Isaiah 1:11

Hebrew Bible

9 If the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had not left us a few survivors, we would have quickly been like Sodom, we would have become like Gomorrah. 10 Listen to the Lord’s message, you leaders of Sodom! Pay attention to our God’s rebuke, people of Gomorrah! 11 “Of what importance to me are your many sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I have had my fill of burnt sacrifices, of rams and the fat from steers. The blood of bulls, lambs, and goats I do not want. 12 When you enter my presence, do you actually think I want this—animals trampling on my courtyards? 13 Do not bring any more meaningless offerings; I consider your incense detestable! You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations, but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations!

Psalm 40:6

Hebrew Bible

4 How blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord and does not seek help from the proud or from liars. 5 O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things; you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us. No one can thwart you. I want to declare your deeds and talk about them, but they are too numerous to recount. 6 Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not your primary concern. Ears you hollowed out for me.18 You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings. 7 Then I say, “Look, I come! What is written in the scroll pertains to me. 8 I want to do what pleases you, my God. Your law dominates my thoughts.”

 Notes and References

"... Perhaps the best known Old Testament text on this subject is Hosea 6:6: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than holocausts.” The conjunction of “mercy” and “knowledge of God” is especially suggestive, since one could see in (or read into?) these two phrases summaries (granted, in reverse order) of the two commandments of love. Other texts extolling obedience toward God, justice toward one’s neighbors, or some other value over sacrifice and ritual include 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:11–17; Jeremiah 6:20; 7:22–23; Amos 5:21–25; Micah 6:6–8; Psalm 40:6–8; Psalm 51:16–17; Proverbs 21:3. Hence, there is no need to see the emphasis on the superiority of love over sacrifice (“critique of cult”) in Mark 12:28–34 as an indication that the story is stamped by the ideology of “Hellenistic [i.e., Diaspora] Judaism.” ..."

Meier, John P. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (p. 595) Doubleday, 2009

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