Isaiah 1:23
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow's plea come before them.

King James Bible
Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

Darby Bible Translation
thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; every one loveth presents, and hunteth after rewards; they judge not the fatherless, and the cause of the widow cometh not unto them.

World English Bible
Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves. Everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They don't judge the fatherless, neither does the cause of the widow come to them.

Young's Literal Translation
Thy princes are apostates, and companions of thieves, Every one loving a bribe, and pursuing rewards, The fatherless they judge not, And the plea of the widow cometh not to them.

Isaiah 1:23 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Thy princes ... - This is an explanation of the previous verse. Princes mean here those attached to the royal family; those who by rank, or office, had an influence over the people.

Rebellious - Against God. The corruption of a nation commonly begins with the rulers.

Companions of thieves - That is, they connive at the doings of robbers; they do not bring them to justice; they are their accomplices, and are easily bribed to acquit them.

Every one loveth gifts - Every magistrate can be bribed.

Followeth afar rewards - רדף rodēph. This word denotes the act of pursuing after in order to obtain something; and means here that they made it an object to obtain rewards by selling or betraying justice They sell justice to the highest bidder. No more distressing condition of a people can be conceived than this, where justice could not be secured between man and man, and where the wicked could oppress the poor, the widow, and the orphan, as much as they pleased, because they knew they could bribe the judge.

They judge not - They do not render justice to; Isaiah 1:17. The Chaldee has well expressed the sense of a part of this verse: 'They say, each one to his neighbor, Favour me in my judgment, or do me good in it, and I will recompense you in your cause.'

The cause of the widow come unto them - Or, rather, come before them. They would not take up her cause, but rather the cause of those who were esteemed able to offer a bribe, and from whom a gift might be expected, if a decision was made in their favor.

Isaiah 1:23 Parallel Commentaries

The Great Suit: Jehovah Versus Judah
'The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. I Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me. 3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

ISAIAH i. 12, 13. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. This is a very awful text; one of those which terrify us--or at least ought to terrify us--and set us on asking ourselves seriously and honestly--'What do I believe after all? What manner of man am I after all?
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Self-Righteousness Insufficient.
1 "Where are the mourners, [1] (saith the Lord) "That wait and tremble at my word, "That walk in darkness all the day? "Come, make my name your trust and stay. 2 ["No works nor duties of your own "Can for the smallest sin atone; "The robes [2] that nature may provide "Will not your least pollutions hide. 3 "The softest couch that nature knows "Can give the conscience no repose: "Look to my righteousness, and live; "Comfort and peace are mine to give.] 4 "Ye sons of pride that kindle coals "With your
Isaac Watts—Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Confession and Prayer. December 13, 1776

John Newton—Olney Hymns

Cross References
Luke 24:27
Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Exodus 23:8
"You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.

Isaiah 1:22
Your silver has become dross, Your drink diluted with water.

Isaiah 5:23
Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

Isaiah 10:2
So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans.

Isaiah 30:1
"Woe to the rebellious children," declares the LORD, "Who execute a plan, but not Mine, And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, In order to add sin to sin;

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