1 Oh (&c. Chapter 64 is joined to 63 by the Massoretic pointing) that You would tear the heavens, that You would come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence, (the reference is to Sinai in these verses. Cp. Ps. 68:7,8. Judg. 5:4,5. Let the 2nd Advent begin!!!)
2 As when the melting fire burns, the fire causes the waters to boil (God is a consuming fire. See Heb. 12:29), to make Your name known to Your adversaries (see Ps. 20:1), that the nations may tremble at Your presence!
3 When You did terrible things which we looked not for (see Ex. 34:10. 1st destruction, katabole), You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.
4 For since the beginning of the world (= from of old) men have not heard, nor have not perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, (because of different dimension) O God (Elohim), beside You, what He could work (or will do) for the man who waits for Him. (quoted in 1 Cor. 2:9. Cp. Ps. 31:19)
5 You did meet him who was rejoicing and works righteousness (see Gen.32:1), those that remember You in Your ways (the way He operates): behold, You were wroth; for we have sinned: in those [ways of Yours] is continuance, and we shall be saved. (IF you do it His way!)
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf (= age); and our iniquities, like the wind (ruach), have taken us away.
7 And there is none that calls upon Your name, that stirs up himself to take hold of You: for You have hidden Your face from us (cp. 45:15; 53:3; 54:8; 57:17; 59:2. See Deut. 31:17,18,20), and have consumed us, because of our iniquities.
8 But now (some codices read, "You"), O Lord, You are our Father (see 63:16); we are the clay, and You our potter; and we all are the work of Your hands. (He is the closest relative you have!)
9 Continue no to be wroth very sore, O Lord, neither continue not to remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech You, we are all Your People.
10 Your set apart cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. (referring to the time of Matt.23:38; 24:2)
11 Our set apart and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised You (see: shall not", &c., 13:10), is burned up with fire (this prayer is prophetic; and is said now by anticipation of the then [and now still future] day of Israel's repentance and return to the Lord): and all our goodly places (or, vessels. Same word as in 2 Chron. 26:19) are laid waste.
12 Will You refrain Yourself for these things (i.e. refuse to give way in compassion, &c. Cp. Gen. 43:1; 45:1. Isa. 42:14; 63:15), O the Lord? will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very sore?