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Isaiah 58

58
LVIII
1Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up thy voice like a trumpet;
And declare unto my people their transgression,
And to the house of Jacob their sin.
2Yet they seek me daily,
And delight to know my ways;
As a nation that did righteousness,
And had not forsaken the ordinance of their God:
They ask of me righteous ordinances,
They take delight in approaching to God.
3Wherefore we have fasted, say they, and thou seest not?
Have afflicted our souls, and thou dost not regard?
Behold I in the day of your fasting ye find pleasure,
And exact all your tasks of labour.
4Behold! ye fast for strife and contention,
And to smite with the fist of wickedness;
Ye fast not as this day,
So as to cause your voice to be heard on high.
5Is it such a fast that I have chosen?
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it that he should bow down his head like a bulrush,
And spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Wilt thou call this a fast,
And a day acceptable to Jehovah?
6Is not this the fast that I have chosen?
To loose the fetters of wickedness,
To untie the bands of the yoke;
And to let the oppressed go free,
And that ye should break asunder every yoke?
7Is it not to distribute thy bread to the hungry,
And to bring the poor that are persecuted into thy house?
When thou seest the naked, that thou clothe him,
And that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8Then shall thy light break forth as the dawn,
And thine health shall spring forth speedily;
And thy righteousness shall go before thee,
And the glory of Jehovah shall bring up thy rear.
9Then shalt thou call, and Jehovah shall answer;
Thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Behold me!
If thou remove from the midst of thee the yoke,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking vanity;
10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry,
And satisfy the afflicted soul;
Then shall thy light rise in obscurity,
And thy darkness be as the noon-day.
11And Jehovah shall guide thee continually,
And satisfy thy soul in drought;
And strengthen thy bones:
And thou shalt be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
12And they that spring from thee shall build the old waste places,
The foundations of many generations shalt thou raise up;
And thou shalt be called, The Repairer of the breach;
The Restorer of paths to dwell in.
13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath,
From doing thy pleasure on my holy day;
And call the sabbath a delight,
The holy of Jehovah, honourable;
And shalt honour it, not doing thine own ways,
Nor seeking thine own pleasure, nor using idle talk;
14Then shalt thou delight thyself in Jehovah;
And I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth,
And feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father:
For the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.

Isaiah 58

58
True and False Worship
1“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel#58:1 Hebrew Jacob. See note on 14:1. of their sins!
2Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.
3‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.
4What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.
5You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?
6“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.
13“Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14Then the Lord will be your delight.
I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”