True Fasting
1“Cry out loudly, # Lit with throat don’t hold back!
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Tell My people their transgression
and the house of Jacob their sins.
2They seek Me day after day
and delight to know My ways,
like a nation that does what is right
and does not abandon the justice of their God.
They ask Me for righteous judgments;
they delight in the nearness of God.” # Ps 119:151; Is 29:13; 57:3; Jms 4:8
3“Why have we fasted, but You have not seen? # Mal 3:14; Lk 18:12
We have denied ourselves, but You haven’t noticed! ” # These are Israel’s words to God.
“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
and oppress all your workers. # Is 22:12-13; Zch 7:5-6
4You fast with contention and strife
to strike viciously with your fist.
You cannot fast as you do today,
hoping to make your voice heard on high.
5Will the fast I choose be like this:
A day for a person to deny himself,
to bow his head like a reed,
and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? # Est 4:3; Dn 9:3
Will you call this a fast
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6Isn’t the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness, # Jb 36:8; Ps 107:10; Ec 7:26
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke? # Neh 5:10-12; Is 58:9; Jr 34:8
7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, # Jb 31:19-20; Is 58:10; Ezk 18:7,16
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him, # Mt 25:35-36; Lk 3:11
and not to ignore # Lit not hide yourself from your own flesh and blood? # Dt 22:1-4; Lk 10:31-32
8Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly. # Is 30:26; 33:24; Jr 30:17; 33:6
Your righteousness will go before you, # Ps 85:13; Is 62:1
and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard. # Ex 14:19; Is 52:12
9At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer; # Ps 50:15; Is 55:6; 65:24
when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you get rid of the yoke among you, # Lit yoke from your midst
the finger-pointing and malicious speaking, # Pr 6:13
10and if you offer yourself # Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr read offer your bread to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness, # Jb 11:17; Ps 37:6; Is 42:16; 58:8
and your night will be like noonday.
11The Lord will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden # Sg 4:15; Is 27:3; Jr 31:12
and like a spring whose waters never run dry. # Jn 4:14; 7:38
12Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins; # Ezr 6:14; Neh 4:6; Is 49:8; 61:4; Ezk 36:10
you will restore the foundations laid long ago; # Lit foundations generation and generation # 1Kg 6:37; Ezr 3:10-12
you will be called the repairer of broken walls,
the restorer of streets where people live.
13“If you keep from desecrating # Lit keep your foot from the Sabbath, # Ex 31:16-17; 35:2-3; Is 56:2-6; Jr 17:21-27
from doing whatever you want on My holy day;
if you call the Sabbath a delight,
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways, # Is 55:8
seeking your own pleasure, or talking too much; # Lit or speak a word
14then you will delight yourself in the Lord, # Jb 22:26; Ps 37:4
and I will make you ride over the heights of the land, # Dt 32:13; 33:29; Is 33:16; Hab 3:19
and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. # Is 1:20; 40:5