Isaiah 66:3

3 But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a person, and whoever offers a lamb is like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense is like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations;

Isaiah 66:3 in Other Translations

KJV
3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
ESV
3 "He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig's blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;
NLT
3 But those who choose their own ways— delighting in their detestable sins— will not have their offerings accepted. When such people sacrifice a bull, it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice. When they sacrifice a lamb, it’s as though they had sacrificed a dog! When they bring an offering of grain, they might as well offer the blood of a pig. When they burn frankincense, it’s as if they had blessed an idol.
MSG
3 "Your acts of worship are acts of sin: Your sacrificial slaughter of the ox is no different from murdering the neighbor; Your offerings for worship, no different from dumping pig's blood on the altar; Your presentation of memorial gifts, no different from honoring a no-god idol. You choose self-serving worship, you delight in self-centered worship - disgusting!
CSB
3 One slaughters an ox, one kills a man; one sacrifices a lamb, one breaks a dog's neck; one offers a grain offering, one offers swine's blood; one offers incense, one praises an idol- all these have chosen their ways and delight in their abominations.

Isaiah 66:3 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 66:3

He that killeth an ox, is as if he slew a man
Not that killed the ox of his neighbour, which, according to law, he was to pay for; or that killed one for food, which was lawful to be done; but that slew one, and offered it as a sacrifice; not blamed because blind or lame, or had any blemish in it, and so unfit for sacrifice; or because not rightly offered, under a due sense of sin, and with repentance for it, and faith in Christ; but because all sacrifices of this kind are now abolished in Gospel times, to which this prophecy belongs; Christ the great sacrifice being offered up; and therefore to offer sacrifice, which, notwithstanding the unbelieving Jews continued daily, till it was made to cease by the destruction of their temple, was a great offence to God; it was as grievous to him as offering their children to Moloch; or as the murder of a man; and was indeed a trampling under foot the Son of God, and accounting his blood and sacrifice as nothing, which was highly displeasing to God: he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck;
the lamb for the daily sacrifice, morning and evening, or the passover lamb, or any other: this now is no more acceptable to God, than if a dog, a very impure creature, was slain, his head cut off, and offered on the altar; which was so abominable to the Lord, that the price of one might not be brought into his house, ( Deuteronomy 23:18 ) : he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood;
the meat offering, made of fine flour, on which oil was poured, and frankincense put, ( Leviticus 2:1 ) , however rightly composed it might be, and offered according to law, yet now of no more esteem with God than blood, which was forbidden by the same law; nay, than the blood of swine, which creature itself, according to the ceremonial law, was unclean, and might not be eaten, and much less be offered up, and still less its blood, ( Leviticus 11:7 Leviticus 11:8 ) ( 17:10 ) : and he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol;
or that "remembers incense" F16; that offers it as a memorial of mercies, and by way of thankfulness for them, as if he gave thanks to an idol, which is nothing, and vanity and vexation in the world; sacrifices of such kind, be they what they will, are reckoned no other than as idolatry and will worship: yea, they have chosen their own ways:
which were evil, and opposite to the ways of God, especially to the way of salvation by Christ; they gave heed to the traditions of the elders; continued the service of the ceremonial law; and set up their own righteousness, in opposition to the doctrines, ordinances, sacrifice, and righteousness of Christ: and their soul delighteth in their abominations:
things which were abominable unto God; as were their traditions, which were preferred to the word of God, and by which they made it void; and their sacrifices being offered up contrary to his will, and with a wicked mind; and their righteousness being imperfect, and trusted in, to the neglect and contempt of the righteousness of his Son.


FOOTNOTES:

F16 (hnwbl rykzm) , (o didouv libanon eiv mnhmosunon) , Sept.; "qui recordatur thuris", V. L. Calvin, Vatablus; "memorans thus", Montanus.

Isaiah 66:3 In-Context

1 This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.
3 But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a person, and whoever offers a lamb is like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense is like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations;
4 so I also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring on them what they dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.”
5 Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: “Your own people who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy!’ Yet they will be put to shame.

Cross References 5

  • 1. S Isaiah 1:11
  • 2. S Leviticus 11:7
  • 3. S Leviticus 2:2
  • 4. S Isaiah 57:17
  • 5. ver 17; S Deuteronomy 27:15; Ezekiel 8:9-13