Is not this the fast that I have chosen?
&c.] Which God has appointed, he approves of, and is well pleasing in his sight; these are works and services more agreeable to him, which follow, without which the rest will be rejected: to loose the bands of wickedness;
which some understand of combinations in courts of judicature to oppress and distress the poor; others of bonds and contracts unjustly made, or rigorously demanded and insisted on, when they cannot be answered; rather of those things with which the consciences of men are bound in religious matters; impositions upon conscience; binding to the use of stinted forms, and to habits in divine worship, which the word of God has not made necessary: to undo the heavy burdens.
The Septuagint render it, "dissolve the obligations of violent contracts"; such as are obtained by violence; so the Arabic version; or by fraud, as the Syriac version, which translates it, bonds of fraud. The Targum is,
``loose the bonds of writings of a depraved judgment;''all referring it to unjust bonds and contracts in a civil sense: but rather it regards the loosing or freeing men from all obligation to all human prescriptions and precepts; whatever is after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ; so the traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees are called "heavy burdens, grievous to be borne", ( Matthew 23:4 ) these should not be laid and bound on men's shoulders, but should be done and taken off of them, as well as all penal laws with which they have been enforced: and to let the oppressed go free;