Isaiah 58: Fasting and the Sabbath

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 153


Before and as you read Isaiah 58, think about the following questions: What is the purpose of fasting? What is the most meaningful fast you’ve ever had? Why? What is the purpose of keeping the Sabbath day holy? What blessings have you received from keeping the Sabbath day holy?

Understanding the Scriptures

Isaiah 58

Spare not (v. 1)Do not hold back 
Takest no knowledge (v. 3)Do not notice 
Bulrush (v. 5)Tall grass, reed 
Yoke (vv. 6, 9)Wood or metal device fitted around the neck and shoulders of two animals that helps them combine their strength to pull a wagon or plow. Yoke in this verse symbolically represents burdens, such as poverty or sin. 
Deal (v. 7)Share 
Flesh (v. 7)Family 
Vanity (v. 9)Speaking ill of another 
Draw out thy soul(v. 10)Give 
Satisfy (vv. 10–11)Give relief to 
Waste (v. 12)Empty, destroyed 
Breach (v. 12)Broken 
If thou turn away thy foot from (v. 13)If you keep from trampling under your feet 
Heritage (v. 14)Blessings 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Isaiah 58.

Activity A iconMake a Chart

In your notebook, make a chart like the one below, and fill it in with what you find in Isaiah 58:3–12.

What We Should Do When We Fast

What We Should Avoid When We Fast

Blessings the Lord Promises for Fasting in the Way He Has Commanded

Activity B iconGive Examples

  1. 1.

    In Isaiah 58:13–14, the Lord gave us principles that help us know how to keep his Sabbath day holy. List these principles. Read Doctrine and Covenants 59:9–14 and add to your list principles of keeping the Sabbath day holy.

  2. 2.

    For each principle you listed, give an example of how someone could follow that principle on the Sabbath. Then give an example of how someone might violate that principle on the Sabbath.

  3. 3.

    List the Lord’s promised blessings for keeping the Sabbath day holy, according to Isaiah 58:13–14.