In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them.
Through all that they suffered, he suffered too. The messenger sent from his very presence delivered them.
In all their suffering, He suffered, and the Angel of His Presence saved them.
In all their troubles, it was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them.
in their every affliction. It was not a messenger or an angel, but he himself who saved them.
Merry Christmas! I’m looking at Isaiah 63:7-9 in preparation for this Sunday’s Christmas 1A message and found v.9 to be in much dispute. The difference in interpretation is huge because the resulting differences in
In the NIV, CSB, NET (and ESV/RSV), the meaning offers a comforting message. God declares his love for his people because it illustrates how when we are burdened, that God also bears a burden and sorrow along with us. God feels the suffering of God’s people. However, in the NJB, NAB (and NRSV), the rendering does not show God suffering.
Another resulting consequence is that in the [NIV, ESV, CSB] the “angel of his presence” was there to save them, but in the [NJB, NAB] it is not a messenger or angel that saved them, but rather, his own presence.
Given this whole passage from vv.7-14 is actually about the crossing of the Red Sea, and that the “Angel of his Presence” alludes to the angel’s role at the time of the Red Sea crossing (see Exodus 14:19), I think NIV, CSB, NET offers the most intelligible rendering of Isaiah 63:9.
And not that it’s of any significance, but this interpretation also happens to go nicely with the theme of God’s ability to identify with humanity in the N.T. reading of Hebrews 2:10-18 (Year A, Christmas 1). But for technical reasons, I’m compelled to go with the NIV, CSB, NET rendering on this one.