At the same time spoke the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying,
Go and remove the sackcloth from off your body, and put off your shoes from your feet.
And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
Read Chapter 20
Ambrose of Milan
Truly I grieve that while falsehood is so respected, there should be such negligence as regards the truth, that many are ashamed of seeming too devoted to our holy religion, not considering his words who says, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me before men, of him will I also be ashamed before my Father which is in heaven.” But Moses was not thus ashamed, for though invited into the royal palace he “esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.” David was not thus ashamed when he danced before the ark of the testimony in the sight of all the people. Isaiah was not thus ashamed when he walked naked and barefoot through the people, proclaiming the heavenly oracles.…
But the things that viewed corporeally are unseemly, when viewed in regard to holy religion become venerable, so that they who blame such things will involve their own souls in the net of blame. Thus Michal reproves David for his dancing and says to him, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, ...
Someone perhaps will say, “Was it not disgraceful for a man to walk naked among the people since he must meet both men and women? Must not his appearance have shocked the gaze of all, but especially that of women? Do we not ourselves generally abhor the sight of naked men? And are not men’s private parts covered with clothing that they may not offend the gaze of onlookers by their unsightliness?”
I agree, but you must consider what this act represented and what was the reason for this outward show; it was that the young Jewish youths and maidens would be led away into exile and walk naked, “as my servant Isaiah walked,” he says, “naked and barefoot.” This might have been expressed in words, but God chose to enforce it by an example that the very sight might strike more terror, and what they shrank from in the body of the prophet they might utterly dread for themselves. Wherein lay the greater abhorrence: in the body of the prophet or in the sins of the disbelievers? - "Letter 28 (6.27....
That it may be more fully clear that prophets look not to themselves or what lies at their feet but to heavenly things, Stephen, when he was being stoned, saw the heavens open and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Then he did not feel the blows of the stones, he did not heed the wounds of his body, but, fastening his eyes on Christ, he clung to him. So, too, Isaiah did not notice his nakedness but made himself the instrument of God’s voice, that he might proclaim what God spoke within him. - "Letter 28 (6.27.10)"
Just as the bare framework of the body is revealed once the accumulated tissue is stripped away, so magnificent beauty of character will become manifest if only it is not shrouded in the nonsense of vanity. But to trail around garments that reach down even to the feet is nothing more than ostentatiousness. - "Christ the Educator 2.10.113"
Sackcloth. The prophets lived in poverty, Zacharias xiii. 4. Their persons were prophetic. It is not agreed whether Isaias went quite naked, or only without his upper garment. The former supposition would represent better the condition of slaves, (ver. 4.) and is adopted by St. Jerome (Calmet)
People are said to be naked when they are almost so, 2 Kings vi., and John xxi. (Haydock)
Yet "nothing is more honest than to obey God. "(St. Jerome) (Worthington)
“And the Spirit entered me and set me upon my feet and spoke to me, saying, ‘Go and enclose yourself within your house.’ ” Unable to bear the glory of the Lord standing before him, he fell on his face, only to be raised up by the indwelling Spirit. When the Spirit set him upon his feet and spoke, saying, “Go and enclose yourself within your house,” this is what he meant: “Because you were strengthened by the appearance of the Lord’s majesty, you should neither fear nor be terrified of anything, but return to your house (either to tend to the needs of the body, as some think, or to signify the future siege) and, as a barefoot, naked Isaiah announced for three years the coming captivity and nakedness of the people, so also your own enclosure in the house will itself be a prophet announcing the siege of the city of Jerusalem.” - "Commentary on Ezekiel 1.3.23b–24"