Chiastic Structures
The Old Testament
Chiastic Parallels
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1 Proclaim it aloud without restraint;
raise your voice like a trumpet! Declare to my people their transgressions,
to the house of Jacob its sins.


2 Yet they importune me daily,
eager to learn my ways, like a nation practicing righteousness
and not forsaking the precepts of its God.


They inquire of me concerning correct ordinances,
desiring to draw nearer to God: 3 Why, when we fast, do you not notice?
We afflict our bodies and you remain indifferent!


It is because on your fast day you pursue your own ends
and constrain all who toil for you. 4 You fast amid strife and contention,
striking out savagely with the fist. Your present fasts are not such
as to make your voice heard on high. 5 Is this the manner of fasting I have required,
just a time for men to torment themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and making one’s bed of sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast,
a day of Jehovah’s good graces?


6 Is not this the fast I require:
To release from wrongful bondage, to untie the harness of the yoke, to set the oppressed at liberty
and abolish all forms of subjection? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry,
to bring home the wretchedly poor, and when you see men underclad to clothe them,
and not to neglect your own kin?


8 Then shall your light break through like the dawn
and your healing speedily appear; your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of Jehovah will be your rearguard. 9 Then, should you call, Jehovah will respond;
should you cry, he will say, I am here. Indeed, if you will banish servitude from among you,
and the pointing finger and offensive speech, 10 if you will give of your own to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then shall your light dawn amid darkness
and your twilight become as the noonday. 11 Jehovah will direct you continually;
he will satisfy your needs in the dearth and bring vigor to your limbs. And you will become like a well-watered garden,
like a spring of unfailing waters. 12 They who came out of you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
you will restore the foundations of generations ago. You shall be called a rebuilder of fallen walls,
a restorer of streets for resettlement.


13 If you will keep your feet from trampling the Sabbath—
from achieving your own ends on my holy day and consider the Sabbath a delight,
the holy day of Jehovah venerable, and if you will honor it
by refraining from your everyday pursuits from occupying yourselves with your own affairs
and speaking of business matters 14 then shall you delight in Jehovah,
and I will make you traverse the heights of the earth and nourish you with the heritage of Jacob your father.


By his mouth Jehovah has spoken it.