The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 1 Part 3

We go on to Isaiah 1:10-15

v10: Rulers of Sodom: It is so important to recognize parallelism when we are reading Hebrew poetry or prophecy. Here G-d (using parallelism) is talking to Judah (the Jewish people), but He is addressing them with this offensive name. 

  • Give ear: This a word that means to draw close to hear. G-d wanted the Jewish people to come closer to Him, He wanted them to pay attention. 
  • The Word of the L-rd …the law of our G-d: G-d’s Word (His revelation) is likened to (parallel to) His Law. 

v11: To what purpose…the multitude (abundance) of your sacrifices: The people’s worship, the way that they responded to G-d, was, although abundant in outward action, inadequate. He was not pleased with their worship. Their outward display falsely represented their inward paucity.

  • I have had enough: Saturated. G-d had reached a point where He could take it no more.
  • The fat: The choice parts.
  • I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats: Their offerings were not wrong. These sacrifices were not against G-d’s will. What G-d was displeased with was the manner in which they were being offered up. They were offering up these sacrifices with the wrong motives. They were going through the motions, they were fulfilling their obligations, but their behaviour, their hearts, did not change. Although they were making sacrifices to G-d, their hearts and lifestyles reflected that they were far from Him. 

v12: Appear before Me: Literally ‘See My face’. Going into G-d’s Presence

  • Trample My courts: They were coming to G-d in an improper way. Instead of coming to worship, they were showing contempt for the courts of the L-rd. They did not go with the right hearts, nor with the right purpose. 

v13: Futile sacrifices: Futile: that which is a vanity, that which is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 

  • Abomination: Because of their mindset and their behaviour, G-d was not pleased with their offerings. What they thought was a sweet-smelling aroma in G-d’s nostrils (incense) was in fact a stench.  
  • I cannot endure (tolerate): G-d no longer wanted to see Judah in this spiritual condition. He did not want these meaningless observances from them.

v14: Soul: Speaking of the very essence of someone (in this case: G-d), their innermost being. 

  • Hates: A very strong word of profound dislike. 
  • I am weary of bearing them (lifting them up): G-d is very frustrated with the people, and He has grown tired of responding to them. 

v15: Spread out your hands: Lift up their hands to the L-rd. 

  • I will hide…I will not hear: Because of their actions, their deeds, G-d is no longer going to engage with them. He is distancing Himself from them as He is displeased with them. He tells them here that He is going to ignore them (hide) and He will not listen to them. 
  • Your hands are full of blood: They have shed innocent blood. 

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