Isaiah 1:11
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.

King James Bible
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

American Standard Version
What unto me is the multitude of your sacrifices? saith Jehovah: I have had enough of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To what purpose do you offer me the multitude of your victims, saith the Lord? I am full, I desire not holocausts of rams, and fat of fatlings, and blood of calves, and lambs, and buck goats.

English Revised Version
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats.

Webster's Bible Translation
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats.

Isaiah 1:11 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

In this v. a disputed question arises as to the words על־מה (מה, the shorter, sharper form of מה, which is common even before non-gutturals, Ges. 32, 1): viz., whether they mean "wherefore," as the lxx, Targums, Vulgate, and most of the early versions render them, or "upon what," i.e., upon which part of the body, as others, including Schrring, suppose. Luzzatto maintains that the latter rendering is spiritless, more especially because there is nothing in the fact that a limb has been struck already to prevent its being struck again; but such objections as these can only arise in connection with a purely literal interpretation of the passage. If we adopted this rendering, the real meaning would be, that there was no judgment whatever that had not already fallen upon Israel on account of its apostasy, so that it was not far from utter destruction. We agree, however, with Caspari in deciding in favour of the meaning "to what" (to what end). For in all the other passage in which the expression occurs (fourteen times in all), it is used in this sense, and once even with the verb hiccâh, to smite (Numbers 22:32), whilst it is only in Isaiah 1:6 that the idea of the people as one body is introduced; whereas the question "upon what" would require that the reader or hearer should presuppose it here. But in adopting the rendering "whereto," or to what end, we do not understand it, as Malbim does, in the sense of Cui bono, with the underlying thought, "It would be ineffectual, as all the previous smiting has proved;" for this thought never comes out in a direct expression, as we should expect, but rather - according to the analogy of the questions with lamah in Ezekiel 18:31; Jeremiah 44:7 -in the sense of qua de causa, with the underlying thought, "There would be only an infatuated pleasure in your own destruction."

Isaiah 1:5 we therefore render thus: "Why would ye be perpetually smitten, multiplying rebellion?" עוד (with tiphchah, a stronger disjunctive than tebir) belongs to תּכּוּ; see the same form of accentuation in Ezekiel 19:9. They are not two distinct interrogative clauses ("why would ye be smitten afresh? why do ye add revolt?" (Luzzatto), but the second clause is subordinate to the first (without there being any necessity to supply Chi, "because," as Gesenius supposes), an adverbial minor clause defining the main clause more precisely; at all events this is the logical connection, as in Isaiah 5:11 (cf., Psalm 62:4, "delighting in lies," and Psalm 4:3, "loving vanity"): lxx "adding iniquity." Sârâh (rebellion) is a deviation from truth and rectitude; and here, as in many other instances, it denotes apostasy from Jehovah, who is the absolutely Good, and absolute goodness. There is a still further dispute whether the next words should be rendered "every head" and "every heart," or "the whole head" and "the whole heart." In prose the latter would be impossible, as the two nouns are written without the article; but in the poetic style of the prophets the article may be omitted after Col, when used in the sense of "the whole" (e.g., Isaiah 9:12 : with whole mouth, i.e., with full mouth). Nevertheless Col, without the article following, never signifies "the whole" when it occurs several times in succession, as in Isaiah 15:2 and Ezekiel 7:17-18. We must therefore render Isaiah 1:5, "Every head is diseased, and every heart is sick." The Lamed in locholi indicates the state into which a thing has come: every head in a state of disease (Ewald, 217, d: locholi without the article, as in 2 Chronicles 21:18). The prophet asks his fellow-countrymen why they are so foolish as to heap apostasy upon apostasy, and so continue to call down the judgments of God, which have already fallen upon them blow after blow. Has it reached such a height with them, that among all the many heads and hearts there is not one head which is not in a diseased state, not one heart which is not thoroughly ill? (davvai an emphatic form of daveh). Head and heart are mentioned as the noblest parts of the outer and inner man. Outwardly and inwardly every individual in the nation had already been smitten by the wrath of God, so that they had had enough, and might have been brought to reflection.

Isaiah 1:11 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

what purpose

Isaiah 66:3 He that kills an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrifices a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offers an oblation...

1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold...

Psalm 50:8 I will not reprove you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

Psalm 51:16 For you desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: you delight not in burnt offering.

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind?

Jeremiah 6:20 To what purpose comes there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable...

Jeremiah 7:21 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh.

Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

Micah 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression...

Matthew 9:13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous...

he goats. Heb. great he-goats

Cross References
Matthew 22:4
Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast."'

Numbers 7:45
one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering;

1 Samuel 15:22
And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Psalm 40:6
In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

Psalm 50:8
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me.

Proverbs 15:8
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.

Proverbs 21:3
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

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