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CHAPTER 58 Ju1. 2 
Genuine Behaviour
Cry aloud, don’t spare, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and declare to My people their disobedience, and to the house of Jacob their sins. 2Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways: as a nation that did righteousness, and didn’t forsake the ordinance of their God, they ask of Me righteous judgements; they delight to draw near to God. 3‘Why have we fasted’, they say, ‘and You don’t see? Why have we afflicted our soul, and You take no knowledge?’. Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and oppress all your labourers. 4Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you don’t fast this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high. 5Is such the fast that I have chosen? The day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh? 6Isn’t this the fast that I have chosen: to release the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? 7Isn’t it to distribute your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth speedily; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Yahweh shall be your vanguard. 9Then you shall call, and Yahweh 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 wickedly; 10and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then your light shall rise in darkness, and your obscurity be as the noonday; 11and Yahweh will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make strong your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters don’t fail. 12Those who shall be of 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. 13If 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 Yahweh honourable; and shall honour it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words: 14then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father: for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.


58:2 Again we see that Judah weren’t atheists, nor did they formally reject Yahweh- rather the opposite. But they ignored His commandments in practice, and those they kept they used as a means for spiritual pride. In all this we have a highly relevant message to ourselves.
58:3 In the day of your fast you find pleasure- Sacrifice to God must be sacrifice, contrite repentance means just that, rather than using these concepts as a channel for our own self-fulfilment.
58:5 Bow down his head as a rush- To quickly spring back again to pride. Our talk of humility mustn’t be just a temporary, tokenistic acceptance of it as a nice idea.
58:6 Consider how Jesus brings together various passages from Isaiah in His opening declaration in Lk. 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives,   and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach [proclaim] [Heb. ‘call out to a man’] the acceptable year of the Lord”. This combines allusions to Is. 61:1 (Lev. 25:10); Is. 58:6 LXX and  Is. 61:2.Is. 58 has many Day of Atonement allusions- the year of Jubilee began on this feast. We are as the High Priest declaring the reality of forgiveness to the crowd. Hence Lk. 24:47 asks us to proclaim a Jubilee of atonement. The Greek for “preach” in Lk. 24:47 and for “preach / proclaim the acceptable year” in Lk. 4:19 are the same, and the word is used in the LXX for proclaiming the Jubilee. And the LXX word used for ‘jubilee’ means remission, release, forgiveness, and it is the word used to describe our preaching / proclaiming forgiveness in Lk. 24:47. It could be that we are to see the cross as the day of atonement, and from then on the Jubilee should be proclaimed in the lives of those who accept it. It’s as if we are running round telling people that their mortgages have been cancelled, hire purchase payments written off... and yet we are treated as telling them something unreal, when it is in fact so real and pertinent to them.

58:6-13 This seems to be a reference to an insincerely kept day of atonement in Ezra or Nehemiah’s time. The Jewish nobles were oppressing the poor and thereby keeping the feast with no meaning. If they had properly kept the feast, then the promised Kingdom conditions would have burst forth to the world around them. But they were too caught up with their own self-benefit to be bothered to show true care for their brethren. If they had,then the glory of Yahweh would have entered the temple, just as Ezekiel 43 had prophesied would happen, if the Kingdom was rebuilt as commanded.