Abstinence as a discipline
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Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'You shall eat no fat, of bull, or sheep, or goat. The fat of that which dies of itself, and the fat of that which is torn of animals, may be used for any other service, but you shall in no way eat of it. read more.
For whoever eats the fat of the animal, of which men offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, even the soul who eats it shall be cut off from his people. You shall not eat any blood, whether it is of bird or of animal, in any of your dwellings. Whoever it is who eats any blood, that soul shall be cut off from his people.'"
You are the children of Yahweh your God: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God, and Yahweh has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth. You shall not eat any abominable thing. read more.
These are the animals which you may eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, the hart, and the gazelle, and the roebuck, and the wild goat, and the ibex, and the antelope, and the chamois. Every animal that parts the hoof, and has the hoof cloven in two, [and] chews the cud, among the animals, that may you eat. Nevertheless these you shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of those who have the hoof cloven: the camel, and the hare, and the rabbit; because they chew the cud but don't part the hoof, they are unclean to you. The pig, because it has a split hoof but doesn't chew the cud, is unclean to you: of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales may you eat; and whatever doesn't have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean to you. Of all clean birds you may eat. But these are they of which you shall not eat: the eagle, and the vulture, and the osprey, and the red kite, and the falcon, and the kite after its kind, and every raven after its kind, and the ostrich, and the owl, and the seagull, and the hawk after its kind, the little owl, and the great owl, and the horned owl, and the pelican, and the vulture, and the cormorant, and the stork, and the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat. All winged creeping things are unclean to you: they shall not be eaten. You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself: you may give it to the foreigner living among you who is within your gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner: for you are a holy people to Yahweh your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
Now on the next day as they were on their journey, and got close to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray at about noon. He became hungry and desired to eat, but while they were preparing, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and a certain container descending to him, like a great sheet let down by four corners on the earth, read more.
in which were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the sky. A voice came to him, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat!" But Peter said, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean."
Moses went down from the mountain to the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
"It shall be a statute to you forever: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and shall do no kind of work, the native-born, or the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you: for on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before Yahweh. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls; it is a statute forever.
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them: 'When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to Yahweh, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of fermented drink, neither shall he drink any juice of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried. read more.
All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins.
Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.'"
"'On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; and you shall afflict your souls: you shall do no kind of work;
Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the room of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib: and [when] he came there, he ate no bread, nor drank water; for he mourned because of the trespass of them of the captivity.
They said to me, "The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire." It happened, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven,
Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they served the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Separate Barnabas and Saul for me, for the work to which I have called them."
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. He ate nothing in those days. Afterward, when they were completed, he was hungry.
Then John's disciples came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?" Jesus said to them, "Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, and they came and asked him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?" Jesus said to them, "Can the groomsmen fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they can't fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then will they fast in that day.
They said to him, "Why do John's disciples often fast and pray, likewise also the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink?" He said to them, "Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast in those days."
There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn't depart from the temple, worshipping with fastings and petitions night and day.
He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn't eat, to the Lord he doesn't eat, and gives God thanks.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, "Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
He said to all, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
Let us walk properly, as in the day; not in reveling and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and lustful acts, and not in strife and jealousy.
"Therefore my judgment is that we don't trouble those from among the Gentiles who turn to God, but that we write to them that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.
It is good to not eat meat, drink wine, nor do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak.
"Moreover when you fast, don't be like the hypocrites, with sad faces. For they disfigure their faces, that they may be seen by men to be fasting. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward.
Why have we fasted,' [say they], 'and you don't see? [why] have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge?' "Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you don't fast this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh? read more.
"Isn't this the fast that I have chosen: to release the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Isn't it to distribute your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Thus says Yahweh to this people, Even so have they loved to wander; they have not refrained their feet: therefore Yahweh does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. Yahweh said to me, Don't pray for this people for [their] good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and meal offering, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.
The people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech, and their men, to entreat Yahweh's favor, and to speak to the priests of the house of Yahweh of Armies, and to the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?" Then the word of Yahweh of Armies came to me, saying, read more.
"Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month for these seventy years, did you at all fast to me, really to me? When you eat, and when you drink, don't you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?
The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.'