True and False Fasting
1“Cry aloud; do not hold back;
Lev. 25:9; [Joel 2:1] lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 # [ch. 1:11; 29:13; Zech. 7:5, 6] Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
3 # [Mal. 3:14] ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,#58:3 Or pursue your own business
# [ch. 60:17]; See Neh. 5:1-8 and oppress all your workers.
4Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Zech. 7:5 Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6“Is not this the fast that I choose:
# See Neh. 5:10-12 to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps #ver. 9of the yoke,
to let the oppressed#58:6 Or bruised go free,
and to break every yoke?
7Is it not #ver. 10; Ezek. 18:7; [Matt. 25:35] to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 # [Job 11:17] Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
Jer. 30:17 and your healing shall spring up speedily;
Ps. 85:13 your righteousness shall go before you;
# [ch. 52:12] the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away #ver. 6 the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 # ver. 7, 8 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
# [See ver. 8 above] then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be #Jer. 31:12like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 # ch. 61:4; 65:21; [Ezra 6:14; Neh. 4:6] And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
13 # ch. 56:2; See Neh. 13:15-21 “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure#58:13 Or business on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking #ver. 3your own pleasure,#58:13 Or pursuing your own business or talking idly;#58:13 Hebrew or speaking a word
14then you shall take delight in the Lord,
Deut. 32:13 and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;#58:14 Or of the land
Jer. 50:19 I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
# ch. 1:20 for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”