It has been brought to my attention that there exists some groups within christianity that use Isaiah Chapter 1 to demonstrate that: "God no longer desires sacrifices or that He cancelled the necessity of keeping Sabbaths."

I would like to put this claim within its Jewish Context, aside from Rashi whom the majority of christians do not understand the importance of his commentary nor accept it, that the Sabbath and such ARE indeed crucial practices of Judaism and CANNOT be abrogated.

So this idea stems from their interpretation of these verses in Isaiah 1:

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.

14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.

As seen from a reading from their translation (for emphasis) and without any proper Jewish Context, they have come to that conclusion stated above.

So what is Isaiah speaking about here? Is he truly stating that God has condemned these practices?

I would like sources that span beyond Rashi, and bonus points if one can stick to Tanakh alone.

  • Does verse 15 mean prayer is abolished too?
    – shmosel
    Jul 21, 2023 at 0:08
  • @shmosel Interesting counter although I haven't heard that claim made particularly. In general they say that it is an expression that God has "turned away" from them and their practices Jul 21, 2023 at 0:10
  • 4
    Just read the whole chapter, it's all the context you need. If we're corrupt and oppressive, we can't buy off God with sacrifices. Then it continues -- seek out justice instead. The implication is that if we do that, sacrifices will have their place again.
    – Shalom
    Jul 21, 2023 at 0:50
  • 3
    Isaiah is mid-late First Temple. If God stopped caring about sacrifices altogether (rather than reminding people how to properly frame them), why is Malachi yelling at the people in the early Second Temple that the sacrifices they're bringing are stolen, sick, or otherwise blemished?
    – Shalom
    Jul 21, 2023 at 0:52
  • @Shalom Very true indeed, on top of the fact that there is a promise to restore the Temple altogether with its offering and priestly duties (Ezekiel 43:18-27) Jul 21, 2023 at 1:08

1 Answer 1


Regarding the idea of any Torah Law being "abrogated", here are some verses within the Tanakh that demonstrate that this CANNOT be the case:

Regarding Brit Milah and the general covenant of the Torah:

  • Genesis 17:19

And God said, "Indeed, your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac, and I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.

  • Leviticus 26:44

But despite all this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not despise them nor will I reject them to annihilate them, thereby breaking My covenant that is with them, for I am the Lord their God.

  • Psalms 119:89

Forever, O Lord, Your word stands in the heavens.

Regarding the observance of Pesach:

  • Exodus 12:14, 24

And this day shall be for you as a memorial, and you shall celebrate it as a festival for the Lord; throughout your generations, you shall celebrate it as an everlasting statute.

And you shall keep this matter as a statute for you and for your children forever.

Regarding the Priesthood, its practices, and offerings:

  • Exodus 29:28

And so it shall remain for Aaron and his sons as a perpetual allotment from the children of Israel; for it is an offering,

  • Leviticus 3:17

[This is] an eternal statute for all your generations, in all your dwelling places: You shall not eat any fat or any blood.

Regarding the Omer count, Shavout, Rosh Hashanah, Succot, and Shemini Atzeret:

  • Leviticus 23:14, 21, 31, 41

You shall not eat bread or [flour made from] parched grain or fresh grain, until this very day, until you bring your God's sacrifice. [This is] an eternal statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.

And you shall designate on this very day a holy occasion it shall be for you; you shall not perform any work of labor. [This is] an eternal statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

You shall not perform any work. [This is] an eternal statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.

And you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord for seven days in the year. [It is] an eternal statute throughout your generations [that] you celebrate it in the seventh month.

Regarding the Sabbath:

  • Exodus 31:16-17

(16) Thus shall the children of Israel observe the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. (17) Between Me and the children of Israel, it is forever a sign that [in] six days The Lord created the heaven and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and rested."

With this great emphasis in the Torah itself about the keeping and observance of these festivals, as well as the various promises of the restoration of them in full with the Third Temple, it cannot be that Isaiah 1 discusses of the annulment of these practices.

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