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? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth. (Isaiah 63:1-6)
In order to properly unpack this little appreciated account of the second coming of Jesus, I think it would be profitable to give a general outline of the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah has two main sections. Chapters 1-39 deal with the upcoming Assyrian invasion, which would eventually bring the entire Northern Kingdom of Israel to an end, and would also nearly utterly destroy Judah, the Southern Kingdom. Had it not been for a dramatic intervention of God, in the siege of Jerusalem, there would be no Judah at all.
Isaiah had long warned of these judgments and his prophecies had all come to pass. Thus the first part of Isaiah is called a book of Judgments.
The last thing chapter 39 tells us is that Judah would indeed be taken into captivity, but not by the Assyrians, but by the Babylonians.
The second section, Isaiah 40-66, is called a book of comfort, because the theme is of the Salvation of Judah and Israel, in spite of their sin and rebellion. It is divided into three sub sections, of roughly nine chapters each. Chapter 40-48 is about God himself, as Saviour and Redeemer, and is an assurance to those in Babylonian captivity to trust in Him in spite of the past. ( At the time of these prophecies, Babylon wasn’t even the dominant World Power and the captivity was a thing of the future).
Chapter 49- 57 of Isaiah is around the theme of Salvation, and features a figure called “the Servant of Jahweh”, who would come and Save the People of Israel and even the wider world, through making of himself a vicarious sacrifice for sins.
Finally Chapters 58-66 are about eschatology, ie the things having to do with the end. The Savior has come, grace has been given , yet the World falls into wholesale apostasy, whilst the “Righteous perish” and few realize what has happened. This time Messiah is revealed as the Divine warrior, who puts on the armor of God, and comes to save and redeem his people.
The brilliant future of Israel is in this section, “Arise , shine for your light has come”, as well as the full ministry of the Messiah, “the Spirit of the LORD has come upon me…”, which includes recovery and salvation, as well as the execution of “the day of Vengeance”. The full cleansing and restoration of Jerusalem and Zion is foretold, against all human odds, God has purposed it and will not be denied.
Our text comes from this section, it is a startling revelation of the return of Jesus, which Revelation 19 draws heavily from.
We open with a question, “Who is this…?”
The Divine Warrior strides forward, in glorious and Kingly apparel. He is dressed for war, and is returning from a fierce battle.
He comes from Edom.
Most people familiar with the prophecies of the Bible are aware that the Messiah’s feet will actually touch down on the literal Mount of Olives. But here Isaiah sees him coming from Edom. Edom is South and East of the Dead sea, and is in one of the most arid and inhospitable deserts on earth.
Why does Messiah come from Edom?
Furthermore he has “dyed his garments crimson ” at Bozrah.
This is a prophetic description of an aspect of what we call the “second coming” of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah.
One of the events leading up to that final day, is a season of time called “The time of Jacob’s trouble”,(Jeremiah 30). In that time the Jewish people will be besieged, and will have to flee if at all possible, out of Jerusalem, out of Judea (The West bank) and into the wilderness.
Jesus himself warned the Jews of the terror of this day, and prophetically instructed them when and where to flee..
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:15-22)
Once again the remnant of Israel will have to endure an Exodus, a flight out into the desert, in their millions. They will be hounded and persecuted, but God will meet them there, and gather them. They will end up in Edom, and at Bozrah, where the Armies of AntiChrist, as well as the Edomites will seek to surround them and possibly wipe them out as the rest of the world will besiege Jerusalem for the same goal.
The second coming of Christ will be a multi-level event; Christ comes back to Sinai, to MT Paran, to Bozrah, Teman, Edom, and even possibly to Egypt (Isaiah 19:1) and finally to Jerusalem. There will be battles, (Short ones), and Messiah’s clothes get spattered with the blood of his enemies.
More to come…