Isaiah 58:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

King James Bible
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

American Standard Version
Then shalt thou call, and Jehovah will answer; thou shalt cry, and he will say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedly;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall hear: thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not.

English Revised Version
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedly;

Webster's Bible Translation
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD will answer; thou shalt cry, and he will say, Here I am. If thou shalt take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

Isaiah 58:9 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

There follow now the words of the work-righteous themselves, who hold up their fasting before the eyes of God, and complain that He takes no notice of it. And how could He?! "'Wherefore do we fast and Thou seest not, afflict our soul and Thou regardest not?' Behold, on the day of your fasting ye carry on your business, and ye oppress all your labourers. Behold, ye fast with strife and quarrelling, and with smiting with the fist maliciously closed: ye do not fast now to make your voice audible on high." By the side of צוּם (root צם, to press, tie up, constrain) we have here the older expression found in the Pentateuch, נפשׁ ענּה, to do violence to the natural life. In addition to the fasting on the day of atonement (the tenth of the seventh month Tizri), the only fast prescribed by the law, other fasts were observed according to Zechariah 7:3; Zechariah 8:19, viz., fasts to commemorate the commencement of the siege of Jerusalem (10th Tebeth), its capture (17th Tammuz), its destruction (9th Aibb), and the murder of Gedaliah (3rd Tizri). The exiles boast of this fasting here; but it is a heartless, dead work, and therefore worthless in the sight of God. There is the most glaring contrast between the object of the fast and their conduct on the fast-day: for they carry on their work-day occupation; they are then, more than at any other time, true taskmasters to their work-people (lest the service of the master should suffer form the service of God); and because when fasting they are doubly irritable and ill-tempered, this leads to quarrelling and strife, and even to striking with angry fist (בּאגרף, from גּרף, to collect together, make into a ball, clench). Hence in their present state the true purpose of fasting is quite unknown to them, viz., to enable them to draw near with importunate prayer to God, who is enthroned on high (Isaiah 57:15).

(Note: The ancient church called a fast statio, because he who fasted had to wait in prayer day and night like a soldier at his post. See on this and what follows, the Shepherd of Hermas, iii. Sim. 5, and the Epistle of Barnabas, c. iii.)

The only difficulty here is the phrase חפץ מצא. In the face of Isaiah 58:13, this cannot have any other meaning than to stretch one's hand after occupation, to carry on business, to occupy one's self with it - חפץ combining the three meanings, application or affairs, striving, and trade or occupation. מצא, however, maintains its primary meaning, to lay hold of or grasp (cf., Isaiah 10:14; Targ. צרכיכון תּבעין אתּוּן, ye seek your livelihood). This is sustained by what follows, whether we derive עצּביכם (cf., חלּקי, Isaiah 57:6) from עצב (et omnes labores vestros graves rigide exigitis), נגשׂ (from which we have here תּנגּשׂוּ for תּגּשׂוּ, Deuteronomy 15:3) being construed as in 2 Kings 23:35 with the accusative of what is peremptorily demanded; or (what we certainly prefer) from עצב; or better still from עצב morf ll (like עמל): omnes operarios vestros adigitis (urgetis), נגשׂ being construed with the accusative of the person oppressed, as in Deuteronomy 15:2, where it is applied to the oppression of a debtor. Here, however, the reference is not to those who owe money, but to those who owe labour, or to obligations to labour; and עצב does not signify a debtor (an idea quite foreign to this verbal root), but a labourer, one who eats the bread of sorrows, or of hard toil (Psalm 127:2). The prophet paints throughout from the life; and we cannot be persuaded by Stier's false zeal for Isaiah's authorship to give up the opinion, that we have here a figure drawn from the life of the exiles in Babylon.

Isaiah 58:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

shalt thou

Isaiah 1:15 And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear...

Isaiah 30:19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: you shall weep no more: he will be very gracious to you at the voice of your cry...

Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Psalm 34:15-17 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry...

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 50:15 And call on me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Psalm 66:18,19 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me...

Psalm 91:15 He shall call on me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.

Psalm 118:5 I called on the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.

Jeremiah 29:12,13 Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you...

Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you...

1 John 3:21,22 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God...

here

Genesis 27:18 And he came to his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who are you, my son?

1 Samuel 3:4-8 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I...

the yoke

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free...

the putting

Isaiah 57:4 Against whom do you sport yourselves? against whom make you a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue?...

Proverbs 6:13 He winks with his eyes, he speaks with his feet, he teaches with his fingers;

speaking

Isaiah 59:3,4 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies...

Psalm 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.

Ezekiel 13:8 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD; Because you have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you...

Zechariah 10:2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain...

Cross References
Job 22:27
You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you, and you will pay your vows.

Psalm 12:2
Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

Psalm 20:6
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.

Psalm 50:15
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."

Proverbs 6:13
winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger,

Isaiah 30:19
For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.

Isaiah 55:6
"Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;

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