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Isaiah 1:16 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Wash ye, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes;—cease to do evil,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Wash you, make you clean, Put away the wickedness of your doings from before mine eyes,—Cease to do evil.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Wash ye, make ye pure, Turn aside the evil of your doings, from before Mine eyes, Cease to do evil, learn to do good.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes, cease to do perversely,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Wash yee, make you cleane, put away the euill of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to doe euill,
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Wash you, be clean; remove your iniquities from your souls before mine eyes; cease from your iniquities;
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Wash 7364
{7364} Prime
רָחַץ
rachats
{raw-khats'}
A primitive root; to lave (the whole or a part of the thing).
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
you, make you clean; 2135
{2135} Prime
זָכַה
zakah
{zaw-kaw'}
A primitive root (compare H2141); to be translucent; figuratively to be innocent.
z8690
<8690> Grammar
Stem - Hithpael (See H8819)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 71
put away 5493
{5493} Prime
סוּר
cuwr
{soor}
A primitive root; to turn off (literally or figuratively).
z8685
<8685> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 731
the evil 7455
{7455} Prime
רֹעַ
roa`
{ro'-ah}
From H7489; badness (as marring), physically or morally.
of your doings 4611
{4611} Prime
מַעֲלָל
ma`alal
{mah-al-awl'}
From H5953; an act (good or bad).
from before 5048
{5048} Prime
נֶגֶד
neged
{neh'-ghed}
From H5046; a front, that is, part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate; usually (adverbially, especially with preposition) over against or before.
x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
mine eyes; 5869
{5869} Prime
עַיִן
`ayin
{ah'-yin}
Probably a primitive word; an eye (literally or figuratively); by analogy a fountain (as the eye of the landscape).
cease 2308
{2308} Prime
חָדַל
chadal
{khaw-dal'}
A primitive root; properly to be flabby, that is, (by implication) desist; (figuratively) be lacking or idle.
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
to do evil; 7489
{7489} Prime
רָעַע
ra`a`
{raw-ah'}
A primitive root; properly to spoil (literally by breaking to pieces); figuratively to make (or be) good for nothing, that is, bad (physically, socially or morally). (associate selves and show self friendly are by mistake for H7462.).
z8687
<8687> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 1162
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 1:16

_ _ God saith to the sinner, “Wash you,” etc., that he, finding his inability to “make” himself “clean,” may cry to God, Wash me, cleanse me (Psalms 51:2, Psalms 51:7, Psalms 51:10).

_ _ before mine eyes — not mere outward reformation before man’s eyes, who cannot, as God, see into the heart (Jeremiah 32:19).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 1:16-20

_ _ Though God had rejected their services as insufficient to atone for their sins while they persisted in them, yet he does not reject them as in a hopeless condition, but here calls upon them to forsake their sins, which hindered the acceptance of their services, and then all would be well. Let them not say that God picked quarrels with them; no, he proposes a method of reconciliation. Observe here,

_ _ I. A call to repentance and reformation: “If you would have your sacrifices accepted, and your prayers answered, you must begin your work at the right end: Be converted to my law” (so the Chaldee begins this exhortation), “make conscience of second-table duties, else expect not to be accepted in the acts of your devotion.” As justice and charity will never atone for atheism and profaneness, so prayers and sacrifices will never atone for fraud and oppression; for righteousness towards men is as much a branch of pure religion as religion towards God is a branch of universal righteousness.

_ _ 1. They must cease to do evil, must do no more wrong, shed no more innocent blood. This is the meaning of washing themselves and making themselves clean, Isaiah 1:16. It is not only sorrowing for the sin they had committed, but breaking off the practice of it for the future, and mortifying all those vicious affections and dispositions which inclined them to it. Sin is defiling to the soul. Our business is to wash ourselves from it by repenting of it and turning from it to God. We must put away not only that evil of our doings which is before the eye of the world, by refraining from the gross acts of sin, but that which is before God's eyes, the roots and habits of sin, that are in our hearts; these must be crushed and mortified.

_ _ 2. They must learn to do well. This was necessary to the completing of their repentance. Note, It is not enough that we cease to do evil, but we must learn to do well. (1.) We must be doing, not cease to do evil and then stand idle. (2.) We must be doing good, the good which the Lord our God requires and which will turn to a good account. (3.) We must do it well, in a right manner and for a right end; and, (4.) We must learn to do well; we must take pains to get the knowledge of our duty, be inquisitive concerning it, in care about it, and accustom ourselves to it, that we may readily turn our hands to our work and become masters of this holy art of doing well. He urges them particularly to those instances of well-doing wherein they had been defective, to second-table duties: “Seek judgment; enquire what is right, that you may do it; be solicitous to be found in the way of your duty, and do not walk carelessly. Seek opportunities of doing good: Relieve the oppressed, those whom you yourselves have oppressed; ease them of their burdens, Isaiah 58:6. You, that have power in your hands, use it for the relief of those whom others do oppress, for that is your business. Avenge those that suffer wrong, in a special manner concerning yourselves for the fatherless and the widow, whom, because they are weak and helpless, proud men trample upon and abuse; do you appear for them at the bar, on the bench, as there is occasion. Speak for those that know not how to speak for themselves and that have not wherewithal to gratify you for your kindness.” Note, We are truly honouring God when we are doing good in the world; and acts of justice and charity are more pleasing to him than all burnt-offerings and sacrifices.

