Isaiah 58:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.

New Living Translation
What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.

English Standard Version
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.

New American Standard Bible
"Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.

King James Bible
Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist. You cannot fast as you do today, hoping to make your voice heard on high.

International Standard Version
"Look! You fast only for quarreling, and for fighting, and for hitting with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and have your voice heard on high.

NET Bible
Look, your fasting is accompanied by arguments, brawls, and fistfights. Do not fast as you do today, trying to make your voice heard in heaven.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't you see that when you fast, you quarrel and fight and beat your workers? The way you fast today keeps you from being heard in heaven.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day to make your voice to be heard on high.

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you shall not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
Behold, ye fast for strife and contention, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye fast not this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold you fast for debates and strife. and strike with the fist wickedly. Do not fast as you have done until this day, to make your cry to be heard on high.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, ye have fasted for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; ye do not at present fast, to cause your voice to be heard on high.

English Revised Version
Behold, ye fast for strife and contention, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye fast not this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

World English Bible
Behold, 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.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, for strife and debate ye fast, And to smite with the fist of wickedness, Ye fast not as to -day, To sound in the high place your voice.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

58:3-12 A fast is a day to afflict the soul; if it does not express true sorrow for sin, and does not promote the putting away of sin, it is not a fast. These professors had shown sorrow on stated or occasioned fasts. But they indulged pride, covetousness, and malignant passions. To be liberal and merciful is more acceptable to God than mere fasting, which, without them, is vain and hypocritical. Many who seem humble in God's house, are hard at home, and harass their families. But no man's faith justifies, which does not work by love. Yet persons, families, neighbourhoods, churches, or nations, show repentance and sorrow for sin, by keeping a fast sincerely, and, from right motives, repenting, and doing good works. The heavy yoke of sin and oppression must be removed. As sin and sorrow dry the bones and weaken the strongest human constitution; so the duties of kindness and charity strengthen and refresh both body and mind. Those who do justly and love mercy, shall have the comfort, even in this world. Good works will bring the blessing of God, provided they are done from love to God and man, and wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Ye fast for strife and debate. Delitzsch explains, "When fasting, they are doubly irritable and ill tempered; and this leads to quarrelling and strife, even to striking with angry fists." This is quite a possible explanation. Or there may have been two parties, one for, the other against, fasting; and those who practised fasting may have done it, as some preached Christ, "of envy and strife" (Philippians 1:15) - to provoke the opposite side. Ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high; i.e. "ye must not fast as ye do at present, if ye would have your voices heard in heaven." God will not hear the prayer of which such a fast is the accompaniment.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Behold, ye fast for strife and debate,.... Brawling with their servants for not doing work enough; or quarrelling with their debtors for not paying their debts; or the main of their religion lay in contentions and strifes about words, vain hot disputations about rites and ceremonies in worship, as is well known to have been the case of the reformed churches:

and to smite with the fist of wickedness; their servants or their debtors; or rather it may design the persecution of such whose consciences would not suffer them to receive the doctrines professed; or submit to ordinances as administered; or comply with rites and ceremonies enjoined by the said churches; for which they have smitten their brethren that dissented from them with the fist, or have persecuted them in a violent manner by imprisonment, confiscation of goods, &c.; all which is no other than a fist of wickedness, and highly displeasing to God, and renders all their services unacceptable in his sight; see Matthew 24:49,

ye shall not fast as ye do this day; or, "as this day"; after this manner; this is not right:

to make your voice to be heard on high; referring either to their noisy threatening of their servants for not doing their work; or their clamorous demands upon their debtors; or to their loud prayers, joined with their fasting, which they expected to be heard in the highest heaven, but would be mistaken; for such services, attended with the above evils, are not wellpleasing to God.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. ye shall not fast—rather, "ye do not fast at this time, so as to make your voice to be heard on high," that is, in heaven; your aim in fasting is strife, not to gain the ear of God [Maurer] (1Ki 21:9, 12, 13). In English Version the sense is, If you wish acceptance with God, ye must not fast as ye now do, to make your voice heard high in strife.

Isaiah 58:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
True Fasts and Sabbaths
3Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?' Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. 4"Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. 5"Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?…
Cross References
1 Kings 21:12
They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people.

Isaiah 1:15
When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!

Isaiah 3:14
The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: "It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses.

Isaiah 3:15
What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?" declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Isaiah 59:6
Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands.

Joel 2:12
"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."
Treasury of Scripture

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.

ye fast

1 Kings 21:9-13 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth …

Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he …

Matthew 6:16 Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: …

Matthew 23:14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' …

Luke 20:47 Which devour widows' houses, and for a show make long prayers: the …

John 18:28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas to the hall of judgment: and it …

and to smite

Acts 23:1,2 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brothers, …

Philippians 1:14,15 And many of the brothers in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, …

shall not fast as ye do this day. or fast not as this day. to make

Joel 2:13,14 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD …

Jonah 3:7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by …

Matthew 6:16-18 Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: …

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