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Look, your fasting is accompanied by[a] arguments, brawls,
and fistfights.[b]
Do not fast as you do today,
trying to make your voice heard in heaven.
Is this really the kind of fasting I want?[c]
Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves,[d]
bowing their heads like a reed
and stretching out[e] on sackcloth and ashes?
Is this really what you call a fast,
a day that is pleasing to the Lord?
No, this is the kind of fast I want:[f]
I want you[g] to remove the sinful chains,
to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke,
to set free the oppressed,[h]
and to break every burdensome yoke.

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  1. Isaiah 58:4 tn Heb “you fast for” (so NASB); NRSV “you fast only to quarrel.”
  2. Isaiah 58:4 tn Heb “and for striking with a sinful fist.”
  3. Isaiah 58:5 tn Heb “choose” (so NASB, NRSV); NAB “wish.”
  4. Isaiah 58:5 tn Heb “a day when man humbles himself.” The words “Do I want” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  5. Isaiah 58:5 tn Or “making [their] bed.”
  6. Isaiah 58:6 tn Heb “Is this not a fast I choose?” “No” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
  7. Isaiah 58:6 tn The words “I want you” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  8. Isaiah 58:6 tn Heb “crushed.”