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Fast (157 Occurrences)

Matthew 6:16 "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. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 6:17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 6:18 so that you are not seen by men to be fasting, but by your Father who is in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 9:14 Then John's disciples came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 9:15 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. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. (KJV WBS)

Mark 2:18 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?" (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Mark 2:19 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. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Mark 2:20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then will they fast in that day. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Mark 4:37 But a heavy squall came on, and the waves were now dashing into the boat, so that it was fast filling. (WEY)

Mark 7:8 "You neglect God's Commandment: you hold fast to men's traditions." (WEY ASV RSV)

Luke 5:33 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?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 5:34 He said to them, "Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast, while the bridegroom is with them? (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 5:35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast in those days." (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 8:15 But as for that in the good ground, it means those who, having listened to the Message with open minds and in a right spirit, hold it fast, and patiently yield a return. (WEY ASV NAS RSV)

Luke 16:13 "No servant can be in bondage to two masters. For either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will cling fast to one and scorn the other. You cannot be bondservants both of God and of gold." (WEY)

Luke 18:12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.' (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

John 8:31 Jesus therefore said to those of the Jews who had now believed in Him, "As for you, if you hold fast to my teaching, then you are truly my disciples; (WEY)

John 20:2 So she ran, as fast as she could, to find Simon Peter and the other disciple--the one who was dear to Jesus--and to tell them, "They have taken the Master out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have put Him." (WEY)

John 20:23 If you remit the sins of any persons, they remain remitted to them. If you bind fast the sins of any, they remain bound." (WEY)

John 21:12 Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." None of the disciples dared inquire of him, "Who are you?" knowing that it was the Lord. (Root in WEB WEY ASV NAS RSV NIV)

John 21:15 So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." (Root in WEB WEY ASV NAS RSV)

Acts 2:24 But God has raised Him to life, having terminated the throes of death, for in fact it was not possible for Him to be held fast by death. (WEY)

Acts 13:43 And, when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and of the devout converts from heathenism continued with Paul and Barnabas, who talked to them and urged them to hold fast to the grace of God. (WEY)

Acts 14:22 Everywhere they strengthened the disciples by encouraging them to hold fast to the faith, and warned them saying, "It is through many afflictions that we must make our way into the Kingdom of God." (WEY)

Acts 16:24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. (KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 27:9 When much time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, because the Fast had now already gone by, Paul admonished them, (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 27:41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. (KJV WEY DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)

Romans 11:20 True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Don't be conceited, but fear; (See RSV)

Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. (See RSV)

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I commend you for remembering me in everything, and because you hold fast truths and practices precisely as I have taught them to you. (WEY ASV)

1 Corinthians 15:2 by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. (ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV)

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (KJV ASV DBY WBS)

2 Corinthians 1:24 Not that we have lordship over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for in faith ye stand fast. (ASV)

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (KJV WEY ASV WBS YLT)

Philippians 2:16 holding up the word of life; that I may have something to boast in the day of Christ, that I didn't run in vain nor labor in vain. (See NAS RSV)

Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. (KJV ASV DBY WBS)

Philippians 4:9 The doctrines and the line of conduct which I taught you--both what you heard and what you saw in me-- hold fast to them; and God who gives peace will be with you. (WEY)

Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increasing with the increase of God. (ASV DBY NAS RSV)

1 Thessalonians 3:8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. (WEB KJV WEY ASV WBS YLT RSV)

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT)

1 Timothy 1:19 holding fast to faith and a clear conscience, which some have cast aside and have made shipwreck of their faith. (WEY)

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (KJV WBS)

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (KJV WEY WBS YLT NAS)

Hebrews 3:6 but Christ is faithful as a Son over his house; whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm to the end: (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS)

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Hebrews 10:23 let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; for he who promised is faithful. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

1 Peter 5:12 I send this short letter by Silas, our faithful brother--for such I regard him--in order to encourage you, and to bear witness that what I have told you is the true grace of God. In it stand fast. (WEY ASV RSV NIV)

3 John 1:3 For I rejoiced exceedingly when the brethren came and bore testimony to thy holding fast the truth, even as thou walkest in truth. (DBY)

Revelation 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Revelation 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. (KJV ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (KJV WBS)

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Revelation 7:1 And after this I saw four angels standing upon the four corners of the earth, holding fast the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow upon the earth, nor upon the sea, nor upon any tree. (DBY)

