastens the calamity which forms the subject of his prophecy. Idumea and Bozrah denote the antichristian powers who shall be confederated when Christ shall appear. It may be contended that the prophecy was fulfilled in the destruction of the literal Edom. We know that Edom was laid waste by Nebuchadnezzar, but this event in no degree justifies so high-wrought a description. It cannot be without opposition and convulsions that Satan is driven from his usurped dominion. It is from Edom the warrior advances — the land in which dwelt the enemies of righteousness. We know this Mighty Being; we know the work with which He is busied. It is the Redeemer who was crucified in weakness; and who, after a display of marvellous forbearance, shall come forth to avenge His own elect, and destroy them that destroyed the earth. Therefore, we know what answer to give when the prophet demands, "Who is this that cometh from Edom?(4) We have still to consider the answer in the text, and show its appropriateness as proceeding from Christ at His second appearing. When the prophet asks the name of the being whom he beheld travelling in the greatness of His strength, the reply is, "I that speak in righteous" "This reply is not only characteristic of the Redeemer, but peculiarly appropriate, as the Redeemer returns from the slaughter of His enemies. His actions have just proved Him mighty to destroy, and His words announce Him "mighty to save," so that He is able to confound every foe, and uphold every friend. "Now it seems to us that in the reply given to the challenge of the prophet, there is a distinct assertion that He who comes with dyed garments from Bozrah maintains those principles of righteousness which cannot be maintained but by an infinite judge. I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. The time at which the answer is made can only be that of Christ's second appearing.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

We behold here a new revelation of a blessed and startling fact. People talk of Christ as though He were going to do something grand for us after a while. He has done it. You might as well talk of Washington as though he were going to achieve our national independence in 1950 as to speak of Christ as though He were going to achieve our salvation in the future. He did it in the year of our Lord 33, on the field of Bozrah, the Captain of our salvation fighting unto death for our emancipation. All we have to do is to accept that fact in our heart of hearts, and we are free for this world, and for the world to come.

(T. De W. Talmage, D. D.)

I. TAKE THE WORDS OF THE VICTORY WON ON CALVARY, and how they bring home to us the greatness of our need and of our redemption! Nothing short of a Divine interposition could save us. There was an old rule of the poet's art which a heathen has left on record, which said that in the drama the intervention of a god was not to be made use of by the poet, except on an occasion worthy of it. And in the great drama of the world's redemption, wrought out in the presence of heaven and earth, God Himself may with all reverence be said to have acted upon this rule. God waited while human systems did what they could for the salvation of the world. God waited through the long ages while Edom — the power of the world — seemed to wax mightier and mightier. Each one of the centuries which rolled on before the Incarnation only added to the hopelessness and despair of humanity. System after system of philosophy was tried. Each in its turn promised much, but performed little; until at length a dull, blank despair seemed to be settling down upon a decaying and dying world. And then, at length, God Himself intervened. And the work which the Son of God undertook in His infinite pity for man was no holiday task, to be entered upon with a light heart.

II. WE MAY TAKE THE VISION AS RECEIVING A FULFILMENT IN OUR OWN LIVES, whenever in the mercy of God we win a victory over the power of evil around us. There are times when we need some such vision as this to comfort and reassure us in the stress of the conflict. There is the Conqueror from Edom. His blood-stained garments are the pledge of His victory over your foe. And that victory which He won for you on Calvary He will repeat in you, if you will only yield yourself up to Him.

III. BUT THE PROPHECY IS NOT EXHAUSTED YET. Victory after victory may be won; but there are gaps in the ranks of those who have fought; and we have sorrowfully to confess that the power of evil still remains in the world. Foiled in one quarter, it is successful in another. And so it goes on from generation to generation. The heart is made sad and the head grows heavy with the thought that, conquer evil in our own person as we may, yet, after all, it will outlive us. It will give our children after us just the same trouble that it has given to us. Yet, here too there is comfort for us in the vision of the prophet, if we only take in its full meaning, for it points forward to a final victory in the future when the power of evil is to be destroyed.

(E. C. S. Gibson. M. A.)

Homilist., Homilist.
I. THE HERO HERE IS ONE WHO HAD FOUGHT IN THE MIDST OF ENEMIES. What Edom was to Israel, sin is to the universe. Christ fought in the midst of enemies; entered the very heart of this sinful world, battled with evil in all its forms.

II. THE HERO HERE IS ONE WHO HAS BEEN DEEPLY WOUNDED. He returns from Bozrah with dyed garments. Christ was wounded —

1. In HIS body.

2. In HIS reputation. He was represented as a blasphemer, as a political traitor, ,as the emissary of Beelzebub.

3. In His soul. "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, ' etc.

III. THE HERO HERE IS ONE RETURNING FROM BATTLE IN GREAT MAGNIFICENCE. "Glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength." With what magnificence Christ returned from the battle of earth to the scenes of heaven (Acts 1:9-11).

IV. THE HERO HERE IS ONE WHOSE CAREER HAD BEEN DISTINGUISHED BY RIGHTEOUSNESS. "I that speak in righteousness. I, the declarer of righteousness (as some render it). Though a warrior, he had invented no stratagems to deceive, and had violated no rights. Christ was righteous in all His conflicts. He taught righteousness, He practised righteousness, He fought for righteousness, He died for righteousness.

V. THE HERO HERE IS ONE, WHOSE STRENGTH IS MIGHTINESS TO SAVE. His form was the very embodiment of strength; but his strength was not to destroy, but to save.


1. "I that speak in righteousness." The very essence and being of Christ is righteousness. But the expression here seems to refer to the fact of His being the incarnate righteousness of God and the imputed righteousness of man. He speaks in our stead. He stands holy in place of our unholiness.

