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Isaiah 58:5-8


58:5 Is this really the kind of fasting I want? 1 

Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, 2 

bowing their heads like a reed

and stretching out 3  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. 4 

I want you 5  to remove the sinful chains,

to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke,

to set free the oppressed, 6 

and to break every burdensome yoke.

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

and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. 8 

When you see someone naked, clothe him!

Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood! 9 

58:8 Then your light will shine like the sunrise; 10 

your restoration will quickly arrive; 11 

your godly behavior 12  will go before you,

and the Lord’s splendor will be your rear guard. 13 

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

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

3 tn Or “making [their] bed.”

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

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

6 tn Heb “crushed.”

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

8 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.

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

10 tn Heb “will burst out like the dawn.”

sn Light here symbolizes God’s favor and restored blessing, as the immediately following context makes clear.

11 tn Heb “prosper”; KJV “spring forth speedily.”

12 tn Or “righteousness.” Their godly behavior will be on display for all to see.

13 sn The nation will experience God’s protective presence.

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