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27 Bible Verses about Fasting, Reasons For
Most Relevant Verses
When all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, All the brave men arose, took away the bodies of Saul and his sons, brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh; then they fasted seven days.
When the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, All the valiant men arose and went all night, and they took the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth-shan and came to Jabesh and cremated them there. And they took their bones and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
Then David grasped his own clothes and tore them; so did all the men with him. They mourned and wept for Saul and Jonathan his son, and fasted until evening for the Lord's people and the house of Israel, because of their defeat in battle.
And David said to Joab and to all the people with him, Rend your clothes, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And King David followed the bier. They buried Abner in Hebron. And the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. And the king lamented over Abner and said, Should Abner die as a fool dies?read more.
Your hands were not bound or your feet put into fetters; as a man falls before wicked men, so you fell. And all the people wept again over him. All the people came to urge David to eat food while it was yet day; but David took an oath, saying, May God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else, till the sun is down.
So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food that second day of the month, for he grieved for David because his father had disgraced him.
And Ahab [already depressed by the Lord's message to him] came into his house [more] resentful and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers. And he lay down on his bed, turned away his face, and would eat no food. But Jezebel his wife came and said to him, Why is your spirit so troubled that you eat no food? And he said to her, Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, Give me your vineyard for money; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard for it. And he answered, I will not give you my vineyard.
Then the king went to his palace and passed the night fasting, neither were instruments of music or dancing girls brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.
Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you. So they gathered at 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 Israelites at Mizpah.
Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month, the Israelites were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth and with earth upon their heads. And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day, and for another fourth of it they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.
And I set my face to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes; And I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, Who keeps covenant, mercy, and loving-kindness with those who love Him and keep His commandments, We have sinned and dealt perversely and done wickedly and have rebelled, turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.read more.
Neither have we listened to and heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; wail, you ministers of the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth, you ministers of my [Joel's] God, for the cereal or meal offering and the drink offering are withheld from the house of your God. Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land in the house of the Lord, your God, and cry to the Lord [in penitent pleadings].
Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored]. Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met]. Who knows but what He will turn, revoke your sentence [of evil], and leave a blessing behind Him [giving you the means with which to serve Him], even a cereal or meal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?read more.
Blow the trumpet in Zion; set apart a fast [a day of restraint and humility]; call a solemn assembly.
So the people of Nineveh believed in God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth [in penitent mourning], from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came to the king of Nineveh [of all that had happened to Jonah, and his terrifying message from God], and he arose from his throne and he laid his robe aside, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh, By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed nor drink water.read more.
But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and let them cry mightily to God. Yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell, God may turn and revoke His sentence against us [when we have met His terms], and turn away from His fierce anger so that we perish not.
Then Nathan departed to his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's widow bore to David, and he was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted and went in and lay all night [repeatedly] on the floor. His older house servants arose [in the night] and went to him to raise him up from the floor, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.
It was told Jehoshaphat, A great multitude has come against you from beyond the [Dead] Sea, from Edom; and behold they are in Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi. Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a fast in all Judah. And Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord [yearning for Him with all their desire].
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a straight and right way for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.
But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting, and I prayed with head bowed on my breast. I behaved as if grieving for my friend or my brother; I bowed down in sorrow, as one who bewails his mother.
Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up and came to the house of God [Bethel] and wept; and they sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And the Israelites inquired of the Lord -- "for the ark of the covenant of God was there [at Bethel] in those days, And Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days -- "saying, Shall we yet again go out to battle against our brethren the Benjamites or shall we quit? And the Lord said, Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.
When I went up the mountain to receive the tables of stone, the tables of the covenant which the Lord made with you, I remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I neither ate food nor drank water.
In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, of the offspring of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans -- " In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass by before the desolations [which had been] pronounced on Jerusalem should end; and it was seventy years. And I set my face to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes;
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was called Belteshazzar. And the word was true and it referred to great tribulation (conflict and wretchedness). And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three whole weeks.
Now in the church (assembly) at Antioch there were prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God) and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger [Black], Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate now for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then after fasting and praying, they put their hands on them and sent them away.
Now when daylight came, the Jews formed a plot and bound themselves by an oath and under a curse neither to eat nor drink till they had done away with Paul. There were more than forty [men of them], who formed this conspiracy [swearing together this oath and curse].
- Reasons (20 instances)