1. Exposition

Where else does fasting occur in the Old Testament?

Ezra 8:21 (ESV)

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.

Fasting is common throughout the Old Testament. David fasts while pleading for the life of his child (2 Samuel 12:16); the inhabitants of Nineveh fast upon hearing news of imminent judgment (Jonah 3:5); Nehemiah fasts upon hearing the bad news concerning the state of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:4); and King Darius fasts while Daniel is in the lions’ den (Daniel 6:18). Fasting appears to gain in prominence after the exile. Before the exile, fasts were only held on special occasions.1