Revelation 12:17 This made the Dragon furiously angry with the woman, and he went elsewhere to make war upon her other children--those who keep God's commandments and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus. (WEY)

Genesis 20:18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife. (KJV JPS ASV DBY NAS)

Genesis 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thy hand. For I will make him a great nation. (See JPS RSV)

Deuteronomy 4:4 But you who did cling to Yahweh your God are all alive this day. (See NAS RSV NIV)

Deuteronomy 10:20 You shall fear Yahweh your God; you shall serve him; and you shall cling to him, and you shall swear by his name. (See NIV)

Deuteronomy 11:22 For if you shall diligently keep all this commandment which I command you, to do it, to love Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave to him; (See NAS NIV)

Deuteronomy 13:4 You shall walk after Yahweh your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cleave to him. (See NIV)

Deuteronomy 30:20 to love Yahweh your God, to obey his voice, and to cleave to him; for he is your life, and the length of your days; that you may dwell in the land which Yahweh swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (See NAS NIV)

Joshua 22:5 Only take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, to love Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commandments, to hold fast to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul." (WEB NAS NIV)

Joshua 23:8 but hold fast to Yahweh your God, as you have done to this day. (WEB NIV)

Joshua 23:12 "But if you do at all go back, and hold fast to the remnant of these nations, even these who remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in to them, and they to you; (WEB)

Judges 4:21 Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. (Root in KJV DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)

Judges 15:13 They spoke to him, saying, "No; but we will bind you fast, and deliver you into their hand; but surely we will not kill you." They bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock. (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS NAS)

Judges 16:11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. (KJV WBS)

Judges 16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house rested, and leaned upon them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left. (See JPS)

Judges 20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came to Bethel, and wept, and sat there before Yahweh, and fasted that day until even; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ruth 2:8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: (KJV JPS ASV WBS)

Ruth 2:21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest. (KJV JPS ASV WBS)

Ruth 2:23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law. (KJV JPS ASV WBS)

1 Samuel 7:6 They gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Yahweh, and fasted on that day, and said there, "We have sinned against Yahweh." Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

1 Samuel 20:38 Jonathan cried after the boy, "Go fast! Hurry! Don't delay!" Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. (WEB)

1 Samuel 31:13 They took their bones, and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Samuel 1:12 They mourned, and wept, and fasted until evening, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of Yahweh, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Samuel 12:16 David therefore begged God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night on the earth. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Samuel 12:21 Then said his servants to him, "What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child was dead, you rose up and ate bread." (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Samuel 12:23 But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Samuel 18:9 Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the sky and earth; and the mule that was under him went on. (See NAS RSV)

1 Kings 11:2 of the nations concerning which Yahweh said to the children of Israel, "You shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods." Solomon joined to these in love. (See NAS NIV)

1 Kings 21:9 She wrote in the letters, saying, "Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

1 Kings 21:12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Kings 6:32 But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master's feet behind him? (KJV JPS ASV WBS YLT RSV)

2 Kings 18:6 For he joined with Yahweh; he didn't depart from following him, but kept his commandments, which Yahweh commanded Moses. (See RSV NIV)

1 Chronicles 10:12 all the valiant men arose, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Chronicles 20:3 Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek to Yahweh; and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ezra 5:8 Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands. (KJV)

Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ezra 8:23 So we fasted and begged our God for this: and he was entreated of us. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Esther 4:16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I and my maidens will also fast the same way. Then I will go in to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Esther 8:10 He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by courier on horseback, riding on royal horses that were bread from swift steeds. (See NIV)

Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. (KJV JPS ASV WBS NAS RSV)

Job 2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still hold fast thine integrity? renounce God, and die. (ASV JPS NAS RSV)

Job 8:15 He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure. (KJV JPS ASV WBS NAS)

Job 16:8 And thou hast laid fast hold on me, 'which' is a witness 'against me': And my leanness riseth up against me, It testifieth to my face. (ASV)


Fast (157 Occurrences)
... The sole fast required by the law of Moses was that of the great Day of Atonement
(qv), Leviticus 23:26-32. It is called "the fast" (Acts 27:9). ...
/f/fast.htm - 49k

Fast-day (1 Occurrence)
Fast-day. << Fast, Fast-day. Fasted >>. Multi-Version Concordance
Fast-day (1 Occurrence). Jeremiah 36:6 therefore go thou ...
/f/fast-day.htm - 6k

Bridegroom (23 Occurrences)
... But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and
then they will fast. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV). ...
/b/bridegroom.htm - 14k

