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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 8430 fasting, nature of
8430 fasting, nature of

8430 fasting, nature of

Scripture frequently refers to individuals fasting and describes the different kinds of fast which may be undertaken.

Kinds of fasting

Abstaining from food and drink Ezr 10:6 See also Da 9:3; Ac 23:12

Abstaining from food only 1Sa 1:7 See also Da 6:18

The duration of fasting

One day: the normal fast period Lev 23:32; Jdg 20:26; 2Sa 1:12

Three days Est 4:16; Ac 9:9

Seven days 1Sa 31:13 pp 1Ch 10:12; 2Sa 12:16-20

Forty days These 40-day fasts are all in unique circumstances and are not prescribed: Ex 34:28; 1Ki 19:8; Mt 4:2 pp Lk 4:2

Regular observances of fasting

Those prescribed by the Law Lev 16:29-31 NIV footnote at verse 29. See also Lev 23:26-32; Nu 29:7; Ac 27:9 fn

Those observed in Jewish tradition Zec 8:19 See also Est 9:30-31; Zec 7:2-5

Those observed by the Pharisees Lk 18:11-12

Involuntary fasts

Those imposed by decree 2Ch 20:3 See also 1Sa 14:24 A special instance of an individual instructed by God to fast: 1Ki 13:8-9,16
1Ki 21:9; Jer 36:9

Those imposed by circumstances Ac 27:33; 2Co 6:5; 2Co 11:27

Voluntary fasts

Ne 1:4 See also Lk 2:37

See also

2575Christ, temptation
5104Moses, foreshadower of Christ
5773abstinence, discipline