_ _ II. A demonstration, at the bar of right reason, of the equity of God's proceedings with them: “Come now, and let us reason together (Isaiah 1:18); while your hands are full of blood I will have nothing to do with you, though you bring me a multitude of sacrifices; but if you wash, and make yourselves clean, you are welcome to draw nigh to me; come now, and let us talk the matter over.” Note, Those, and those only, that break off their league with sin, shall be welcome into covenant and communion with God; he says, Come now, who before forbade them his courts. See James 4:8. Or rather thus: There were those among them who looked upon themselves as affronted by the slights God put upon the multitude of their sacrifices, as ch. 58:3, Wherefore have we fasted (say they) and thou seest not? They represented God as a hard Master, whom it was impossible to please. “Come,” says God, “let us debate the matter fairly, and I doubt not but to make it out that my ways are equal, but yours are unequal,Ezekiel 18:25. Note, Religion has reason on its side; there is all the reason in the world why we should do as God would have us do. The God of heaven condescends to reason the case with those that contradict him and find fault with his proceedings; for he will be justified when he speaks, Psalms 51:4. The case needs only to be stated (as it is here very fairly) and it will determine itself. God shows here upon what terms they stood (as he does, Ezekiel 18:21-24; Ezekiel 33:18, Ezekiel 33:19) and then leaves it to them to judge whether these terms are not fair and reasonable.

_ _ 1. They could not in reason expect any more then, if they repented and reformed. they should be restored to God's favour, notwithstanding their former provocations. “This you may expect,” says God, and it is very kind; who could have the face to desire it upon any other terms? (1.) It is very little that is required, “only that you be willing and obedient, that you consent to obey” (so some read it), “that you subject your wills to the will of God, acquiesce in that, and give up yourselves in all things to be ruled by him who is infinitely wise and good” Here is no penance imposed for their former stubbornness, nor the yoke made heavier or bound harder on their necks; only,Whereas hitherto you have been perverse and refractory, and would not comply with that which was for your own good, now be tractable, be governable” He does not say, “If you be perfectly obedient,” but, “If you be willingly so;” for, if there be a willing mind, it is accepted. (2.) That is very great which is promised hereupon. [1.] That all their sins should be pardoned to them, and should not be mentioned against them. “Though they be as red as scarlet and crimson, though you lie under the guilt of blood, yet, upon your repentance, even that shall be forgiven you, and you shall appear in the sight of God as white as snow.” Note, The greatest sinners, if they truly repent, shall have their sins forgiven them, and so have their consciences pacified and purified. Though our sins have been as scarlet and crimson, as deep dye, a double dye, first in the wool of original corruption and afterwards in the many threads of actual transgression — though we have been often dipped, by our many backslidings, into sin, and though we have lain long soaking in it, as the cloth does in the scarlet dye, yet pardoning mercy will thoroughly discharge the stain, and, being by it purged as with hyssop, we shall be clean, Psalms 51:7. If we make ourselves clean by repentance and reformation (Isaiah 1:16), God will make us white by a full remission. [2.] That they should have all the happiness and comfort they could desire. “Be but willing and obedient, and you shall eat the good of the land, the land of promise; you shall have all the blessings of the new covenant, of the heavenly Canaan, all the good of the land.” Those that go on in sin, though they may dwell in a good land, cannot with any comfort eat the good of it; guilt embitters all; but, if sin be pardoned, creature-comforts become comforts indeed.

_ _ 2. They could not in reason expect any other than that, if they continued obstinate in their disobedience, they should be abandoned to ruin, and the sentence of the law should be executed upon them; what can be more just? (Isaiah 1:20); “If you refuse and rebel, if you continue to rebel against the divine government and refuse the offers of the divine grace, you shall be devoured with the sword, with the sword of your enemies, which shall be commissioned to destroy you — with the sword of God's justice, his wrath, and vengeance, which shall be drawn against you; for this is that which the mouth of the Lord has spoken, and which he will make good, for the maintaining of his own honour.” Note, Those that will not be governed by God's sceptre will certainly and justly be devoured by his sword.

_ _ “And now life and death, good and evil, are thus set before you. Come, and let us reason together. What have you to object against the equity of this, or against complying with God's terms?”

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 1:16

Wash — Cleanse your hearts and hands.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 1:16

(y) Wash ye, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil;

(y) By this outward washing, he means the spiritual: exhorting the Jews to repent and amend their lives.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Wash:

Job 11:13-14 If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; ... If iniquity [be] in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.
Psalms 26:6 I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:
Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded.
Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

put away:

Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: ... Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Ezekiel 18:30-31 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. ... Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Zechariah 1:3-4 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. ... Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and [from] your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.
Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; ... And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, ... Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

cease:

Psalms 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Psalms 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
Romans 12:9 [Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Ephesians 4:25-29 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. ... Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
1 Peter 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Jb 11:13. Ps 26:6; 34:14; 37:27. Is 55:6. Jr 4:14. Ezk 18:30. Am 5:15. Zc 1:3. Mt 3:8. Ac 22:16. Ro 12:9. 2Co 7:1. Ep 4:22, 25. Tit 2:11. Jm 4:8. 1P 2:1; 3:11. Rv 7:14.

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