2. "Mighty to save." The victory was for man. He is mighty to save —

(1)From the vengeance of Divine justice.

(2)From the malignity of Satan.

(3)From the voice of an accusing conscience.

(4)From the power and fear of death.


1. We have no authority.

2. We have no prescription, or rules authorized by custom.

3. Persecution does no good.

4. Christians are taught to love their enemies.

5. The certainty of the day of judgment deters good men from persecuting. It is not enough to persecute the enemies of Christ; we are bound by every solemn tie to perform every duty, yea more, every kind office of friendship towards them.

(B. Robinson.)

This that is glorious in His apparel
I. IN WHAT RESPECTS THE GLORY OF OUR REDEEMER WAS APPARENT EVEN IN HIS SUFFERINGS, and shone through the dark cloud that covered Him in His humiliation.

1. From His ready undertaking of the work of our redemption. There can be little honour to any man in submitting to what he cannot avoid, or doing what he dare not refuse; but the humiliation of Christ was perfectly" voluntary.

2. From the greatness of those sufferings which He endured. A weak person is crushed by a small weight; but he who is able to endure uncommon sufferings shows himself to be possessed of uncommon strength. Our blessed Lord, in His life in this world, endured the greatest and most dreadful sufferings.

(1)His afflictions began early, with His first entrance into the world.

(2)His afflictions were constant, without interruption.

(3)Of the severest kind.

(4)The afflictions of our Lord not only continued, but increased, through His life, till they at last issued in an extraordinary conflict with the powers of darkness, and an immediate subjection to the wrath of a sin-arching God.

3. From the purity of His carriage, and the perfection of His patience.

4. From the end He had in view in His sufferings, and which He so effectually obtained. The glory of God, and the salvation of sinners.


1. We are here caned to admire and adore the unsearchable wisdom and unspeakable love of God.

2. The guilt and danger of all who are not reconciled to God.

3. The encouragement of sinners to return to God through Christ.

4. Be is able to uphold the weakest Christian in the midst of the most dangerous temptations, though He often suffers the self-sufficient to fall before His enemies. Wherefore believe in the almighty power of your Redeemer.

5. The comfort of every disconsolate soul.

(J. Witherspoon.)

Mighty to save.
Most of our ideas of might are associated with the "terrible majesty of God. E.g. the deluge; destruction of the cities of the plain; earthquakes, etc. These show might in connection with judgment. The text directs our thoughts to might in connection with mercy.


1. Typical sacrifices.

2. Prophetic ministry.

3. Christ's atonement and intercession.


1. The Divine Spirit.

2. The Church of Christ.


1. Their numbers. "A great multitude."

2. Their characters. Mary Magdalene; Saul of Tarsus; the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:11).

IV. POWER IN THE COMPLETION OF THE WORK OF MERCY. Resurrection of body, and eternal union of body and soul in glory. Conclusion:

1. The divine fight of mercy does not render personal effort unnecessary.

2. The fact that the Divine power and mercy are united in seeking our salvation should lead us to immediate and hearty surrender to God.

(Julius Brigg.)

The Redeemer's mightiness to save may be seen —

I. IN THE NATURE OF THE EVIL FROM WHICH HE saws. So we measure the success of a physician, a statesman, a warrior. Christ saves from sin, the most malignant disease — from sin, the wildest internal revolt — from sin, the strongest aggressive foe. In this saving work this "Announcer of Righteousness is almighty in atonement and in redemption. He makes a man right with God, right with self, right with the universe.

II. IN THE BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE HE HAS SAVED. The Christ of the ages has transformed multitudes. His victory on the Cross over the heart of the dying thief is but a pledge and specimen of His victory by the Cross over a million others. Mary, Saul, Augustine, Bunyan, are but conspicuous instances out of a great multitude which no man can number.

III. IN THE WORK HE HAS YET TO ACCOMPLISH. The Divine predictions are, "As I live, the whole earth shall be filled with My glory." "He must reign," etc. How vast the work of the Redeemer yet to be done! Its vastness is illustrated in —

1. Individual characters yet to be renewed and perfected. Introspection helps us to understand this.

2. The vast area of human lives to be regenerated. The redemptive work is to girdle the entire globe.

3. The ages through which this work will continue. For such stubborn, widely-extended, and long-enduring sinners, only He can be equal who is "mighty to save."

(U. R. Thomas, B. A.)

I. WHAT ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND BY THE WORDS "TO SAVE"? Something more than just delivering penitents from going down to hell. By the words "to save, I understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire, the first spiritual conviction, onward to complete sanctification. All this done of God through Jesus Christ.

II. HOW CAN WE PROVE THAT CHRIST IS " MIGHTY TO SAVE"? The argument is, that He has done it. We need no other; it were superfluous to add another. He has saved men in the full extent and meaning of the word, which we have endeavoured to explain. The best proof you can ever have of God's being mighty to save is, that He saved you.


1. Because of the infinite efficacy of his atoning blood.

2. Because of the omnipotent influence of His Divine Spirit.


1. Ministers should preach in faith.

2. There is encouragement for men and women who are praying to God for their friends.

3. Here is encouragement for the seeking sinner.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)







1. Let us beware of trusting in any power but that of Christ.

2. Let us rejoice that He is in all points such a Saviour as we require.

(W. Craig.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer.


III. DRAW SOME PRACTICAL INFERENCES. If Christ is mighty to save —

1. Ministers have the best motives to preach the Gospel with unlimited freedom, energy and zeal.

2. Abundant encouragement is provided even for those who are ready to sink in despair.

3. Whatever disastrous events may come, the Church is secure.

4. If you have experienced His might and His mercy, let it be your uniform aim to show forth His praise both by your lips and by your life.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

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