For day after day they seek1 me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken2 the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near3 them.
'Why have we fasted,'4 they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled5 ourselves, and you have not noticed?'6 "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please7 and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,8 and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard9 on high.
Is this the kind of fast10 I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble11 himself ? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed12 and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?13 Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
"Is not this the kind of fasting14 I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice15 and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed16 free and break every yoke?177
Is it not to share your food with the hungry18 and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter19-- when you see the naked, to clothe20 him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?218
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,22 and your healing23 will quickly appear; then your righteousnessa24 will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.259
Then you will call,26 and the LORD will answer;27 you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger28 and malicious talk,2910
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,30 then your light31 will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.3211
The LORD will guide33 you always; he will satisfy your needs34 in a sun-scorched land35 and will strengthen36 your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,37 like a spring38 whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins39 and will raise up the age-old foundations;40 you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,41 Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.