The Fast in the Bible[1]


And the Lord said to Moses, Put all these words in writing; for on them is based the agreement which I will make with you. And for forty days and forty nights Moses was there with the Lord, and in that time he had no food or drink. And he put in writing on the stones the words of the agreement, the ten rules of the law.(Exodus, 34:27-28)


And let this be an order to you for ever: in the seventh month, on the tenth day, you are to keep yourselves from pleasure and do no sort of work, those who are Israelites by birth and those from other lands who are living among you: For on this day your sin will be taken away and you will be clean: you will be made free from all your sins before the Lord. It is a special Sabbath for you, and you are to keep yourselves from pleasure; it is an order for ever. (Leviticus, 16:29-31)


And when you go without food, be not sad-faced as the false-hearted are. For they go about with changed looks, so that men may see that they are going without food. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But when you go without food, put oil on your head and make your face clean; So that no one may see that you are going without food, but your Father in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will give you your reward. (Matthew, 6:16-18)

[1]. The Bible mentions fasts at a number of places, and besides using this word, it has used certain other expressions like “to sadden one’s self” and “self-denial” to connote it.