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The hypocrisy of the Jews, in their fasts, ver. 1 - 5.
A true fast described, ver. 6, 7.
Promises to Godliness, ver. 8 - 12.
To the keeping of the sabbath, ver. 13, 14.
2: Yet - They cover all their wickedness with a profession of
religion. Delight - There are many men who take some pleasure in knowing
God's will and word, and yet do not conform their lives to it.
As - As if they were a righteous people. Forsook - As if they were not
guilty of any apostacy from God, or disobedience to God's precepts.
Ask - As if they resolved to observe them. In approaching - In coming
to my temple to hear my word, and to offer sacrifices.
3: Afflicted - Defrauded our appetites with fasting, of which this
phrase is used, (Le 16:29).
Ye find - Either you indulge yourselves in sensuality, as they did,(Isa 22:13).
But this does not agree with that afflicting of their souls which
they now professed, and which God acknowledges; or you pursue and
satisfy your own desires: though you abstain from bodily food, you
do not mortify your sinful inclinations. Exact - Your money, got by
your labour, and lent to others, either for their need or your own
advantage, which you require either with usury, or at least with
rigour, when either the general law of charity, or God's particular
law, commanded the release, or at least the forbearance of them.
4: Behold - Your fasting days, wherein you ought in a special manner
to implore the mercy of God, and to shew compassion to men, you employ
in injuring or quarrelling with your brethren, your servants or debtors,
or in contriving mischief against them. Heard - In strife and debate.
By way of ostentation.
5: Chosen - Approve of, accept, or delight in, by a metonymy,
because we delight in what we freely chuse. For a day - This may be
understood, either for a man to take a certain time to afflict his
soul in, and that either from even to even, (Le 23:32), or from
morning to evening, or for a little time. Wilt thou call - Canst thou
suppose it to be so? A fast - It being such an one as has nothing in it,
but the dumb signs of a fast, nothing of deep humiliation appearing
in it, or, real reformation proceeding from it. Acceptable day - A
day that God will approve of.
6: The bands - The cruel obligations of usury and oppression.
7: Cast out - And thereby become wanderers, having no abiding place.
To thy house - That thou be hospitable, and make thy house a shelter to
them that have none of their own left. Hide not - That seek no occasion
to excuse thyself. Thy own flesh - Some confine this to our own kindred;
but we can look on no man, but there we contemplate our own flesh, and
therefore it is barbarous, not only to tear, but not to love and succour
him. Therefore feed him as thou wouldest feed thyself, or be fed; shelter
him as thou wouldest shelter thyself, or be sheltered; clothe him as thou
wouldest clothe thyself, or be clothed; if in any of these respects thou
wert in his circumstances.
8: Thy light - Happiness and prosperity. Break forth - It shall
not only appear, but break forth, dart itself forth, notwithstanding
all difficulties, as the sun breaks, and pierces through a cloud.
Thy health - Another metaphor to express the same thing.
Righteousness - The reward of thy righteousness. Before thee - As the
morning - star goes before the sun. The glory - His glorious power and
providence. Thy rereward - Thus the angel of his presence secured the
Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.
9: Answer - He will give an effectual demonstration, that he hears
thee. Here l am - A phrase that notes a person to be ready at hand to
help. Take away - From among you. The yoke - All those pressures and
grievances before mentioned. Putting forth - Done by way of scoff, or
disdainful insulting. Vanity - Any kind of evil words.
10: Draw out - Or, open, as when we open a store, to satisfy the
wants of the needy. Thy soul - Thy affection, thy pity and compassion.
Thy darkness - In the very darkness of the affliction itself thou shalt
11: Guide thee - Like a shepherd. And he adds continually to shew
that his conduct and blessing shall not be momentary, or of a short
continuance, but all along as it was to Israel in the wilderness.
Satisfy - Thou shalt have plenty, when others are in scarcity.
Make fat - This may be spoken in opposition to the sad effects of famine,
whereby the flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen, and the bones
that were not seen, stick out. A garden - If thou relieve the poor,
thou shalt never be poor, but as a well - watered garden, always flourishing.
Fail not - Heb. deceive not, a metaphor which farther notes also the
continuance of this flourishing state, which will not be like a land - flood,
or brooks, that will soon be dried up with drought. Thou shalt be fed
with a spring of blessing, that will never fail.
12: They shall be of thee - Thy posterity. Waste places - Cities
which have lain long waste; that shall continue for many generations
to come. The breach - Breach is put for breaches, which was made
by God's judgment breaking in upon them in suffering the walls of their
towns and cities to be demolished. Paths - Those paths that led from city
to city, which being now laid desolate, and uninhabited, were grown over
with grass, and weeds. To dwell in - These accommodations being recovered,
their ancient cities might be fit to be re - inhabited.
13: If - If thou take no unnecessary journeys, or do any servile
works on the sabbath - day. A delight - Performing the duties of it with
chearfulness, delighting in the ordinances of it. Holy - Dedicated to
God, consecrated to his service.
14: In the Lord - In his goodness and faithfulness to thee, and in
the assurance of his love and favour. To ride - Thou shalt be above the
reach of danger. Feed thee - Thou shalt enjoy the good of the land of
Canaan, which God promised as an heritage to Jacob, and his seed,(Ge 35:12).