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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Daniel Fast: Vegan and then some

Daniel refusing meat/wine (O.A. Stemler)
Seeds of the Daniel Fast can be found in Chapters One and Ten of the Book of Daniel (KJV).

Chapter One explains that after Jerusalem was besieged by Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar requested that certain of Israel's children be brought to him.  One of them was Daniel. The king then ordered that they be given "a daily provision" of meat and wine.  Daniel refused to "defile himself" with these provisions and instead requested "pulse to eat, and water to drink." He was allowed to try this alternative diet for a period of ten days.  At the end of this period, Daniel appeared "fairer and fatter in flesh" than those who partook of the meat and wine. 

Chapter Ten reports that Daniel was later in mourning for "three full weeks."  Daniel described this experience as follows:  I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. tells us that today's Daniel Fast is rooted in these biblical passages, as well as in "typical Jewish fasting principles."  Health permitting (medical clearance is encouraged), it consists of only water to drink – plus fruits, whole grains and vegetables (i.e., "pulses") to eat.  Sweeteners, "chemicals," caffeine, alcohol and leavened breads are not within the Daniel Fast parameters.

The Daniel Fast is considered to be a spiritual practice and is often undertaken for 21 days during Lent. When utilized "for strictly health purposes," it is instead called the Daniel Diet.


Copyright February 20, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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