Isaiah 66:3

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.

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. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you build me such a resting place?
2 My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.
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.
4 I will send them great trouble— all the things they feared. For when I called, they did not answer. When I spoke, they did not listen. They deliberately sinned before my very eyes and chose to do what they know I despise.”
5 Hear this message from the LORD, all you who tremble at his words: “Your own people hate you and throw you out for being loyal to my name. ‘Let the LORD be honored!’ they scoff. ‘Be joyful in him!’ But they will be put to shame.