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Yes, daily they seem to seek me,
    pretending that they delight to know my ways,
    as though they were a nation that does what is right
    and had not rejected the law of their God.
    They ask me to show them the right way,
    acting as though they are eager to be close to me.
They say, ‘Why is it that when we fasted,
    you did not see it?
    We starved ourselves, and you didn’t seem to notice.’
“Because on the day you fasted
    you were seeking only your own desires,
    and you continue to exploit your workers.[a]
During your fasts, you quarrel and fight with others
    and strike them with an angry fist.
    When you fast like that, your voice will not be heard on high.

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 58:3 See Lev. 16:29. It was clear that their fasting was an attempt to appear spiritual and manipulate God.

For day after day they seek(A) me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken(B) the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near(C) them.
‘Why have we fasted,’(D) they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled(E) ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’(F)

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please(G)
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,(H)
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard(I) on high.

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