Isaiah 29:13

13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.[a]

Isaiah 29:13 in Other Translations

KJV
13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
ESV
13 And the Lord said: "Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
NLT
13 And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
MSG
13 The Master said: "These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their hearts aren't in it. Because they act like they're worshiping me but don't mean it,
CSB
13 The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service- yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship [consists of] man-made rules learned [by rote]-

Isaiah 29:13 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 29:13

Wherefore the Lord said
Concerning the hypocritical people of the Jews in Christ's time, as the words are applied by our Lord himself, ( Matthew 15:7 ) : Forasmuch as this people draw near to [me] with their mouth, and
with their lips do honour me;
Kimchi observes, there is a double reading of the word (vgn) , rendered "draw near": in one reading of it, it signifies to be "afflicted"; and then the sense is, "when this people are afflicted, with their mouth, and with their lips, they honour me"; that is, when they are in distress, they pray unto him, and profess a great regard for him, speak honourably of him, and reverently to him, hoping he will help and relieve them; see ( Isaiah 26:16 ) but the other reading of the word, in which it has the signification of "drawing near", is confirmed, not only by the Masora on the text, but by the citation of it in ( Matthew 15:7 Matthew 15:8 ) and designs the approach of these people to God, in acts of religion and devotion, in praying to him, and praising of him, and expressing great love and affection for him, and zeal for his cause and interest; but were all outwardly, with their lips and mouths only: but have removed their heart far from me;
these were not employed in his service, which is the main thing he requires and regards, but were engaged elsewhere; while their bodies were presented before him, and their mouths and lips were moving to him, their affections were not set upon him, nor the desires of their souls unto him, nor had they any real hearty concern for his glory: and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men;
their worship of God was not according to the prescription of God, and his revealed will; but according to the traditions of the elders, which they preferred to the word of God, and, by observing them, transgressed it, and made it of no effect; see ( Matthew 15:3 Matthew 15:6 Matthew 15:9 ) .

Isaiah 29:13 In-Context

11 For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.”
12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”
13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
15 Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”

Cross References 4

  • 1. Jeremiah 14:11; Haggai 1:2; Haggai 2:14
  • 2. S Psalms 50:16
  • 3. S Psalms 119:70; Isaiah 58:2; Jeremiah 12:2; Ezekiel 33:31
  • 4. Matthew 15:8-9*; Mark 7:6-7*; Colossians 2:22

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew; Septuagint "They worship me in vain;" / "their teachings are merely human rules"