5:21 “I absolutely despise 1 your festivals!
I get no pleasure 2 from your religious assemblies!
5:22 Even if you offer me burnt and grain offerings, 3 I will not be satisfied;
I will not look with favor on your peace offerings of fattened calves. 4
5:23 Take away from me your 5 noisy songs;
I don’t want to hear the music of your stringed instruments. 6
5:24 Justice must flow like torrents of water,
righteous actions 7 like a stream that never dries up.
1 tn Heb “I hate”; “I despise.”
2 tn Heb “I will not smell.” These verses are full of vivid descriptions of the Lord’s total rejection of Israelite worship. In the first half of this verse two verbs are used together for emphasis. Here the verb alludes to the sense of smell, a fitting observation since offerings would have been burned on the altar ideally to provide a sweet aroma to God (see, e.g., Lev 1:9, 13, 17; Num 29:36). Other senses that are mentioned include sight and hearing in vv. 22-23.
3 tn Heb “burnt offerings and your grain offerings.”
4 tn Heb “Peace offering[s], your fattened calves, I will not look at.”
5 tn In this verse the second person suffixes are singular and not plural like they are in vv. 21-22 and vv. 25-27. Some have suggested that perhaps a specific individual or group within the nation is in view.
6 tn The Hebrew word probably refers to “harps” (NASB, NIV, NRSV) or “lutes” (NEB).
7 tn Traditionally, “righteousness.”