|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:10-15 Judea was desolate, and their cities burned. This awakened them to bring sacrifices and offerings, as if they would bribe God to remove the punishment, and give them leave to go on in their sin. Many who will readily part with their sacrifices, will not be persuaded to part with their sins. They relied on the mere form as a service deserving a reward. The most costly devotions of wicked people, without thorough reformation of heart and life, cannot be acceptable to God. He not only did not accept them, but he abhorred them. All this shows that sin is very hateful to God. If we allow ourselves in secret sin, or forbidden indulgences; if we reject the salvation of Christ, our very prayers will become abomination.
Verse 13. - Bring no more vain oblations. The command is net "Bring no more oblations, "as though the daily oblation was to cease; but "bring no more oblations that are vain ones, "i.e. empty and unreal - mere forms, without the proper corresponding spirit. The "oblation" spoken of is the minchah, or "meat offering," cf. Leviticus 2:1-11; Numbers 28:12-31, which was a cake of fine flour mingled with oil, and generally had incense joined with it, which explains the nexus of this clause with the following one. Incense is an abomination unto me. God had commanded the use of incense in worship, as he had commanded burnt offerings and oblations (Exodus 30:1-8, 34-38; Leviticus 2:2; Leviticus 16:12, 13). But incense symbolized prayer (Psalm 141:2); and if no heartfelt prayer accompanied its use, it was emptied of all its significance, and became hateful to God - a mere form, and consequently an "abomination." The new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with. The weekly festival of the sabbath, the monthly one of the "new moon, "and the annual "assemblies" or "solemn feasts" (2 Chronicles 8:13), were the main occasions of Jewish worship. As at this time conducted, God could endure none of them; all were tainted with the prevalent unreality. The construction of the passage is highly rhetorical, and indicates great excitement of feeling. Kay translates it literally, "New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies, I cannot - it is ungodliness - even the solemn meeting." The authors of the Revised Version also suppose an aposiopesis. The solemn meeting. The word thus translated is applied only to particular days in the great festival seasons, as to the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35; Nehemiah 8:18), and the seventh day of the Passover (Deuteronomy 16:8), or else to days specially appointed for religious services by civil authority (2 Kings 10:20; 2 Chronicles 7:9; Joel 1:14; Joel 2:15). The meaning thus is, that even the very highest 'occasions of religious worship were abused by the Israelites of the time, and made an offence to God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Bring no more vain oblations,.... As all such were, which were offered up without faith in Christ, in hypocrisy, and with dependence on them for pardon and atonement, and particularly when put an end to by the sacrifice of Christ; see Matthew 15:9. The Targum renders it, "an oblation of robbery"; see Isaiah 60:8.
incense is an abomination to me; instead of being of a sweet smell. This was burnt on the altar of incense, and put upon the sacrifices, Exodus 30:1 was typical of prayer, Psalm 141:2 but now under the Gospel dispensation to be disused, and so disagreeable to God, that it is as if an idol was blessed, Isaiah 66:3.
the new moons; the feasts kept on the first day of the month, at the appearance of the moon:
and sabbaths; observed every seventh day, every seventh year, and every seven times seventh year:
the calling of assemblies; or "the new moon and sabbath, do not call a congregation". These assemblies called were the holy convocations on the seventh day sabbath, at the feasts of passover, pentecost, and tabernacles, at the blowing of the trumpets, and on the day of atonement, Leviticus 23:3 &c. Numbers 28:26. The words,
I cannot away with or "bear", may be joined with the following word, "iniquity"; and the meaning is, that the Lord could not bear the iniquity that was in their hearts when they had their solemn assemblies and holy convocations:
it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting: or cessation from work on any of the above festivals; particularly the feast of weeks, or pentecost, was called "Atzareth", by the Jews (g), the same word with this here (h).
(g) Misn. Chagiga, c. 2. sect. 4. (h) The whole verse, agreeably to the accents, is thus rendered by Reinbeck. de Accent. Heb. p. 377, 378.
"Do not go on to offer oblation of vanity; incense of abomination is it to me; do not go on, I say, on the new moon, and sabbath, to call a convocation: I cannot bear iniquity, together with the most solemn congregation.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. oblations—unbloody; "meat (old English sense, not flesh) offerings," that is, of flour, fruits, oil, &c. (Le 2:1-13). Hebrew, mincha.
incense—put upon the sacrifices, and burnt on the altar of incense. Type of prayer (Ps 141:2; Re 8:3).
new moons—observed as festivals (Nu 10:10; 28:11, 14) with sacrifices and blowing of silver trumpets.
sabbaths—both the seventh day and the beginning and closing days of the great feasts (Le 23:24-39).
away with—bear, Maurer translates, "I cannot bear iniquity and the solemn meeting," that is, the meeting associated with iniquity—literally, the closing days of the feasts; so the great days (Le 23:36; Joh 7:37).
Isaiah 1:13 Parallel Commentaries
Isaiah 1:13 NIV
Isaiah 1:13 NLT
Isaiah 1:13 ESV
Isaiah 1:13 NASB
Isaiah 1:13 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible