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Isaiah 61:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I hate robbery for burnt-offering "Who hate rapine and iniquity" - The Syriac, and Chaldee prefix the conjunction ו vau, instead of the preposition ב beth, to עולה olah, which they render iniquity or oppression; and so the Septuagint, αδικιας . The difference lies in the punctuation; בעולה beolah, in a burnt-offering בעולה beavelah, in iniquity. The letters are the same in both words. Five of De Rossi's MSS. confirm this reading.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For I the Lord love judgment - That is, ‹I shall delight in rendering to my people what is right. It is right that they should enjoy my protection, and be favored with the tokens of my kindness. Loving justice and right, therefore, I will confer on them the privileges and blessings which they ought to enjoy, and which will be a public expression of my favor and love.‘

I hate robbery for burnt-offering - There has been great variety in the interpretation of this phrase. Lowth renders it, ‹Who hate rapine and iniquity.‘ Noyes, ‹I hate rapine and iniquity.‘ Jerome, as in our translation, Et odio habens rapinam in holocausto. The Septuagint, Μισῶν ἁρπάγματα ἐξ ἀδικίας Misōn harpagmata ech adikias - ‹Hating the spoils of injustice.‘ The Chaldee, ‹Far from before me be deceit and violence.‘ The Syriac, ‹I hate rapine and iniquity.‘ This variety of interpretation has arisen from the different views taken of the Hebrew בעולה be‛ôlâh The Syriac evidently prefixed the conjunction, ו (v ), “and,” instead of the preposition, ב (b ), “with” or “for”; and, perhaps, also the Septuagint so read it. But this change, though slight, is not necessary in order to give a consistent rendering to the passage. The connection does not necessarily lead us to suppose that any reference would be made to ‹burnt-offering,‘ and to the improper manner in which such offerings were made; but the idea is rather, that God hated rapine and sin; he hateth such acts as those by which his people had been removed from their land, and subjected to the evils of a long and painful captivity. And this is undoubtedly the sense of the passage. The Hebrew word עולה ‛ôlâh usually without the,ו means properly “a holocaust,” or “what is made to ascend” (from עלה ‛âlâh to ascend) from an altar. But the word here is the construct form for עולה ‛avı̂lâh “evil, wickedness”; whence our word “evil” (see Job 24:20; Psalm 107:42). And the sense here is, hate rapine or plunder (גזל gāzēl ) with iniquity;‘ that is, accompanied, as it always is, with iniquity and sin. And hating that as I do, I will vindicate my people who have been plundered in this way; and who have been borne into captivity, accompanied with deeds of violence and sin.

And I will direct their work in truth - literally, ‹I will give them work in truth or faithfulness;‘ that is, I will give them the reward of their work faithfully. They shall be amply recompensed for all that they have done and suffered in my cause.

And I will make - (See the notes at Isaiah 55:3).

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Promises are here made to the Jews returned out of captivity, which extend to all those who, through grace, are delivered out of spiritual thraldom. An unholy soul is like a city that is broken down, and has no walls, like a house in ruins; but by the power of Christ's gospel and grace, it is fitted to be a habitation of God, through the Spirit. When, by the grace of God, we attain to holy indifference as to the affairs of this world; when, though our hands are employed about them, our hearts are not entangled with them, but preserved entire for God and his service, then the sons of the alien are our ploughmen and vine-dressers. Those whom He sets at liberty, he sets to work. His service is perfect freedom; it is the greatest honour. All believers are made, to our God, kings and priests; and always ought to conduct themselves as such. Those who have the Lord for their portion, have reason to say, that they have worthy portion, and to rejoice in it. In the fulness of heaven's joys we shall receive more than double for all our services and sufferings. God desires truth, and therefore hates all injustice. Nor will it justify any man's robbery to say, it was for burnt-offerings; and that robbery is most hateful which is under this pretence. Let the children of godly parents be such, that all may see the fruits of a good education; an answer to the prayers for them, in the fruit of God's blessing.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 179

Let our publishing houses beware lest in their dealing with God's workers, wrong principles be allowed to control. If connected with the institution there are men whose hearts are not under the direction of the Holy Spirit, they will be sure to sway the work into wrong lines. Some who profess to be Christians regard the business connected with the Lord's work as something wholly apart from religious service. They say: “Religion is religion, business is business. We are determined to make that which we handle a success, and we will grasp every possible advantage to promote this special line of work.” Thus plans contrary to truth and righteousness are introduced with the plea that this or that must be done because it is a good work and for the advancement of the cause of God. 7T 179.1

