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“Oh yes, they seek me day after day
and [claim to] delight in knowing my ways.
As if they were an upright nation
that had not abandoned the rulings of their God,
they ask me for just rulings
and [claim] to take pleasure in closeness to God,
[asking,] ‘Why should we fast, if you don’t see?
Why mortify ourselves, if you don’t notice?’

“Here is my answer: when you fast,
you go about doing whatever you like,
while keeping your laborers hard at work.
Your fasts lead to quarreling and fighting,
to lashing out with violent blows.
On a day like today, fasting like yours
will not make your voice heard on high.

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