Isaiah 58

True Fasting

1 “Cry out loudly,
Lit with throat
don’t hold back!
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Tell My people their transgression
and the house of Jacob their sins.
2 They seek Me day after day
and delight to know My ways,
like a nation that does what is right
and does not abandon the justice of their God.
They ask Me for righteous judgments;
they delight in the nearness of God.” b
3 “Why have we fasted, but You have not seen? c
We have denied ourselves, but You haven’t noticed!”
These are Israel’s words to God.

“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
and oppress all your workers. e
4 You fast with contention and strife
to strike viciously with your fist.
You cannot fast as you do today,
hoping to make your voice heard on high.
5 Will the fast I choose be like this:
A day for a person to deny himself,
to bow his head like a reed,
and to spread out
sackcloth: Garment made of poor quality material and worn as a sign of grief and mourning
sackcloth and ashes? g
Will you call this a fast
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 Isn’t the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness, h
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke? i
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, j
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him, k
and not to ignore
Lit not hide yourself from
your own flesh and blood? m
8 Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly. n
Your righteousness will go before you, o
and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard. p
9 At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer; q
when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you get rid of the yoke among you,
Lit yoke from your midst

the finger-pointing and malicious speaking, s
10 and if you offer yourself
Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr read offer your bread
to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness, u
and your night will be like noonday.
11 The Lord will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden v
and like a spring whose waters never run dry. w
12 Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins; x
you will restore the foundations laid long ago;
Lit foundations generation and generation
you will be called the repairer of broken walls,
the restorer of streets where people live.

13 “If you keep from desecrating
Lit keep your foot from
the Sabbath, ab
from doing whatever you want on My holy day;
if you call the Sabbath a delight,
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways, ac
seeking your own pleasure, or talking too much;
Lit or speak a word

14 then you will delight yourself in the Lord, ae
and I will make you ride over the heights of the land, af
and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. ag
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