Fasted (20 Occurrences)
... (imp. & pp) of Fast. ... 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. ...
/f/fasted.htm - 12k

Fasts (3 Occurrences)
... fests (mo`edh, "an appointed day" or "an assembling," chagh, from chaghagh, "to
dance" or possibly "to make a pilgrimage"; tsom, "fast," ta`anith, "a day of ...
/f/fasts.htm - 21k

Feasts (45 Occurrences)
... fests (mo`edh, "an appointed day" or "an assembling," chagh, from chaghagh, "to
dance" or possibly "to make a pilgrimage"; tsom, "fast," ta`anith, "a day of ...
/f/feasts.htm - 36k

John's (27 Occurrences)
... Matthew 9:14 Then John's disciples came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees
fast often, but your disciples don't fast?" (WEB WEY NIV). ...
/j/john&#39;s.htm - 13k

Fasting (34 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (p. pr. & vb. n.) of Fast. Int. Standard Bible
Encyclopedia. FAST; FASTING. fast, fast'-ing (tsum; `innah ...
/f/fasting.htm - 23k

Wherefore (448 Occurrences)
... Matthew 9:14 Then come to him do the disciples of John, saying, 'Wherefore do we
and the Pharisees fast much, and thy disciples fast not?' (YLT). ...
/w/wherefore.htm - 34k

Gatherings (9 Occurrences)
... Zechariah 8:19 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the
fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth ...
/g/gatherings.htm - 9k

2722. katecho -- to hold fast, hold back
... to hold fast, hold back. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: katecho Phonetic
Spelling: (kat-ekh'-o) Short Definition: I hold fast, bind, restrain Definition ...
/greek/2722.htm - 7k

3522. nesteuo -- to fast
... to fast. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: nesteuo Phonetic Spelling:
(nace-tyoo'-o) Short Definition: I fast Definition: I fast, abstain from food. ...
/greek/3522.htm - 7k

3521. nesteia -- fasting, a fast
... fasting, a fast. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: nesteia Phonetic
Spelling: (nace-ti'-ah) Short Definition: fasting, the day of atonement ...
/greek/3521.htm - 6k

4741. sterizo -- to make fast, establish
... to make fast, establish. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: sterizo Phonetic
Spelling: (stay-rid'-zo) Short Definition: I fix firmly, strengthen Definition ...
/greek/4741.htm - 7k

4912. sunecho -- to hold together, to hold fast, pass. to be ...
... << 4911, 4912. sunecho. 4913 >>. to hold together, to hold fast, pass. ... Word Origin
from sun and echo Definition to hold together, to hold fast, pass. ...
/greek/4912.htm - 7k

608. apokleio -- to shut fast or completely
... to shut fast or completely. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: apokleio Phonetic
Spelling: (ap-ok-li'-o) Short Definition: I shut Definition: I shut fast ...
/greek/608.htm - 6k

1907. epecho -- to hold fast, to hold toward, to stop
... to hold fast, to hold toward, to stop. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: epecho
Phonetic Spelling: (ep-ekh'-o) Short Definition: I hold forth, pay attention ...
/greek/1907.htm - 7k

2697. kataschesis -- a holding fast
... a holding fast. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: kataschesis Phonetic
Spelling: (kat-as'-khes-is) Short Definition: a possession Definition: a ...
/greek/2697.htm - 6k

4078. pegnumi -- to make fast
... to make fast. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: pegnumi Phonetic Spelling:
(payg'-noo-mee) Short Definition: I pitch a tent Definition: I fasten, pitch a ...
/greek/4078.htm - 6k

2043. ereido -- to prop, to fix firmly
... to prop, to fix firmly. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: ereido Phonetic Spelling:
(er-i'-do) Short Definition: I stick fast Definition: I stick fast, prop ...
/greek/2043.htm - 6k

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

fast, fast'-ing (tsum; `innah nephesh, "afflict soul or self," i.e. practice self-denial; nesteia, nesteuein): It is necessary to get rid of some modern notions associated with fasting before we can form a correct idea of its origin and significance in the ancient world. For instance, in the case of many ailments the dieting of the patient is an essential part of the remedy. But we may readily assume that originally fasting was not based on the salutary influence which it exercised on the health of the subject. Considerations of therapeutics played no part in the institution. The theory that fasting, like many other ancient customs, had a religious origin, is in favor with scholars, but we must not assume a religious origin for all practices which in process of time came to be associated with religion.

