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True Fasting

58 “Shout it aloud,u do not hold back.

Raise your voice like a trumpet.v

Declare to my people their rebellionw

and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.x

For day after day they seeky me out;

they seem eager to know my ways,

as if they were a nation that does what is right

and has not forsakenz the commands of its God.

They ask me for just decisions

and seem eager for God to come neara them.

‘Why have we fasted,’b they say,

‘and you have not seen it?

Why have we humbledc ourselves,

and you have not noticed?’d

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you pleasee

and exploit all your workers.

Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,f

and in striking each other with wicked fists.

You cannot fast as you do today

and expect your voice to be heardg on high.

Is this the kind of fasth I have chosen,

only a day for people to humblei themselves?

Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reedj

and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?k

Is that what you call a fast,

a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fastingl I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injusticem

and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressedn free

and break every yoke?o

Is it not to share your food with the hungryp

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelterq

when you see the naked, to clother them,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?s

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,t

and your healingu will quickly appear;

then your righteousnessa v will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.w

Then you will call,x and the Lord will answer;y

you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

with the pointing fingerz and malicious talk,a

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,b

then your lightc will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.d

11 The Lord will guidee you always;

he will satisfy your needsf in a sun-scorched landg

and will strengthenh your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,i

like a springj whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruinsk

and will raise up the age-old foundations;l

you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,m

Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbathn

and from doing as you please on my holy day,

if you call the Sabbath a delighto

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,p

14 then you will find your joyq in the Lord,

and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heightsr of the land

and to feast on the inheritances of your father Jacob.”

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.t


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