(1.) The fast of the fourth month, kept on the seventeenth day of Tammuz, the anniversary of the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; to commemorate also the incident recorded Ex 32:19. (Comp. Jer 52:6-7.)
There was in addition to these the fast appointed by Esther (Es 4:16).
There are many instances of private occasional fasting (1Sa 1:1; 20:34; 2Sa 3:35; 12:16; 1Ki 21:27; Ezr 10:6; Ne 1:4; Da 10:2-3). Moses fasted forty days (Ex 24:18; 34:28), and so also did Elijah (1Ki 19:8). Our Lord fasted forty days in the wilderness (Mt 4:2).
In the lapse of time the practice of fasting was lamentably abused (Isa 58:4; Jer 14:12; Zec 7:5). Our Lord rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocritical pretences in fasting (Mt 6:16). He himself appointed no fast. The early Christians, however, observed the ordinary fasts according to the law of their fathers (Ac 13:3; 14:23; 2Co 6:5).
Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses' anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain.
So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. read more. "You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. "If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. "As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. "You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. "It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath."
"How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me.
Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel and wept; thus they remained there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening. And they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
They gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day and said there, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah.
Then Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, for he was grieved over David because his father had dishonored him.
They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan and for the people of the LORD and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
Now she wrote in the letters, saying, "Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, 'You cursed God and the king ' Then take him out and stone him to death." read more. So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people.
Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, "The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him." read more. So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty.
Then Ezra rose from before the house of God and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib Although he went there, he did not eat bread nor drink water, for he was mourning over the unfaithfulness of the exiles.
When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel assembled with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt upon them.
"Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish."
"Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
"When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence."
"So you go and read from the scroll which you have written at my dictation the words of the LORD to the people in the LORD'S house on a fast day. And also you shall read them to all the people of Judah who come from their cities. "Perhaps their supplication will come before the LORD, and everyone will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and the wrath that the LORD has pronounced against this people." read more. Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading from the book the words of the LORD in the LORD'S house. Now in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the LORD. Then Baruch read from the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court, at the entry of the New Gate of the LORD'S house, to all the people.
In the seventh month Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal family and one of the chief officers of the king, along with ten men, came to Mizpah to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam While they were eating bread together there in Mizpah, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him arose and struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword and put to death the one whom the king of Babylon had appointed over the land.
Now it came about in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, camped against it and built a siege wall all around it.
On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled and went forth from the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls which was by the king's garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah.
Now on the tenth day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who was in the service of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the LORD, the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every large house he burned with fire.
Now in the twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth of the tenth month, the refugees from Jerusalem came to me, saying, "The city has been taken."
In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed.
Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. read more. He issued a proclamation and it said, "In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. "But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. "Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish."
In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the town of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech and their men to seek the favor of the LORD, read more. speaking to the priests who belong to the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, "Shall I weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many years?" Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, "Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted?
"Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? 'When you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves? read more. 'Are not these the words which the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous along with its cities around it, and the Negev and the foothills were inhabited?'"
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.'
And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
"Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.