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"Trodden The Winepress Alone"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Chapter 63 of Isaiah describes a vision seen by this eloquent poet and prophet, probably from a mountaintop. It may have been inspired by an approaching thunder-storm, reddened by the setting sun. At one time scholars thought this passage a prophecy relating to Christ, but it has since been observed with some justification that the awesome being described is far more consistent with the Old Testament Jehovah than it is with the character of Jesus. Isaiah's vision is of a mighty figure approaching out of Edom, glorious in scarlet and purple robes; the impression created by his words is one of vastness and of something inexorable in purpose; and when the figure speaks it is in a voice of thunder. The impression of an approaching storm is very strong. Whatever the phenomenon that inspired Isaiah's mind and pen, its aspect was majestic and aweinspiring. For centuries the people of Israel have suffered under the oppressor's heel; their land has been conquered and plundered; they have been enslaved, abused, exiled, or killed. Now Isaiah sees the Lord sweeping across the earth in garments the color of blood, to avenge the tribulations of His people and to stamp out their enemies. He will trample them as wine is trampled out of the grapes, and His robes will be stained by the fury of His labor. But this terrifying vision is of the future, and Isaiah begs the Lord to remember His people in their present adversity, to renew His love for them and to raise their afflictions. In the prayer with which he ends this chapter are combined humility, simple devotion, and a deep sorrow; there is genuine pathos...

(The entire section is 585 words.)