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Isaiah 58New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 58

Reasons for Judgment[a]

Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
    lift up your voice like a trumpet blast;
Proclaim to my people their transgression,
    to the house of Jacob their sins.
They seek me day after day,
    and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
    and not abandoned the judgment of their God;
They ask of me just judgments,
    they desire to draw near to God.
“Why do we fast, but you do not see it?
    afflict ourselves, but you take no note?”
See, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
    and drive all your laborers.
See, you fast only to quarrel and fight
    and to strike with a wicked fist!
Do not fast as you do today
    to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I would choose,
    a day to afflict oneself?
To bow one’s head like a reed,
    and lie upon sackcloth and ashes?
Is this what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

Authentic Fasting That Leads to Blessing[b]

Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose:
    releasing those bound unjustly,
    untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
    breaking off every yoke?
Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry,
    bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
    and not turning your back on your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer,
    you shall cry for help, and he will say: “Here I am!”
If you remove the yoke from among you,
    the accusing finger, and malicious speech;
10 If you lavish your food on the hungry
    and satisfy the afflicted;
Then your light shall rise in the darkness,
    and your gloom shall become like midday;
11 Then the Lord will guide you always
    and satisfy your thirst in parched places,
    will give strength to your bones
And you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a flowing spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people shall rebuild the ancient ruins;
    the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
    “Restorer of ruined dwellings.”

Authentic Sabbath Observance That Leads to Blessing[c]

13 If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
    from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
    the Lord’s holy day glorious;
If you glorify it by not following your ways,
    seeking your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs—
14 Then you shall delight in the Lord,
    and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Footnotes:

  1. 58:1–5 The prophet is commanded to condemn the formalism of the people, specifically their hypocritical fasting.
  2. 58:6–12 Fasting is not genuine without reforming one’s way of life. A true social morality will ensure prosperity.
  3. 58:13–14 Sabbath observance becomes a cornerstone of postexilic piety; cf. 56:2, 4, 6.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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