Many customs, purely secular in their origin, have gradually obtained a religious significance, just as purely religious customs have been dissociated from religion. It is also possible and, in the light of some usages, probable, that different motives operated in the association of fasting, as of some other customs, with religion. Scholars have been too ready to assume that the original significance of fasting was the same in all countries and among all nations. Robertson Smith in his Religion of the Semites advanced and defended theory that fasting was merely a mode of preparation for the tribal meal in which sacrifice originated, and came to be considered at a later stage as part of the sacrificial act. This hypothesis apparently accounts for the otherwise strange fact that both fasting and feasting are religious acts, but it does not give a satisfactory explanation of the constant association of fasting with the "wearing of sackcloth," the "putting of ashes on the head," and other similar customs. It is obvious that very different motives operated in the institution of fasting and of feasting religious observances.

It is a matter of common observation and experience that great distress causes loss of appetite and therefore occasions abstinence from food. Hannah, who was greatly distressed on account of her childlessness, "wept, and did not eat" (1 Samuel 1:7). Violent anger produces the same effect (1 Samuel 20:34). According to 1 Kings 21:4, Ahab, "heavy and displeased" on account of Naboth's refusal to part with his estate, sulked and "would eat no bread." Fasting, originally the natural expression of grief, became the customary mode of proving to others the inner emotion of sorrow. David demonstrated his grief at Abner's death (2 Samuel 3:35) by fasting, just as the Psalmist indicated his sympathy with his adversaries' sorry plight in the same way (Psalm 35:13). In such passages as Ezra 10:6 Esther 4:3, it is not clear whether fasting is used in its religious significance or simply as a natural expression of sorrow (compare also Luke 5:33 and see below). This view explains the association of fasting with the mourning customs of antiquity (compare 1 Samuel 31:13 2 Samuel 1:12). As fasting was a perfectly natural and human expression and evidence of the subject's grief, it readily claimed a place among those religious customs whose main object was the pacification of the anger of God, or the excital of His compassion. Any and every act that would manifest the distressful state of the suppliant would appeal to the Deity and move Him to pity. The interesting incident recorded in 2 Samuel 12:16-23 suggests the twofold significance of fasting as a religious act or a mode of appealing to the Deity and as a funeral custom. David defends his fasting before and not after the child's death on the ground that while the child was alive David's prayer might be answered. His fasting was intended to make his petition effectual (compare also 1 Kings 21:27 Ezra 8:21 Esther 4:16). Occasionally fasting was proclaimed on a national scale, e.g. in case of war (Judges 20:26 2 Chronicles 20:3) or of pestilence (Joel 1:13 f). Fasting having thus become a recognized mode of seeking Divine favor and protection, it was natural that it should be associated with confession of sin, as indisputable evidence of penitence or sorrow for sin.

Fasting might be partial, i.e. abstinence from certain kinds of food, or total, i.e. abstinence from all food as well as from washing, anointing, sleeping. It might be of shorter or longer duration, e.g. for one day, from sunrise to sunset (Judges 20:26 1 Samuel 14:24 2 Samuel 1:12; 2 Samuel 3:35). In 1 Samuel 31:13 allusion is made to a seven days' fast, while Daniel abstained from "pleasant bread," flesh, wine and anointing for three weeks (Daniel 10:3). Moses (Exodus 34:28) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:8) fasted for 40 days. It is probable that these last three references presuppose a totally different conception of the significance of fasting. It is obvious that dreams made a deep impression on primitive man. They were communications from the departed members of the family. At a later stage they were looked upon as revelations from God. During sleep there is total abstinence from food. It was easy to draw the inference that fasting might fit the person to receive these communications from the world of spirits (Daniel 10:2). The close connection between fasting and insight-intellectual and spiritual-between simple living and high thinking is universally recognized.



Nowack, Hebadische Archaologie; Benzinger, Hebadische Archaologie; Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites.

T. Lewis

Easton's Bible Dictionary
The sole fast required by the law of Moses was that of the great Day of Atonement (q.v.), Leviticus 23:26-32. It is called "the fast" (Acts 27:9).

The only other mention of a periodical fast in the Old Testament is in Zechariah 7:1-7; 8:19, from which it appears that during their captivity the Jews observed four annual fasts.

(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 Exodus 32:19. (Comp. Jeremiah 52:6, 7.)

(2.) The fast of the fifth month, kept on the ninth of Ab (Comp. Numbers 14:27), to commemorate the burning of the city and temple (Jeremiah 52:12, 13).

