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Fasting that Pleases God

58 “Cry aloud, [a]spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
(A)Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
‘Why(B) have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we (C)afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And [b]exploit all your laborers.
(D)Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
Is (E)it a fast that I have chosen,
(F)A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And (G)to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To (H)loose the bonds of wickedness,
(I)To undo the [c]heavy burdens,
(J)To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not (K)to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are [d]cast out;
(L)When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from (M)your own flesh?
(N)Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
(O)The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 58:1 do not hold back
  2. Isaiah 58:3 Lit. drive hard
  3. Isaiah 58:6 Lit. bonds of the yoke
  4. Isaiah 58:7 wandering

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)

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 58:8 Or your righteous One

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