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See, you fast only to quarrel and fight
    and to strike with a wicked fist!
Do not fast as you do today
    to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I would choose,
    a day to afflict oneself?
To bow one’s head like a reed,
    and lie upon sackcloth and ashes?
Is this what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?(A)

Authentic Fasting That Leads to Blessing[a]

Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose:
    releasing those bound unjustly,
    untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
    breaking off every yoke?(B)

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Footnotes

  1. 58:6–12 Fasting is not genuine without reforming one’s way of life. A true social morality will ensure prosperity.

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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