(3.) The fast of the seventh month, kept on the third of Tisri (Comp. 2 Kings 25), the anniversary of the murder of Gedaliah (Jeremiah 41:1, 2).

(4.) The fast of the tenth month (Comp. Jeremiah 52:4; Ezek. 33:21; 2 Kings 25:1), to commemorate the beginning of the siege of the holy city by Nebuchadnezzar.

There was in addition to these the fast appointed by Esther (4:16).

Public national fasts on account of sin or to supplicate divine favour were sometimes held.

(1.) 1 Samuel 7:6;

(2.) 2 Chronicles 20:3;

(3.) Jeremiah 36:6-10;

(4.) Nehemiah 9:1.

There were also local fasts.

(1.) Judges 20:26;

(2.) 2 Samuel 1:12;

(3.) 1 Samuel 31:13;

(4.) 1 Kings 21:9-12;

(5.) Ezra 8:21-23:

(6.) Jonah 3:5-9.

There are many instances of private occasional fasting (1 Samuel 1:7: 20:34; 2 Samuel 3:35; 12:16; 1 Kings 21:27; Ezra 10:6; Nehemiah 1:4; Dan. 10:2, 3). Moses fasted forty days (Exodus 24:18; 34:28), and so also did Elijah (1 Kings 19:8). Our Lord fasted forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2).

In the lapse of time the practice of fasting was lamentably abused (Isaiah 58:4; Jeremiah 14:12; Zechariah 7:5). Our Lord rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocritical pretences in fasting (Matthew 6:16). He himself appointed no fast. The early Christians, however, observed the ordinary fasts according to the law of their fathers (Acts 13:3; 14:23; 2 Corinthians 6:5).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (v. i.) To abstain from food; to omit to take nourishment in whole or in part; to go hungry.

2. (v. i.) To practice abstinence as a religious exercise or duty; to abstain from food voluntarily for a time, for the mortification of the body or appetites, or as a token of grief, or humiliation and penitence.

3. (v. i.) Abstinence from food; omission to take nourishment.

4. (v. i.) Voluntary abstinence from food, for a space of time, as a spiritual discipline, or as a token of religious humiliation.

5. (n.) A time of fasting, whether a day, week, or longer time; a period of abstinence from food or certain kinds of food; as, an annual fast.

6. (v.) Firmly fixed; closely adhering; made firm; not loose, unstable, or easily moved; immovable; as, to make fast the door.

7. (v.) Firm against attack; fortified by nature or art; impregnable; strong.

8. (v.) Firm in adherence; steadfast; not easily separated or alienated; faithful; as, a fast friend.

9. (v.) Permanent; not liable to fade by exposure to air or by washing; durable; lasting; as, fast colors.

10. (v.) Tenacious; retentive.

11. (v.) Not easily disturbed or broken; deep; sound.

12. (v.) Moving rapidly; quick in motion; rapid; swift; as, a fast horse.

13. (v.) Given to pleasure seeking; disregardful of restraint; reckless; wild; dissipated; dissolute; as, a fast man; a fast liver.

14. (a.) In a fast, fixed, or firmly established manner; fixedly; firmly; immovably.

15. (a.) In a fast or rapid manner; quickly; swiftly; extravagantly; wildly; as, to run fast; to live fast.

16. (n.) That which fastens or holds; especially, (Naut.) a mooring rope, hawser, or chain; -- called, according to its position, a bow, head, quarter, breast, or stern fast; also, a post on a pier around which hawsers are passed in mooring.

17. (n.) The shaft of a column, or trunk of pilaster.

Strong's Hebrew
6684. tsum -- to abstain from food, fast
... << 6683, 6684. tsum. 6685 >>. to abstain from food, fast. Transliteration: tsum
Phonetic Spelling: (tsoom) Short Definition: fasted. Word Origin a prim. ... fast. ...
/hebrew/6684.htm - 6k

6685. tsom -- fasting, a fast
... << 6684, 6685. tsom. 6686 >>. fasting, a fast. Transliteration: tsom Phonetic
Spelling: (tsome) Short Definition: fast. Word Origin from ...
/hebrew/6685.htm - 6k

1692. dabaq -- to cling, cleave, keep close
... 4), cling (14), clings (3), closely pursued (1), closer (1), clung (4), deeply
attracted (1), fasten its grip (1), follow closely (1), held fast (1), hold (2 ...
/hebrew/1692.htm - 6k

