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Did Moses really fast for 81 days?

I have an immense skill in avoiding the practical challenges of whatever Bible passage I am studying and getting distracted by incidental apologetic detail. What a wretched man I am! But I think you could be forgiven for falling into that trap when you read about Moses fasting during the long process of receiving the Ten Commandments on Sinai.

The ENd word Jeremy McQuoid
Figure Image
image: iStock

Deuteronomy 9 records that Moses stayed on top of Sinai for 40 days and nights and he claims: ‘I neither ate bread nor drank water’ (Deut. 9:9). That reminded me of an article I read about Jesus having to build up to fasting for 40 days and nights. It is such an arduous task to fast for that long that he would have required regular fasting on the build up. You cannot simply decide to fast for 40 days and nights from scratch. Dizziness, headaches and all kinds of mental struggles would kick in early in the process, unless you trained yourself in advance.