There are six different types of fasts in the
1. Normal - abstaining from food.
Example: Jesus “ate nothing during those days, and at the
end of them was hungry” (Luke 4:2).
2. Absolute - abstaining from food and water;
normally no more than 3 days.
Examples: For three days Paul was blind, and did not eat or drink
anything” (Acts 9:9), Moses (Deut. 9:9),
Israel (Ezra 10:6), Israel (Esther 4:16).
3. Partial - restricting diet of certain foods
or a meal a day.
Examples: Daniel “so the guard took away their choice food
and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead”
(Daniel 1:16), (Daniel 10:3).
4. Regular - fast days that commemorate an
event or weekly fasts on a regular day.
Examples: Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:27; Ps. 35:13; Is. 58:5),
a fast day (Jer. 36:6); four separate festivals (Zech
8:19); twice a week (Luke 18:11-12).
5. Public - fasts called to times of special
need and emergency. Almost all regular fasts were public fasts,
but all public fasts are not necessarily regular ones.
Examples: King Jehoshaphat when Judah was invaded (2 Chron.
20:1-4), Ezra returning the exiles (Ezra 8:21-23)
Ninevah, as a result of Jonah’s preaching (Jonah 3:5,10).
6. Involuntary -no desire for food because of
anxiety, sorrow, or mental distress (Dan. 6:18), and
where a person finds themselves in a situation where no food is available
(Matt. 15:32; 2 Cor. 6:5, 11:27)