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The Lord Desires Genuine Devotion

58 “Shout loudly! Don’t be quiet!
Yell as loudly as a trumpet!
Confront my people with their rebellious deeds;[a]
confront Jacob’s family with their sin.[b]
They seek me day after day;
they want to know my requirements,[c]
like a nation that does what is right
and does not reject the law of their God.
They ask me for just decrees;
they want to be near God.
They lament,[d] ‘Why don’t you notice when we fast?
Why don’t you pay attention when we humble ourselves?’
Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires,[e]
you oppress your workers.[f]
Look, your fasting is accompanied by[g] arguments, brawls,
and fistfights.[h]
Do not fast as you do today,
trying to make your voice heard in heaven.
Is this really the kind of fasting I want?[i]
Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves,[j]
bowing their heads like a reed
and stretching out[k] 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:[l]
I want you[m] to remove the sinful chains,
to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke,
to set free the oppressed,[n]
and to break every burdensome yoke.
I want you[o] to share your food with the hungry
and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people.[p]
When you see someone naked, clothe them!
Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood.[q]
Then your light will shine like the sunrise;[r]
your restoration will quickly arrive;[s]
your godly behavior[t] will go before you,
and the Lord’s splendor will be your rear guard.[u]
Then you will call out, and the Lord will respond;
you will cry out, and he will reply, ‘Here I am.’
You must[v] remove the burdensome yoke from among you
and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully.
10 You must[w] actively help the hungry
and feed the oppressed.[x]
Then your light will dispel the darkness,[y]
and your darkness will be transformed into noonday.[z]
11 The Lord will continually lead you;
he will feed you even in parched regions.[aa]
He will give you renewed strength,[ab]
and you will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring that continually produces water.
12 Your perpetual ruins will be rebuilt;[ac]
you will reestablish the ancient foundations.
You will be called, ‘The one who repairs broken walls,
the one who makes the streets inhabitable again.’[ad]
13 You must[ae] observe the Sabbath[af]
rather than doing anything you please on my holy day.[ag]
You must look forward to the Sabbath[ah]
and treat the Lord’s holy day with respect.[ai]
You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities,
and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals.[aj]
14 Then you will find joy in your relationship to the Lord,[ak]
and I will give you great prosperity,[al]
and cause crops to grow on the land I gave to your ancestor Jacob.”[am]
Know for certain that the Lord has spoken.[an]


