Isaiah 64 – “Petition for Help”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The people admit their guilt and ask God to watch over them.

II. Photo
The people admit their guilt: “We have all become like an unclean thing, and all our virtues like a filthy rag!” (v. 5a)

III. Important Verses
5: We have all become like an unclean thing, And all our virtues like a filthy rag. We are all withering like leaves, And our iniquities, like a wind, carry us off.
6: Yet no one invokes Your name, Rouses himself to cling to You. For You have hidden Your face from us, And made us melt because of our iniquities.
9-10: Your holy cities have become a desert: Zion has become a desert, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy Temple, our pride, Where our fathers praised You, Has been consumed by fire: And all that was dear to us is ruined.
11: At such things will You restrain Yourself, O LORD, Will You stand idly by and let us suffer so heavily?

IV. Outline
1-3. God’s ability to do wonders
4. God punishes his people
5. Admission of guilt
6. The people have turned from God
7. Affirmation of trust in God
8. Petition for help
9-10. Complaint: the country is destroyed
11. Petition for help

V. Comment
No comment. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
Photo taken from