Isaiah 1:13

Hebrew Bible

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! 14 I hate your new moon festivals and assemblies; they are a burden that I am tired of carrying. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I look the other way; when you offer your many prayers, I do not listen because your hands are covered with blood.

Hosea 8:11

Hebrew Bible

9 They have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey that wanders off. Ephraim has hired prostitutes as lovers. 10 Even though they have hired lovers among the nations, I will soon gather them together for judgment. Then they will begin to waste away under the oppression of a mighty king. 11 Although Ephraim has built many altars for sin offerings, these have become altars for sinning. 12 I spelled out my law for him in great detail, but they regard it as something totally unknown to them. 13 They offer up sacrificial gifts to me and eat the meat, but the Lord does not accept their sacrifices. Soon he will remember their wrongdoing; he will punish their sins, and they will return to Egypt.

 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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