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‘Why have we fasted, and thou seest it not?
    Why have we humbled ourselves, and thou takest no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,[a]
    and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
    and to hit with wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
    will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
    a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a rush,
    and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
    and a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

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  1. Isaiah 58:3 Or pursue your own business

‘Why have we fasted,’(A) they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled(B) ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’(C)

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please(D)
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,(E)
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard(F) on high.
Is this the kind of fast(G) I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble(H) themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed(I)
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?(J)
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting(K) I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice(L)
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed(M) free
    and break every yoke?(N)
Is it not to share your food with the hungry(O)
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter(P)
when you see the naked, to clothe(Q) them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?(R)

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