  1. Isaiah 58:1 tn Heb “declare to my people their rebellion.”
  2. Isaiah 58:1 tn Heb “and to the house of Jacob their sin.” The verb “declare” is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).
  3. Isaiah 58:2 tn Heb “ways” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV); NLT “my laws.”
  4. Isaiah 58:3 tn The words “they lament” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
  5. Isaiah 58:3 tn Heb “you find pleasure”; NASB “you find your desire.”
  6. Isaiah 58:3 tn Or perhaps, “debtors.” See HALOT 865 s.v. * עָצֵב.
  7. Isaiah 58:4 tn Heb “you fast for” (so NASB); NRSV “you fast only to quarrel.”
  8. Isaiah 58:4 tn Heb “and for striking with a sinful fist.”
  9. Isaiah 58:5 tn Heb “choose” (so NASB, NRSV); NAB “wish.”
  10. Isaiah 58:5 tn Heb “a day when man humbles himself.” The words “Do I want” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  11. Isaiah 58:5 tn Or “making [their] bed.”
  12. Isaiah 58:6 tn Heb “Is this not a fast I choose?” “No” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
  13. Isaiah 58:6 tn The words “I want you” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  14. Isaiah 58:6 tn Heb “crushed.”
  15. Isaiah 58:7 tn Heb “Is it not?” The rhetorical question here expects a positive answer, “It is!”
  16. 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.
  17. Isaiah 58:7 tn Heb “and from your flesh do not hide yourself.”
  18. Isaiah 58:8 tn Heb “will burst out like the dawn.” sn Light here symbolizes God’s favor and restored blessing, as the immediately following context makes clear.
  19. Isaiah 58:8 tn Heb “prosper”; KJV “spring forth speedily.”
  20. Isaiah 58:8 tn Or “righteousness.” Their godly behavior will be on display for all to see.
  21. Isaiah 58:8 sn The nation will experience God’s protective presence.
  22. Isaiah 58:9 tn Heb “if you.” In the Hebrew text vv. 9b-10 are one long conditional sentence. The protasis (multiple “if” clauses here) appears in vv. 9b-10a, with the apodosis (“then” clause) appearing in v. 10b.
  23. Isaiah 58:10 tn Heb “if you.” See the note on “you must” in v. 9b.
  24. Isaiah 58:10 tn Heb “If you furnish for the hungry [with] your being, and the appetite of the oppressed you satisfy.”
  25. Isaiah 58:10 tn Heb “will rise in the darkness.”
  26. Isaiah 58:10 tn Heb “and your darkness [will be] like noonday.”
  27. Isaiah 58:11 tn Heb “he will satisfy in parched regions your appetite.”
  28. Isaiah 58:11 tn Heb “and your bones he will strengthen.”
  29. Isaiah 58:12 tn Heb “and they will build from you ancient ruins.”
  30. Isaiah 58:12 tc The Hebrew text has “the one who restores paths for dwelling.” The idea of “paths to dwell in” is not a common notion. Some have proposed emending נְתִיבוֹת (netivot, “paths”) to נְתִיצוֹת (netitsot, “ruins”), a passive participle from נָתַץ (natats, “tear down”; see HALOT 732 s.v. *נְתִיצָה), because tighter parallelism with the preceding line is achieved. However, none of the textual sources support this emendation. The line may mean that paths must be repaired in order to dwell in the land.
  31. Isaiah 58:13 tn Lit., “if you.” In the Hebrew text vv. 13-14 are one long conditional sentence. The protasis (multiple “if” clauses here) appears in v. 13, with the apodosis (“then” clause) appearing in v. 14.
  32. Isaiah 58:13 tn Heb “if you turn from the Sabbath your feet.”
  33. Isaiah 58:13 tn Heb “[from] doing your desires on my holy day.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa supplies the preposition מִן (min) on “doing.”
  34. Isaiah 58:13 tn Heb “and call the Sabbath a pleasure”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “a delight.”
  35. Isaiah 58:13 tn Heb “and [call] the holy [day] of the Lord honored.” On קָדוֹשׁ (qadosh, “holy”) as indicating a time period, see BDB 872 s.v. 2.e (cf. also Neh 8:9-11).
  36. Isaiah 58:13 tn Heb “and you honor it [by refraining] from accomplishing your ways, from finding your desire and speaking a word.” It is unlikely that the last phrase (“speaking a word”) is a prohibition against talking on the Sabbath; instead it probably refers to making transactions or plans (see Hos 10:4). Some see here a reference to idle talk (cf. 2 Sam 19:29).
  37. Isaiah 58:14 tn For a parallel use of the phrase “find joy in” (Hitpael of עָנַג [ʿanag] followed by the preposition עַל [ʿal]), see Ps 37:4.
  38. Isaiah 58:14 tn Heb “and I will cause you to ride upon the heights of the land.” The statement seems to be an allusion to Deut 32:13, where it is associated, as here, with God’s abundant provision of food.
  39. Isaiah 58:14 tn Heb “and I will cause you to eat the inheritance of Jacob your father.” The Hebrew term נַחֲלָה (nakhalah) likely stands by metonymy for the crops that grow on Jacob’s “inheritance” (i.e., the land he inherited as a result of God’s promise).
  40. Isaiah 58:14 tn Heb “for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” The introductory כִּי (ki) may be asseverative (as reflected in the translation) or causal/explanatory, explaining why the preceding promise will become reality (because it is guaranteed by the divine word).

True Fasting

58 “Shout it aloud,(A) do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.(B)
Declare to my people their rebellion(C)
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.(D)
For day after day they seek(E) me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken(F) the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near(G) them.
‘Why have we fasted,’(H) they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled(I) ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’(J)

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

“Is not this the kind of fasting(R) I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice(S)
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed(T) free
    and break every yoke?(U)
Is it not to share your food with the hungry(V)
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter(W)
when you see the naked, to clothe(X) them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?(Y)
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,(Z)
    and your healing(AA) will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a](AB) will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.(AC)
Then you will call,(AD) and the Lord will answer;(AE)
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger(AF) and malicious talk,(AG)
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,(AH)
then your light(AI) will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.(AJ)
11 The Lord will guide(AK) you always;
    he will satisfy your needs(AL) in a sun-scorched land(AM)
    and will strengthen(AN) your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,(AO)
    like a spring(AP) whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins(AQ)
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;(AR)
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,(AS)
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath(AT)
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight(AU)
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,(AV)
14 then you will find your joy(AW) in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights(AX) of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance(AY) of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.(AZ)


  1. Isaiah 58:8 Or your righteous One