King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 58

Hypocrisy reproved. (1,2) A counterfeit and a true fast, with promises to real godliness, and, (3-12) to the keeping the sabbath. (13,14)

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Hypocrisy reproved

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

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

A counterfeit and a true fast, with promises to real godliness, and

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4 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.

5 Is it such a 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? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.

9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

to the keeping the sabbath

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Sins. During the captivity. v. 11. S. Thomas. — Some will not hear, and those must be rebuked with all patience, till they follow virtue. W.

Ver. 2. Approach, and contend with God, scrutinizing his conduct, (Prov. xxv. 27.) and doing good for the sake of applause and self-interest.

Ver. 3. Will. This alone suggested their fasts, and they did not shew compassion. Ezec. vii. 2. C. — Debtors, who are not able to pay. S. Jer. Deut. xxiv. 12.

Ver. 4. Strife. The usual works were interrupted. The Church formerly forbade law-suits on fast-days. — Fist. Mat. xviii. 28. — Wickedly. Sept. “the humble.”

Ver. 5. Circle. They affected extreme debility. Mat. vi. 16. C. — Ashes. These external marks of penance are not condemned, but the want of corresponding sentiments. H. — Prot. would hence infer that fasting from flesh is not requisite, or a religious worship. But S. Jerom shews the contrary, provided it be joined with the observance of other commandments, as the saints and Christ himself have shewn us. W.

Ver. 6. Bands. Contracts of usury, &c. C.

Ver. 7. Deal. Lit. “break.” H. — Thin cakes are still used in the East. — Flesh, or relation. Gen. xxvii. 27.

Ver. 8. Light. Prosperity, (C.) or Saviour. H. — Mat. iv. 2. and John i. 8. C. — Health. Aquila, “the scar of thy wound shall soon be covered.” S. Jer. — Up. He shall close the rear, like the angel in the cloud. Ex. xiii. 21. and xiv. 19. He will grant thee rest from bondage in the grave and in heaven. C.

Ver. 9. Finger, contemptuously, or threatening. S. Jer. — Some explain it of the ordaining sacred ministers, or taking another’s property.

Ver. 10. Soul, effectually, and with love relieving the distressed. C.

Ver. 11. Fail. Sept. Alex. adds, “and thy bones as a flower shall spring and grow fat, and shall inherit ages of ages.” S. Jerom says this is not in the best copies. H.

Ver. 12. Generation. As the Jews did not comply with the condition, the Church falls heir to these promises.

Ver. 13. Sabbath, doing no work, or refraining from the violation of festivals. — Delightful. We must not think the sabbath of the Lord a loss: (Amos viii. 5.) but rejoice in praising him. Ps. xlv. 11. C. — A word, or to apply to God’s word. Grot. — Pious reading on holidays is the duty of all who have an opportunity. H.

Ver. 14. Earth. Judea. C. — Sept. “upon the good things of the land.” H.