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Isaiah 58:3-7

Context

58:3 They lament, 1  ‘Why don’t you notice when we fast?

Why don’t you pay attention when we humble ourselves?’

Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires, 2 

you oppress your workers. 3 

58:4 Look, your fasting is accompanied by 4  arguments, brawls,

and fistfights. 5 

Do not fast as you do today,

trying to make your voice heard in heaven.

58:5 Is this really the kind of fasting I want? 6 

Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, 7 

bowing their heads like a reed

and stretching out 8  on sackcloth and ashes?

Is this really what you call a fast,

a day that is pleasing to the Lord?

58:6 No, this is the kind of fast I want. 9 

I want you 10  to remove the sinful chains,

to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke,

to set free the oppressed, 11 

and to break every burdensome yoke.

58:7 I want you 12  to share your food with the hungry

and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. 13 

When you see someone naked, clothe him!

Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood! 14 

1 tn The words “they lament” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

2 tn Heb “you find pleasure”; NASB “you find your desire.”

3 tn Or perhaps, “debtors.” See HALOT 865 s.v. * עָצֵב.

4 tn Heb “you fast for” (so NASB); NRSV “you fast only to quarrel.”

5 tn Heb “and for striking with a sinful fist.”

6 tn Heb “choose” (so NASB, NRSV); NAB “wish.”

7 tn Heb “a day when man humbles himself.” The words “Do I want” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Or “making [their] bed.”

9 tn Heb “Is this not a fast I choose?” “No” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

10 tn The words “I want you” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

11 tn Heb “crushed.”

12 tn Heb “Is it not?” The rhetorical question here expects a positive answer, “It is!”

13 tn Heb “and afflicted [ones], homeless [ones] you should bring [into] a house.” On the meaning of מְרוּדִים (mÿrudim, “homeless”) see HALOT 633 s.v. *מָרוּד.

14 tn Heb “and from your flesh do not hide yourself.”



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