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Isaiah 1:15-16

Context

1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,

I look the other way; 1 

when you offer your many prayers,

I do not listen,

because your hands are covered with blood. 2 

1:16 3 Wash! Cleanse yourselves!

Remove your sinful deeds 4 

from my sight.

Stop sinning!

1 tn Heb “I close my eyes from you.”

2 sn This does not just refer to the blood of sacrificial animals, but also the blood, as it were, of their innocent victims. By depriving the poor and destitute of proper legal recourse and adequate access to the economic system, the oppressors have, for all intents and purposes, “killed” their victims.

3 sn Having demonstrated the people’s guilt, the Lord calls them to repentance, which will involve concrete action in the socio-economic realm, not mere emotion.

4 sn This phrase refers to Israel’s covenant treachery (cf. Deut 28:10; Jer 4:4; 21:12; 23:2, 22; 25:5; 26:3; 44:22; Hos 9:15; Ps 28:4). In general, the noun ַמעַלְלֵיכֶם (maalleykhem) can simply be a reference to deeds, whether good or bad. However, Isaiah always uses it with a negative connotation (cf. 3:8, 10).



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