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)

Sin, Confession and Redemption

59 Surely the arm(BA) of the Lord is not too short(BB) to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.(BC)
But your iniquities have separated(BD)
    you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.(BE)
For your hands are stained with blood,(BF)
    your fingers with guilt.(BG)
Your lips have spoken falsely,(BH)
    and your tongue mutters wicked things.
No one calls for justice;(BI)
    no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely(BJ) on empty arguments, they utter lies;(BK)
    they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.(BL)
They hatch the eggs of vipers(BM)
    and spin a spider’s web.(BN)
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
    and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
    they cannot cover themselves with what they make.(BO)
Their deeds are evil deeds,
    and acts of violence(BP) are in their hands.
Their feet rush into sin;
    they are swift to shed innocent blood.(BQ)
They pursue evil schemes;(BR)
    acts of violence mark their ways.(BS)
The way of peace they do not know;(BT)
    there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;(BU)
    no one who walks along them will know peace.(BV)

So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;(BW)
    for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10 Like the blind(BX) we grope along the wall,
    feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble(BY) as if it were twilight;
    among the strong, we are like the dead.(BZ)
11 We all growl like bears;
    we moan mournfully like doves.(CA)
We look for justice, but find none;
    for deliverance, but it is far away.

12 For our offenses(CB) are many in your sight,
    and our sins testify(CC) against us.
Our offenses are ever with us,
    and we acknowledge our iniquities:(CD)
13 rebellion(CE) and treachery against the Lord,
    turning our backs(CF) on our God,
inciting revolt and oppression,(CG)
    uttering lies(CH) our hearts have conceived.
14 So justice(CI) is driven back,
    and righteousness(CJ) stands at a distance;
truth(CK) has stumbled in the streets,
    honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth(CL) is nowhere to be found,
    and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

The Lord looked and was displeased
    that there was no justice.(CM)
16 He saw that there was no one,(CN)
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;(CO)
so his own arm achieved salvation(CP) for him,
    and his own righteousness(CQ) sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,(CR)
    and the helmet(CS) of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments(CT) of vengeance(CU)
    and wrapped himself in zeal(CV) as in a cloak.
18 According to what they have done,
    so will he repay(CW)
wrath to his enemies
    and retribution to his foes;
    he will repay the islands(CX) their due.
19 From the west,(CY) people will fear the name of the Lord,
    and from the rising of the sun,(CZ) they will revere his glory.(DA)
For he will come like a pent-up flood
    that the breath(DB) of the Lord drives along.[b]

20 “The Redeemer(DC) will come to Zion,(DD)
    to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”(DE)
declares the Lord.

21 “As for me, this is my covenant(DF) with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit,(DG) who is on you, will not depart from you,(DH) and my words that I have put in your mouth(DI) will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.

The Glory of Zion

60 “Arise,(DJ) shine, for your light(DK) has come,
    and the glory(DL) of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness(DM) covers the earth
    and thick darkness(DN) is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations(DO) will come to your light,(DP)
    and kings(DQ) to the brightness of your dawn.

“Lift up your eyes and look about you:
    All assemble(DR) and come to you;
your sons come from afar,(DS)
    and your daughters(DT) are carried on the hip.(DU)
Then you will look and be radiant,(DV)
    your heart will throb and swell with joy;(DW)
the wealth(DX) on the seas will be brought to you,
    to you the riches of the nations will come.
Herds of camels(DY) will cover your land,
    young camels of Midian(DZ) and Ephah.(EA)
And all from Sheba(EB) will come,
    bearing gold and incense(EC)
    and proclaiming the praise(ED) of the Lord.
All Kedar’s(EE) flocks will be gathered to you,
    the rams of Nebaioth will serve you;
they will be accepted as offerings(EF) on my altar,(EG)
    and I will adorn my glorious temple.(EH)

“Who are these(EI) that fly along like clouds,(EJ)
    like doves to their nests?
Surely the islands(EK) look to me;
    in the lead are the ships of Tarshish,[c](EL)
bringing(EM) your children from afar,
    with their silver and gold,(EN)
to the honor(EO) of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One(EP) of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.(EQ)

10 “Foreigners(ER) will rebuild your walls,
    and their kings(ES) will serve you.
Though in anger I struck you,
    in favor(ET) I will show you compassion.(EU)
11 Your gates(EV) will always stand open,
    they will never be shut, day or night,
so that people may bring you the wealth of the nations(EW)
    their kings(EX) led in triumphal procession.
12 For the nation or kingdom that will not serve(EY) you will perish;
    it will be utterly ruined.(EZ)

13 “The glory of Lebanon(FA) will come to you,
    the juniper, the fir and the cypress together,(FB)
to adorn my sanctuary;(FC)
    and I will glorify the place for my feet.(FD)
14 The children of your oppressors(FE) will come bowing before you;
    all who despise you will bow down(FF) at your feet
and will call you the City(FG) of the Lord,
    Zion(FH) of the Holy One(FI) of Israel.

15 “Although you have been forsaken(FJ) and hated,
    with no one traveling(FK) through,
I will make you the everlasting pride(FL)
    and the joy(FM) of all generations.
16 You will drink the milk of nations
    and be nursed(FN) at royal breasts.
Then you will know(FO) that I, the Lord, am your Savior,(FP)
    your Redeemer,(FQ) the Mighty One of Jacob.(FR)
17 Instead of bronze I will bring you gold,(FS)
    and silver in place of iron.
Instead of wood I will bring you bronze,
    and iron in place of stones.
I will make peace(FT) your governor
    and well-being your ruler.(FU)
18 No longer will violence(FV) be heard in your land,
    nor ruin or destruction(FW) within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation(FX)
    and your gates Praise.(FY)
19 The sun will no more be your light by day,
    nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,(FZ)
    and your God will be your glory.(GA)
20 Your sun(GB) will never set again,
    and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your days of sorrow(GC) will end.
21 Then all your people will be righteous(GD)
    and they will possess(GE) the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,(GF)
    the work of my hands,(GG)
    for the display of my splendor.(GH)
22 The least of you will become a thousand,
    the smallest a mighty nation.(GI)
I am the Lord;
    in its time I will do this swiftly.”(GJ)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 58:8 Or your righteous One
  2. Isaiah 59:19 Or When enemies come in like a flood, / the Spirit of the Lord will put them to flight
  3. Isaiah 60:9 Or the trading ships

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