Judge 20:26 – all the people of Israel fasted “from morning until evening”, seeking the will of God about going into battle
I Sam. 7:6 – the people “fasted on that day” in repentance for their sins, and for deliverance from the Philistines
I Sam. 31:13 – the men of Jabesh-Gilead fasted 7 days in mourning (and/or purification?) after they recovered the bodies of Saul and Jonathan
II Sam. 1:12 – David and company wept and fasted “until evening” on hearing of the death of Saul and Jonathan
II Sam. 12:16, 21, 23 – David fasted and wept 7 days requesting the life of the child of Bathsheba, but when it died, he arose and ate. “But now he has died, why should I fast?”
I Kings 21: 9, 12, 27 – Jezebel used a declaration of a fast to betray Naboth and have him killed. When Elijah proclaimed God’s judgement on Ahab for the deed, Ahab “humbled himself before God”, tearing his clothes and fasting and wearing sackcloth and going about despondently. God postponed his judgement.
I Chron. 10: 12 – (I Sam. 31:13) the men of Jabesh-Gilead fasted 7 days in mourning (and/or purification?) after they recovered the bodies of Saul and Jonathan
II Chron. 20:3 – King Jehosephat “turned his attention to seek the Lord,” and declared a fast. All Judah fasted and came together, and Jehosephat worshiped God and inquired of him. Then “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel”, a Levite, and he prophesied victory regarding the upcoming battle.
Ezra 8:21, 23 – Ezra proclaimed a fast before journey to humble themselves before God and seek his protection for a safe journey
Neh. 1:4 – Nehemiah wept and fasted and prayed “for days” before God, confessing the sins of the nation, mourning the fate of Jerusalem, asking God’s mercy and intervention for the nation.
Neh. 9:4 – The people assembled with fasted, sackcloth, and dirt upon them, on the 24th day. They confessed their sins, and the sins of their fathers, read from the law, and confessed and worshiped the Lord.
Esther 4:3,16 – Mordecai and the Jews wept and fasted when the proclamation to put them to death came out. Esther requested that all the people fast with her 3 days and nights, before she risked her life in going to the king.
Esther 9:31 – Esther and Mordecai established the days of Purim as a remembrance of the days of fasting and lamentation to be delivered.
Ps. 35:13 – David fasts, prays and mourns for his sick enemies. “I humbled my soul with fasting.”
PS. 69:10 – (the psalm of Jesus’ crucifixion) “Zeal for thy house has consumed me…When I wept in my soul with fasting…Answer me…Deliver me…”
Ps 109:24 – “Oh God, do not be silent…I am in prayer…I am afflicted and needy…my knees are weak from fasting…help me…save me…I will give thanks abundantly”
Is. 58:3-6 – fasting to seek God, to delight to know His ways, to seek just decisions, to delight in the nearness of God, to humble oneself, so that God will see and notice. God proclaims that true fasting is to break the bonds of wickedness, and to care for the poor and hungry.
Jer. 14:12 – God is telling Jeremiah that He is calling the sins of Israel to their account. “When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry.”
Jer. 36:6,9 – Baruch is to read Jeremiah’s words comcerning the wrath of God to the people on a fast day.
Dan. 6:18 – The king was tricked by law into putting Daniel into the lion’s den, but knew he was innocent. The king fasted all night, let no entertainment come to him, and did not sleep all night.
Dan 9:3 – Daniel “gave attention to the Lord” to seek him by prayer and supplication, in fasting. He confessed the sins of the nation, and asked for mercy “Oh Lord, hear, forgive, listen, and take action, do not delay.” Gabriel was sent to give Daniel insight with understanding.
Joel 1:14 – Consecrate a fast before God to bewail the fate of the land eaten by locusts
Joel 2:12,15 – God says, “Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping, and mourning, and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Jonah 3:5 – A fast is proclaimed in Ninevah to avert the wrath of God proclaimed by Jonah. All were to fast from food or water, and call on God earnestly to relent. God heard and did not destroy them.
Zec. 7:5 – A town wanted to know whether they should still be observing the ritual fasts in the 5th and 7th months. God said that they were not fasting to him, and were not feasting to him, but to themselves. He said to dispense true justice, practice kindness and compassion to each other, do not oppress the less fortunate, and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.
Zec. 8:19 – God changes appointed fasts into feasts of joy, gladness, and cheerfulness, thus we should love truth and peace.
Matt. 4:2 – After His baptism by John, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to fast 40 days and nights, to be tempted by the devil. Afterwards, he was hungry, and faced 3 more temptations, then angels came and ministered to him.
Matt. 6:16-18 – When you fast, do not appear to be fasting to men, but God will see and hear.
Matt. 9:14-15 – The disciples of John asked why Jesus’ disciples did not fast. “They cannot mourn while the bridegroom is with them, but afterward they will fast.” Cannot put new wine into old wineskins, etc. i.e., cannot make new, immature disciples follow the disciplines of mature believers?
Matt. 15:32 – Feeding of 4 thousand. Crowds had been following him for 3 days and had nothing to eat. He did not want to send them away hungry so that they fainted on the way, so fed them from seven loaves and a few small fish.
Matt 17:21 – Jesus cast demons from a boy, and said this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. He had just come from the mountain transfiguration experience, and he rebuked the disciples for the smallness of their faith.
Mark 2:18-20 – Same as Matthew 9:14-15
Mark 8:3 – Same as Matthew 15:32
Mark 9:29 – Same as Matthew 17:21
Luke 2:37 – Anna the widow prophetess, serving God day and night in the temple, fasting and praying, recognized the infant Jesus as the redemption of Israel.
Luke 5:33-35 – Same as Matthew 9:14-15
Luke 18:12 – The self-righteous Pharasee vs. the tax-gather. The Pharasee boasts that he fasts twice a week. He was exalting himself for a practice thatw as supposed to humble him before God.
Acts 10:30 – Cornelius was praying, and had a vision to send for Peter.
Acts 13:2,3 The teahers and prophets of Antioch were fasting and ministering to the Lord, and he told them to set aside Barnabas and Saul for missionary work. They fasted and prayed and laid hands on them and sent them away.
Acts 14:23 – Paul and Barnabas fasted and prayed before appointing elders in each church.
Acts 27:33 – The sailors with Paul fasted and watched 14 days. He encouraged them to take food for their preservation.
I Cor. 7:5 – A husband and wife can agree to fast temporarily from sex for prayer.
II Cor. 6:5 – Paul commended himself as a servant of God through many actions, including fastings and vigils (sleeplessness, watchings).
II Cor. 11:27 – Paul again lists his physical hardships for Christ, including hunger and thirst and being without food.
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