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…
This passage is one of those in which the holiness peculiar to the Gospel seems to be foretokened in the morality of the prophetic canon. The twilight clouds were red with the coming Sun.
1. Isaiah and his brother-prophets were holier and heavenlier and richer in the works of love upon an anticipated Christ than we are in a Christ already our crucified Example. These men of God knew no divorce between belief and love, between living perpetually in the presence of a benevolent Lord and imitating His benevolence to their "fellow-creatures. As it is the spirit of truth that has solemnized the union of the principle of faith with the works of charity, so it is, and in all ages has been, the master policy of the spirit of evil to effect their separation.
2. The whole religious providence towards man in every age has been a system operating by the combined influence of faith and love — both directed towards His own perfect essence. In our existing condition, what is faith but love relying on support? What is love but faith forgetting the support in the Supporter? Every progressive step in attaining habits of compassion and kindness upon earth must necessarily be a step towards estimating and loving Him who is the essential Spirit of benevolence. The love of man is the type and shadow of the love of God. The people of God are here engaged with the rudiments and images of those affections which are to be the duty and happiness of their eternity.
(W. Archer Butler.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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, and that ye break every yoke?