|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
58:1,2 The Holy Spirit had hypocrites of every age in view. Self-love and timid Christians may say, Spare thyself; dislike to the cross and other motives will say, Spare the rich and powerful; but God says, Spare not: and we must obey God, not men. We all need earnestly to pray for God's assistance in examining ourselves. Men may go far toward heaven, yet come short; and they may go to hell with a good reputation.
Verses 1-12. - FORMALISM REBUKED AND INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN WITH RESPECT TO FASTING. As in the last section, so here, the prophet's eye seems to rest upon his contemporaries rather than upon the exiles; and to note the vices of the time, which have a general resemblance to those rebuked in ch. 1. The whole Law seems to be in force, and the People to make a show of keeping it, and to complain that they are not properly rewarded for their religiousness. God tears the mask from their face, and shows the difference between true religion and the pretence of it. Verse 1. - Cry aloud; literally, cry from the throat; "a plein gosier," as Calvin says. The command is addressed to the prophet by Jehovah, who will have him warn the people in such sort as to compel their attention. Lift up thy voice like a trumpet (comp. Hosea 8:1; Joel 2:1). The trumpet gives a note of alarm. Show my people their transgression; i.e. "show them how they are especially offending me at this time" (see Micah 3:8).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet,.... These words are directed to the prophet; and so the Targum expresses it,
"O prophet, cry with thy throat;''
and so it is in the original, "cry with the throat" (d), which is an instrument of speech; and it denotes a loud, strong, vehement cry, when a man exerts his voice, and as it were rends his throat, that he may be heard; as well as it shows the intenseness of his spirit, and the vehemence of his affections, and the importance of what he delivers; and this the prophet is encouraged to do, and "spare not", the voice, throat, or his lungs, nor the people neither he was sent unto; or, "cease not", as the Targum, refrain not from speaking, "cease not crying"; so Ben Melech: "lift up thy voice like a trumpet"; like the voice or sound of a trumpet, which is heard afar, and gives an alarm; and to which the Gospel ministry is sometimes compared, Isaiah 27:13 all which shows the manner in which the ministers of the word should deliver it, publicly, boldly, with ardour and affection; and also the deafness and stupidity of the people which require it:
and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins; by whom are meant the professing people of God, the present reformed churches, as distinguished from the antichristian ones, spoken of in the preceding chapter; who yet are guilty of many sins and transgressions, which must be showed them, and they must be sharply reproved for; and particularly their coldness and deadness, formality and hypocrisy in religious worship; their "works not being perfect" before God, or sincere and upright, as is said of the Sardian church, which designs the same persons, Revelation 3:1. In the Talmud (e) the words are thus paraphrased, "shew my people their transgression"; these are the disciples of the wise men, whose sins of error or ignorance become to them presumptuous ones; "and the house of Jacob their sins"; these are the people of the earth, or the common people, whose presumptuous sins become to them as sins of ignorance.
(d) "clama in gutture", Pagninus, Montanus; "exclama gutture", Junius & Tremellius; "exclama pleno gutture", Piscator; "clama pleno gut ture", Cocceius. (e) T. Bab. Metzia, fol. 33. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Isa 58:1-14. Reproof of the Jews for Their Dependence on Mere Outward Forms of Worship.
1. aloud—Hebrew, "with the throat," that is, with full voice, not merely from the lips (1Sa 1:13). Speak loud enough to arrest attention.
my people—the Jews in Isaiah's time, and again in the time of our Lord, more zealous for externals than for inward holiness. Rosenmuller thinks the reference to be to the Jews in the captivity practising their rites to gain God's favor and a release; and that hence, sacrifices are not mentioned, but only fasting and Sabbath observance, which they could keep though far away from the temple in Jerusalem. The same also applies to their present dispersion, in which they cannot offer sacrifices, but can only show their zeal in fastings, &c. Compare as to our Lord's time, Mt 6:16, 23; Lu 18:12.
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