Isaiah 58:1-12

Fasting from injustice

1 Shout loudly; don't hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their crime, to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 They seek me day after day, desiring knowledge of my ways like a nation that acted righteously, that didn't abandon their God. They ask me for righteous judgments, wanting to be close to God.
3 "Why do we fast and you don't see; why afflict ourselves and you don't notice?" Yet on your fast day you do whatever you want, and oppress all your workers.
4 You quarrel and brawl, and then you fast; you hit each other violently with your fists. You shouldn't fast as you are doing today if you want to make your voice heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I choose, a day of self-affliction, of bending one's head like a reed and of lying down in mourning clothing and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 Isn't this the fast I choose: releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke, setting free the mistreated, and breaking every yoke?
7 Isn't it sharing your bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into your house, covering the naked when you see them, and not hiding from your own family?
8 Then your light will break out like the dawn, and you will be healed quickly. Your own righteousness will walk before you, and the LORD's glory will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and God will say, "I'm here." If you remove the yoke from among you, the finger-pointing, the wicked speech;
10 if you open your heart to the hungry, and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted, your light will shine in the darkness, and your gloom will be like the noon.
11 The LORD will guide you continually and provide for you, even in parched places. He will rescue your bones. You will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water that won't run dry.
12 They will rebuild ancient ruins on your account; the foundations of generations past you will restore. You will be called Mender of Broken Walls, Restorer of Livable Streets.

Images for Isaiah 58:1-12

Isaiah 58:1-12 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 58

From the wicked and antichristian party the prophet is bid to turn to the professors of the true religion, and openly, boldly, and sharply, reprove them for their sins, particularly their hypocrisy and formality in worship, Isa 58:1,2, who yet were angry, and complained that the Lord took no notice of their religious services, particularly their fasting, which is put for the whole; the reason of which was, because they did not fast aright; it was attended with much cruelty, strife, and wickedness, and only lay in external appearances, Isa 58:3-5, when they are directed how to keep a fast, and are shown what a true fast is, and what works and services are acceptable to God, Isa 58:6,7 on doing of which, light, health, prosperity, and hearing of their prayers, are promised, provided the yoke of oppression is taken away, and compassion shown to the poor, Isa 58:8-10, yea, a very fruitful and flourishing estate of the soul is promised, and a rebuilding of waste places, delight in the Lord, and great honour and dignity; so be it that the sabbath of the Lord, or public worship, is attended to in a proper manner, Isa 58:11-14.

Isaiah 58:1-12 In-Context

1 Shout loudly; don't hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their crime, to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 They seek me day after day, desiring knowledge of my ways like a nation that acted righteously, that didn't abandon their God. They ask me for righteous judgments, wanting to be close to God.
3 "Why do we fast and you don't see; why afflict ourselves and you don't notice?" Yet on your fast day you do whatever you want, and oppress all your workers.
4 You quarrel and brawl, and then you fast; you hit each other violently with your fists. You shouldn't fast as you are doing today if you want to make your voice heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I choose, a day of self-affliction, of bending one's head like a reed and of lying down in mourning clothing and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 Isn't this the fast I choose: releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke, setting free the mistreated, and breaking every yoke?
7 Isn't it sharing your bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into your house, covering the naked when you see them, and not hiding from your own family?
8 Then your light will break out like the dawn, and you will be healed quickly. Your own righteousness will walk before you, and the LORD's glory will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and God will say, "I'm here." If you remove the yoke from among you, the finger-pointing, the wicked speech;
10 if you open your heart to the hungry, and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted, your light will shine in the darkness, and your gloom will be like the noon.
11 The LORD will guide you continually and provide for you, even in parched places. He will rescue your bones. You will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water that won't run dry.
12 They will rebuild ancient ruins on your account; the foundations of generations past you will restore. You will be called Mender of Broken Walls, Restorer of Livable Streets.
13 If you stop trampling the Sabbath, stop doing whatever you want on my holy day, and consider the Sabbath a delight, sacred to the LORD, honored, and honor it instead of doing things your way, seeking what you want and doing business as usual,
14 then you will take delight in the LORD. I will let you ride on the heights of the earth; I will sustain you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.