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Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.

9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Commentary for Isaiah 58

Hypocrisy reproved. (1,2) A counterfeit and a true fast, with promises to real godliness, and, (3-12) to the keeping the sabbath. (13,14)1,2 The Holy Spirit had hypocrites of every age in view. Self-love and timid Christians may say, Spare thyself; dislike to the cross and other motives will say, "Spare the rich and powerful;" but God says, "Spare not:" and we must obey God, not men. We all need earnestly to pray for God's assistance in examining ourselves. Men may go far toward heaven, yet come short; and they may go to hell with a good reputation.

3-12 A fast is a day to afflict the soul; if it does not express true sorrow for sin, and does not promote the putting away of sin, it is not a fast. These professors had shown sorrow on stated or occasioned fasts. But they indulged pride, covetousness, and malignant passions. To be liberal and merciful is more acceptable to God than mere fasting, which, without them, is vain and hypocritical. Many who seem humble in God's house, are hard at home, and harass their families. But no man's faith justifies, which does not work by love. Yet persons, families, neighbourhoods, churches, or nations, show repentance and sorrow for sin, by keeping a fast sincerely, and, from right motives, repenting, and doing good works. The heavy yoke of sin and oppression must be removed. As sin and sorrow dry the bones and weaken the strongest human constitution; so the duties of kindness and charity strengthen and refresh both body and mind. Those who do justly and love mercy, shall have the comfort, even in this world. Good works will bring the blessing of God, provided they are done from love to God and man, and wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit.

13,14 The sabbath is a sign between God and his professing people; his appointing it is a sign of his favour to them; and their observing it is a sign of their obedience to him. We must turn from travelling on that day; from doing our pleasure on that holy day, without the control and restraint of conscience; or from indulging in the pleasures of sense. On sabbath days we must not follow our callings, or our pleasures. In all we say and do, we must put a difference between this day and other days. Even in Old Testament times the sabbath was called the Lord's day, and is fitly called so still; and for a further reason, it is the Lord Christ's day, #Re 1:10|. If we thus remember the sabbath day to keep it holy, we shall have the comfort and profit of it, and have reason to say, It is good to draw near to God.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Isaiah 58

  • Gina
    Isaiah 58 gives insight how to really fast.
  • Helen

    Alex, you are misleading Debra and people reading your comments. Except for the Sabbath-day, God has not made every day holy. How would one provide for themselves/family if they refrained from work every day? We are commanded to refrain from work on the Sabbath day.
  • Kory
    Today if you hear his voice. Read Isaiah 58:13
  • Juanita
    Interested in Scripture s about why the Sabbath day pertaining to God commandment to us as a reminder to us our sign of worship to him to be Saturday and not Sunday.
  • Steve morrow
    SABBATH -- ISAIAH 58:13 if thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath from doing thy pleasure -- ON MY HOLY DAY -- and call the sabbath a delight THE HOLY OF THE LORD honorable and shalt honor HIM not doing thine own ways nor finding thine own pleasure NOR SPEAKING THINE OWN WORDS
  • Alex
    Do we make void the law by faith Gd forbid we establish the law. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of the law,( the old covenant ) is gonna be fulfilled by the New Covenant which is a birthing covenant via a heavenly seed. 1 of the facets of the cross was multiplication, When a seed dies it multiplies thus we might all get an incorruptible seed resulting in a birth of Christ in us, th essence of the New Covenant.
  • Alex
    Jesus asked which of you keeps the law? None of you keeps the law.John 7;19 THUS TH NEED offer up an annual sacrifice for their Sins, Which is a picture of Christ the lamb of GOD that taketh away the SINS of the world thus a NEW COVENANT The old covenant cd not make man SINLESS.If PERFECTION came under the levitical Priesthood ( th law) what need was there for another priesthood AFTER MELCHEZIDEC.
  • A disciple
    Dennis; There are many things terribly wrong with what you wrote. First, and most important; God gave us the commandments with the intention of guiding our hearts in the way of holiness and love; and with the expectation that as His children we would have a heart to do them. Luke 1:6 "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."
  • Dennis carr
    It is impossible to keep the law there are 10 Commandments and over 6000 laws and if you break one you have failed totally. It says keep my commandments if you love me and you will truly want to keep his commandments if you love him but it is not possible. We do not live by the law. There are two Commandments in the New Testament and the whole ballgame changed when Jesus Christ died on the cross
  • A disciple
    Debra; There have been attempts to Judaize, and to bring the Disciples into bondage to some outward form of religious tradition or other from the earliest days. But that is not the kingdom of God! Paul wrote"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

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Bible Trivia

Isaiah said we should not fast to do what?
  • Humble ourselves
  • Pray
  • Listen
  • Make our voice heard