Isaiah 1:10 MEANING

Isaiah 1:10
(10) Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom.--The Hebrew text, by leaving a space between the two verses, indicates the beginning of a new section. It is noticeable that the prophet does not address the king. It may be that he trusted him, but not his ministers. We have to remember that the rulers (better, judges; same word as kadi) thus addressed were probably those who were outwardly active in Hezekiah's work of reformation, or had taken part in the older routine worship under Uzziah. For princes and people alike that reformation was but superficial. The priestly writer of the Book of Chronicles might dwell only on the apparent good in either reign (2 Chronicles 27:2; 2 Chronicles 29-31); but the eye of Isaiah saw below the surface. In "the word of the Lord," and "the law of our God," we have two different aspects of the revelation of the Divine will, the first being the prophetic message of the prophet, the second pointing primarily, perhaps, to the law given by Moses, but including also, as in Psalm 19:7; Psalm 119:1; Isaiah 42:4; Isaiah 42:24; Isaiah 51:7, all forms of direct ethical teaching, especially, perhaps, such as were actually based upon the law or Torah as a text.

Verses 10-15. - THE PEOPLE'S PLEA NO EXCUSE, BUT AN AGGRAVATION OF THEIR GUILT. The prophet supposes the people, by the mouth of their rulers, to meet the charge of rebellion with an appeal to the fact that they maintain all the outward ordinances of religion, as required by the Lawn and are therefore blameless. This draws from him a burst of indignant eloquence, which the Holy Spirit directs him to put, mainly, into the mouth of God (vers. 11-15), denouncing such a pretence of religion as an aggravation of their sin, and characterizing their whole worship as an "abomination." Verse 10. - Hear the word of the Lord; i.e. "Do not speak to no purpose, but hear." The rulers are supposed to have begun their plea, but the prophet stops them. Ye rulers of Sodom. Having said in the preceding verse how nearly Jerusalem had suffered the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, the writer grows more bold, and proceeds to give Jerusalem the obnoxious names. Her "rulers, "literally, judges (katsin in Hebrew corresponding to kadi in Arabic), are "rulers of Sodom;" her people are the "people of Gomorrah." There is as much wickedness, though it may be not the same wickedness, in "the daughter of Zion" at the existing time, as in the cities of the plain when God destroyed them. The law of our God. Not the Levitical Law, though the word used has generally that sense, but the "instruction" or "direction" that was about to be uttered (comp. Psalm 78:1; and see below, Isaiah 2:3 and Isaiah 51:4). See Mr. Cheyne's note on the passage.

1:10-15 Judea was desolate, and their cities burned. This awakened them to bring sacrifices and offerings, as if they would bribe God to remove the punishment, and give them leave to go on in their sin. Many who will readily part with their sacrifices, will not be persuaded to part with their sins. They relied on the mere form as a service deserving a reward. The most costly devotions of wicked people, without thorough reformation of heart and life, cannot be acceptable to God. He not only did not accept them, but he abhorred them. All this shows that sin is very hateful to God. If we allow ourselves in secret sin, or forbidden indulgences; if we reject the salvation of Christ, our very prayers will become abomination.Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom,.... Not literally, but mystically, meaning the governors of Judea; they and their people having sinned in like manner, and as openly, as the rulers of Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof; see Isaiah 3:9 and so the Targum paraphrases the words,

"receive the word of the Lord, ye governors, whose works are evil like the governors of Sodom.''

These are called to attend to the word of the Lord; either the Scriptures, which should be the rule of faith and practice, from which they had swerved; or to the word which now came to them by the prophet, and is contained in the following verses; or rather to the Gospel preached to them by John the Baptist, Christ, and his apostles, see Isaiah 2:3 which being rejected by them as it was, it is declared that it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgment, than for them, Matthew 11:24.

give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah; the inhabitants of Judea; for as were both the civil and ecclesiastical rulers, so were the people both in Isaiah's time, and in the times of Christ and his apostles. The Targum is,

"hearken to the law of our God, ye people whose works are like to the people of Gomorrah.''

And by "the law of our God" is meant, not so much the law of Moses, which these people had not hearkened to, but had broken it, and cast it away from them, as the doctrine of the grace of God, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our God; which was first sent and preached to this wicked people, for the sake of the small remnant, according to the election of grace left among them; see Isaiah 2:3.

Courtesy of Open Bible