Isaiah 58:1-14 Reading the Passage

The Practice of True Religion – Isaiah 58:1-14

58 Shout aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their transgressions; declare to the house of Jacob their sins. (2) Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, like a nation that practices righteousness and has not forsaken the commandments of their God. They ask me for righteous judgments; they delight in drawing near to God.

(3) They ask, Why have we fasted, but you have not taken notice of it? Why have we afflicted our soul, but you do not acknowledge it? Look, on the day of your fast you conduct your business and you exploit all of your laborers. (4) Look, as you fast you are contending and quarreling with one another, and even striking each other maliciously with your fists. At present you are not fasting in a way that will cause your voice to be heard on high. (5) Is this the kind of fast that I desire—a day for a man to afflict his soul; a day for a man to bow his head like a reed and to spread out sackcloth and ashes for a bed? Will you call this a fast, a day that is acceptable to Jehovah? (6) Is not this the kind of fast I desire, namely, to cut loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set free the oppressed and break every yoke of bondage? (7) Is it not to share your food with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house? Is it not to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to turn away from helping your own flesh and blood?

(8) If you do these things then your light will break forth like the day, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of Jehovah will be your rearguard. (9) Then you will call and Jehovah will answer; you will cry for help, and he will answer, Here I am! If you do away with the yoke of oppression, if you stop threateningly pointing the finger and uttering malicious threats, (10) if you have compassion for the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like noonday. (11) Then Jehovah will continually guide you; he will satisfy your soul even in a sun-scorched land and give strength to your bones. You will be like a well-watered garden and like a spring of water that never runs dry. (12) Your children will rebuild the ancient ruins and will re-construct the age-old foundations. You will be called, The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets in which to Dwell.

(13) If, to avoid breaking the Sabbath, you keep your feet from going about your business on my holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight—the holy day of Jehovah honorable; if you will, indeed, honor it—not going your own way, or conducting your own business, or conversing about business matters; (14) then you will find your joy in Jehovah; and I will cause you to ride upon the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. This will surely be the case, because the mouth of Jehovah has spoken it.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.