Isaiah 58
Contemporary English Version

True Religion

1Shout the message!

Don't hold back.

Say to my people Israel:

You've sinned! You've turned

against the Lord.

2Day after day, you worship him

and seem eager to learn

his teachings.

You act like a nation

that wants to do right

by obeying his laws.

You ask him about justice,

and say you enjoy

worshiping the Lord.

3You wonder why the Lord

pays no attention

when you go without eating

and act humble.

But on those same days

that you give up eating,

you think only of yourselves+

and abuse your workers.

4You even get angry

and ready to fight.

No wonder God won't listen

to your prayers!

5Do you think the Lord

wants you to give up eating

and to act as humble

as a bent-over bush?

Or to dress in sackcloth

and sit in ashes?

Is this really what he wants

on a day of worship?

6I'll tell you

what it really means

to worship the Lord.

Remove the chains of prisoners

who are bound unjustly.

Free those who are abused!

7 Share your food with everyone

who is hungry;

share your home

with the poor and homeless.

Give clothes to those in need;

don't turn away your relatives.

8Then your light will shine

like the dawning sun, and you

will quickly be healed.

Your honesty+ will protect you

as you advance,

and the glory of the Lord

will defend you from behind.

9When you beg the Lord for help,

he will answer, “Here I am!”

Don't mistreat others

or falsely accuse them

or say something cruel.

10Give your food to the hungry

and care for the homeless.

Then your light will shine

in the dark;

your darkest hour will be

like the noonday sun.

11The Lord will always guide you

and provide good things to eat

when you are in the desert.

He will make you healthy.

You will be like a garden

that has plenty of water

or like a stream

that never runs dry.

12You will rebuild those houses

left in ruins for years;

you will be known

as a builder and repairer

of city walls and streets.

13But first, you must start

respecting the Sabbath

as a joyful day of worship.

You must stop doing and saying

whatever you please

on this special day.

14Then you will truly enjoy

knowing the Lord.

He will let you rule

from the highest mountains

and bless you with the land

of your ancestor Jacob.

The Lord has spoken!




Footnotes:

58.3 you think … yourselves: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
58.8 honesty: Or “honest leader.”


Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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Bible text from the Contemporary English Version 2nd Edition (CEV®) is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by American Bible Society, 101 North Independence Mall East, Floor 8, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2155

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