2388. chazaq -- to be or grow firm or strong, strengthen
... 1), became powerful (1), became strong (2), became...strong (1), been arrogant
(1), captured (1), carried out repairs (12), caught (1), caught fast (1), caught ...
/hebrew/2388.htm - 8k

8551. tamak -- to grasp, support, attain
... root Definition to grasp, support, attain NASB Word Usage attain (1), attains (1),
grasp (1), grasped (1), held (1), held fast (1), hold (1), hold her fast (1 ...
/hebrew/8551.htm - 6k

6113. atsar -- to restrain, retain
... root Definition to restrain, retain NASB Word Usage able* (2), bond (5), checked
(3), closed fast (1), confined (3), could (1), detain (2), detained (1), held ...
/hebrew/6113.htm - 6k

631. asar -- to tie, bind, imprison
... root Definition to tie, bind, imprison NASB Word Usage began (1), begin (1), bind
(8), bind me tightly (1), bind you fast (1), binds (3), bound (28 ...
/hebrew/631.htm - 6k

3332. yatsaq -- to pour, cast, flow
... cast, cleave fast, be as firm, grow, be hard, lay out, molten, overflow,.
A primitive root; properly, to pour out (transitive or ...
/hebrew/3332.htm - 6k

629. osparna -- thoroughly, with (all) diligence
... fast, forthwith, speedily. (Aramaic) of Persian derivation; diligently -- fast,
forthwith, speed(-ily). << 628, 629. osparna. 630 >>. Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/629.htm - 6k

3320. yatsab -- to set or station oneself, take one's stand
... present selves, remaining, resort, set selves, be able to, can, with stand
fast, forth,. A primitive root; to place (any thing so ...
/hebrew/3320.htm - 6k



Related Terms

Fast-day (1 Occurrence)

Bridegroom (23 Occurrences)

Fasted (20 Occurrences)

Fasts (3 Occurrences)

Feasts (45 Occurrences)

John's (27 Occurrences)

Fasting (34 Occurrences)

Wherefore (448 Occurrences)

Gatherings (9 Occurrences)

Guests (43 Occurrences)

Memorial (54 Occurrences)

Memory (181 Occurrences)

Bridechamber (3 Occurrences)

Bride-chamber (3 Occurrences)

Attendants (30 Occurrences)

Cling (35 Occurrences)

Maids (28 Occurrences)

Often (74 Occurrences)

Wedding (24 Occurrences)

Fastness (1 Occurrence)

Apace (5 Occurrences)

Appear (111 Occurrences)

Abstinence (2 Occurrences)

Holdeth (21 Occurrences)

Fastened (43 Occurrences)

Holding (62 Occurrences)

Bind (68 Occurrences)

Seasons (43 Occurrences)

Verily (146 Occurrences)

Noticed (19 Occurrences)

Neglect (19 Occurrences)

Occupied (32 Occurrences)

Oft (18 Occurrences)

Lent (9 Occurrences)

Lock (6 Occurrences)

Groomsmen (1 Occurrence)

Grip (32 Occurrences)

Warned (63 Occurrences)

Whenever (123 Occurrences)

Feareth (36 Occurrences)

Fist (7 Occurrences)

Forepart (6 Occurrences)

Friends (152 Occurrences)

Fists (6 Occurrences)

Retain (24 Occurrences)

Encouraging (12 Occurrences)

Deep (237 Occurrences)

Debate (13 Occurrences)

Maidens (40 Occurrences)

Profession (9 Occurrences)

Profaning (10 Occurrences)

Prominent (13 Occurrences)

Profess (9 Occurrences)

Bulrush (3 Occurrences)

Can't (180 Occurrences)

Countenance (67 Occurrences)

Afflicting (8 Occurrences)

Ahava (3 Occurrences)

Susa (20 Occurrences)

Span (14 Occurrences)

Sleep (136 Occurrences)

Striking (25 Occurrences)

Party (47 Occurrences)

Afflict (55 Occurrences)

Encourage (34 Occurrences)

Joyful (83 Occurrences)

Contention (24 Occurrences)

Desirable (49 Occurrences)

Rejoicing (90 Occurrences)

Holds (67 Occurrences)

Asleep (50 Occurrences)

Sackcloth (47 Occurrences)

Naboth (18 Occurrences)

Saying (2162 Occurrences)

Restraint (34 Occurrences)

Disciples (277 Occurrences)

Perished (76 Occurrences)

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