The Vision of Isaiah

Chapter 58

The prophet, being sent to reprove hypocrisy, shows the difference between a counterfeit fast and a true fast, 1-7. He declares what promises are due to godliness, 8-12, and to the keeping of the sabbath, 13, 14.

"Cry aloud, do not spare,/
lift up your voice like a trumpet,/
and show my people their transgression/
and the house of Jacob their sins.

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

'Why have we fasted, they say, and you do not see?/
Why have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge?'/
Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure/
and exact all your labors.

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

Is this the 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?/
Will you call this a fast/
and an acceptable day to the LORD?

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:/
to release the bonds of wickedness,/
to undo the heavy burdens,/
and to let the oppressed go free,/
and that you break every yoke?

Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry,/
and that you should bring the poor who are cast out to your house,/
when you see the naked that you should cover him,/
and that you should not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then your light shall break forth as the morning,/
and your health shall spring forth speedily./
And your righteousness shall go before you./
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear-ward.

Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer./
You shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.'/
If you take away from the midst of you the yoke,/
the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity,

10 And if you draw out your soul to the hungry/
and satisfy the afflicted soul,/
then your light shall rise in obscurity/
and your darkness shall be as the noon day.

11 And the LORD will guide you continually,/
and satisfy your soul in drought/
and make your bones fat./
And you shall be like a watered garden/
and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

12 And those amidst you shall build the old waste places./
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations,/
and you shall be called, The Repairer of the Breach,/
The Restorer of Paths to Dwell In.

13 If you turn away your foot from the sabbath,/
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,/
and call the sabbath a delight,/
and the holy [day] of the LORD honorable,/
and honor him, not doing your own ways,/
nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words,

14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD,/
and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth/
and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father./
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken it."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 58[➚]


[v.13a] - "If you turn away your foot" - From the Geneva Bible study notes: "If you refrain yourself from your wicked works."

[v.13b] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning. From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "We must call it the Lord's holy day, and honourable. We must call it holy, separated from common use and devoted to God and to his service, must call it the holy of the Lord, the day which he has sanctified to himself."