IS 1:16-17 Wash and be Clean

Isa 1:16 “Wash yourselves! Become clean! Get your evil deeds out of my sight. Stop doing evil.
Isa 1:17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Arrest oppressors. Defend orphans. Plead the case of widows.”

Notes: Psa 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin. Barnes Notes : “

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity – literally, “Multiply to wash me.” The word rendered “throughly” is a verb, either in the infinitive or imperative mood, and suggests the idea of “multiplying” or “increasing.” The reference is to that which might need constant or repeated washings in order to remove a stain adverbially to denote intensity, or thoroughness. On the word wash as applicable to sin, see the notes at Isa_1:16.
And cleanse me from my sin – Remove it entirely. Make me wholly pure. See the notes at Isa_1:16. In what manner he hoped that this would be done is shown in the following portions of the psalm. It was –
(a) by forgiveness of the past, Psa_51:9; and
(b) by making the heart pure and holy through the renewing and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, Psa_51:10-11.

Psa 51:6 Yet, you desire truth and sincerity. Deep down inside me you teach me wisdom. Barnes Notes: Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts – The word rendered “desirest,” means to have pleasure in; to delight in; and the idea is that this only is agreeable to God, or this only accords with his own nature. The word rendered “inward parts,” means properly the reins, and is usually employed to denote the seat of the mind, the feelings, the intellect. Compare the notes at Job_38:36. The allusion is to the “soul;” and the idea is, that God could be satisfied with nothing “but” purity in the soul. The “connection” is this: David was deeply conscious of his own pollution; his deep, early, native depravity. This, in his own mind, he contrasted strongly with the nature of God, and with what God must require, and be pleased with.

Psa 51:10 Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me. Barnes Notes: Create in me a clean heart, O God – The word rendered “create,” ברא berâ’ – is a word which is properly employed to denote an act of “creation;” that is, of causing something to exist where there was nothing before. It is the word which is used in Gen_1:1 : “In the beginning God “created” the heaven and the earth,” and which is commonly used to express the act of creation. It is used “here” evidently in the sense of causing that to exist which did not exist before; and there is clearly a recognition of the divine “power,” or a feeling on the part of David that this could be done by God alone. The idea is, however, not that a new “substance” might be brought into being to which the name “a clean heart” might be given, but that he might “have” a clean heart; that his heart might be made pure;      

And renew a right spirit within me – Margin, “a constant spirit.” The Hebrew word – נכון nākûn – means properly, that which is “erect,” or that which is made to stand up, or which is firm or established. It is used to denote
(a) that which is upright, right, proper: Exo_8:26; Job_42:8; Psa_5:9;

Get your evil deeds out of my sight. Stop doing evil. 

From before mine eyes – As God is omniscient, to put them away from before his eyes, is to put them away altogether. To pardon or forgive sin, is often expressed by hiding it; Psa_51:9 :Hide thy face from my sins.

Application: We don’t like the “S” word.  But Isaiah calls a spade a spade and makes it very plain what he is speaking about to the nation of Judah and Jerusalem.

Isa 1:17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Arrest oppressors. Defend orphans. Plead the case of widows.”

Learn to do well – , To learn here is to become accustomed to, to practice it. To do well stands opposed to all kinds of evil. “Seek judgment.” The word “judgment” – משׁפט mishpâṭ – here means justice. The direction refers particularly to magistrates, and it is evident that the prophet had them particularly in his view in all this discourse. Execute justice between man and man with impartiality.

Relieve – – אשׁרוּ ‘asherû – literally, make straight, Or right (margin, righten). The root – אשׁר ‘âshar – means to proceed, to walk forward in a direct line; and bears a relation to ישׁר yâshar, to be straight. Hence, it often means to be successful or prosperous – to go straight forward to success. In Piel, which is the form used here, it means to cause to go straight; and hence, applied to leaders, judges, and guides, to conduct those under their care in a straight path, anal not in the devices and crooked Ways of sin; Pro_23:19 :
Hear thou, my son, and he wise,
And guide אשׁר ‘asher, “make straight”) thine heart in the way.
The oppressed – Him to whom injustice has been done in regard to his character, person, or property; compare the notes at Isa_58:6.

Defend the cause of the fatherless 

You take your stand for the cause of the orphans. In our society they prefer to abort babies than have them adopted as orphans. How many orphanages are there today?

Orphans Girls in the Ukrainian War Zone

Plead the case of the Widow.

Plead for – Contend for her rights. Aid her by vindicating her cause. She is unable to defend herself; she is liable to oppression; and her rights may be taken away by the crafty and designing. It is remarkable that God so often insists on this in the Scriptures, and makes it no small part of religion; Deu_14:29; Deu_24:17; Exo_22:22 : ‘Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.’ The ancient views of piety on this subject are expressed in the language, and in the conduct of Job. Thus, impiety was said to consist in oppressing the fatherless and widow.

Image result for picture of a widow
Comforting a widow.

They drive away the donkey of the fatherless,
They take the widow’s ox for a pledge.


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