Men who through selfishness have become narrow and shortsighted feel it their privilege to crowd down the very ones whom God is using to diffuse the light He has given them. Through oppressive plans, workers who should stand free in God have been trammeled with restrictions by those who were only their fellow laborers. All this bears the stamp of the human, and not of the divine. It is the devising of men that leads to injustice and oppression. The cause of God is free from every taint of injustice. It seeks to gain no advantage by depriving the members of His family of their individuality or of their rights. The Lord does not sanction arbitrary authority, nor will He serve with the least selfishness or overreaching. To Him all such practices are abhorrent. 7T 179.2

He declares: “I hate robbery for burnt offering.” “Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have.... All that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God.” Isaiah 61:8; Deuteronomy 25:14-16. 7T 179.3

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Ellen G. White
Medical Ministry, 125

It is time for the people of God, those who wear the sign of His kingdom, and whose authority is derived from “It is written,” to work. The world is the field of our labor, and we are to strive to give the last message of mercy to the world. Our every action is being watched with jealous eyes. Be on guard as physicians. You can serve the Lord in your position by working with new methods and discarding drugs. MM 125.1

As reformers we are to reform the medical practice by educating toward the light. Our work is to be done in the full recognition of God. We are to practice the strict principles of mercy and justice. Our work is not to be as a garment put together with basting threads. We must imitate God's perfection. “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” We are to make the foundation of every building thorough and solid, as for eternity.—Manuscript 63, 1899. MM 125.2

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 450

God's chosen missionary can have no settled abode, but must take his family from place to place, often from country to country. The character of his work makes this necessary. But this frequent moving places him under heavy expense. Then, too, in order to exert a good influence, his wife and children, and he himself, must set a fitting example of neat and becoming dress. Their personal appearance, their living quarters, their surroundings,—all must tell in favor of the truth they advocate. They must always appear cheerful and fresh, that they may bring sunshine to those who need help. They are often obliged to entertain their brethren, and while they find this a pleasure, it is also an additional expense. GW 450.1

It is a terrible injustice for an auditing committee to disappoint a worthy minister who is in need of every cent that he has been led to expect. The Lord declares, “I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt-offering.” [Isaiah 61:8.] He would have His people reveal a liberal spirit in all their dealings with their fellows. The principle underlying His command to ancient Israel, “Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn,” [1 Corinthians 9:9; See Deuteronomy 25:4.] is a principle that should never be set aside by any who have to do with the remuneration of those who have given themselves to advance God's cause in the world, and who spend their strength in lifting the minds of men from the contemplation of earthly things to the heavenly. God loves these workers, and He would have men respect their rights. GW 450.2

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 353

Time is short, and there are but few workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Several have been sent from this part of the world to be educated at Battle Creek, in order that they may become laborers together with God. It was hoped that the Holy Spirit would work with them for the salvation of those who are in the shadow of death. These students have been supported by the sacrifices of men and women who, to my certain knowledge, have hired money to pay the tuition and to cover the expenses. The world is to be warned; and yet you have thought it necessary to consume time and money in making an unnecessarily large preparation for the work that these students may be called upon to do. The same God lives today that Isaiah saw in his vision, and can give enlightenment to those who are acting a part in the work of fitting men for a solemn, sacred work. He says: “I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” FE 353.1

Those who are directing in the work of education are placing too large an amount of study before those who have come to Battle Creek to fit up for the work of the Master. They have supposed that it was necessary for them to go deeper and deeper into educational lines; and while they are pursuing various courses of study, year after year of precious time is passing away, and golden opportunities are flitting by never to return. There is procrastination in setting these men to work; and students are losing their burden for souls, and are depending more and more upon an education in book-knowledge, rather than upon the efficiency of the Holy Spirit, and upon that which the Lord has promised to do for them. FE 353.2

This burden has been upon me for years. A course is pursued at Battle Creek such as the Lord does not approve. The end of all things is at hand. The day of distress, of anguish, of plague, of retribution, of judgment for sin, is coming on the world as a thief in the night. The time is near when sudden destruction will come upon the world, and they will not escape. I have a word of warning for you. You are viewing things in altogether too feeble a light, and far too much from a merely human standpoint. A very small portion of God's great moral vineyard has yet been worked. Only a few, comparatively, have received the last message of mercy that is to be given to the world. Students are led to suppose that their efficiency depends upon their education and training; but the success of the work does not depend upon the amount of knowledge men have in scientific studies. The thought to be kept before students is that time is short, and that they must make speedy preparation for doing the work that is essential for this time. Every man, in and through the grace given him of God, is to do the work, not depending on his human earnestness or ability; for God can remove human ability in a moment. Let each one in the strength of the living Saviour, who today is our Advocate in the courts of heaven, strive to do the will of God. FE 354.1

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