3-5 “Well, here’s why:

“The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit.
    You drive your employees much too hard.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
    You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
    won’t get your prayers off the ground.
Do you think this is the kind of fast day I’m after:
    a day to show off humility?
To put on a pious long face
    and parade around solemnly in black?
Do you call that fasting,
    a fast day that I, God, would like?

6-9 “This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
    to break the chains of injustice,
    get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
    free the oppressed,
    cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
    sharing your food with the hungry,
    inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
    putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
    being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
    and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
    The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
    You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’

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Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,(A)
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard(B) on high.
Is this the kind of fast(C) I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble(D) themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed(E)
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?(F)
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting(G) I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice(H)
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed(I) free
    and break every yoke?(J)

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