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Is this really the kind of fasting I want?[a]
Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves,[b]
bowing their heads like a reed
and stretching out[c] 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:[d]
I want you[e] to remove the sinful chains,
to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke,
to set free the oppressed,[f]
and to break every burdensome yoke.
I want you[g] to share your food with the hungry
and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people.[h]
When you see someone naked, clothe them!
Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood.[i]

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  1. Isaiah 58:5 tn Heb “choose” (so NASB, NRSV); NAB “wish.”
  2. Isaiah 58:5 tn Heb “a day when man humbles himself.” The words “Do I want” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  3. Isaiah 58:5 tn Or “making [their] bed.”
  4. Isaiah 58:6 tn Heb “Is this not a fast I choose?” “No” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
  5. Isaiah 58:6 tn The words “I want you” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  6. Isaiah 58:6 tn Heb “crushed.”
  7. Isaiah 58:7 tn Heb “Is it not?” The rhetorical question here expects a positive answer, “It is!”
  8. Isaiah 58:7 tn Heb “and afflicted [ones], homeless [ones] you should bring [into] a house.” On the meaning of מְרוּדִים (merudim, “homeless”) see HALOT 633 s.v. *מָרוּד.
  9. Isaiah 58:7 tn Heb “and from your flesh do not hide yourself.”