What is the Daniel fast? The Daniel fast, have you heard of it before? A colleague was talking about it the other day. I said to myself, how did it all start?

TowerofBabylon The book of Daniel opens with Daniel being a young man of noble birth, handsome, intelligent what we would term an alpha male but he was a captive in the land of Babylon. He was among a selection of young people that were chosen to be trained in the law of Babylon, his captive country. Firstly Babylon changed their names after the idols of Babylon. This training was going to be three years long and it would include them eating at the king’s table.

One could well think they are getting an education and they were getting their meals included. This may have sounded good, to have one’s schooling and feeding paid for. At the end of the three years, there would not be any student loans to pay off.

Daniel had some reservation about this good deal. There seems to be a catch in the deal, being Jewish. Daniel knew the Jewish dietary laws would not be obeyed in Babylon’s kitchen.

Would Daniel embrace this education in its totality and transgress the laws of his God? After all, he was in captivity and he wasn’t responsible for deciding what would be served at the king’s table.


The Jewish dietary law contains the type of food the Jewish people were allowed to eat or not eat. (Leviticus 11) The king’s table would definitely have the do not eat items. In order to remain faithful to the laws of God, Daniel declared a three-year vegetable fast.
Fruit and vegetables

Daniel would rather have only vegetables for 1095 days than break the laws of God


This fast meant that for three years, Daniel and his friend would only eat vegetables. He then went ahead and proposed their fast to Ashpenaz, the person in-charge of these young trainees.

Daniel and his mates remained faithfully to God’s law in the land of their captivity. Their spirit and devotion to God were not in captive. Though young, they demonstrated so strong a strength of character. They would rather honour God than go with the flow of Babylon.


God rewarded these young men’s faithfulness and honour, so even before the three years period was over, the young Jewish men, their contemporaries and their trainers saw the difference.

Some of their rewards were;

  • Favour and compassion
  • Knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature
  • Understanding of vision and dreams
  • Excellent above all their classmates (They were ten times better than their contemporaries)

Faithful_thumbThese rewards were not based on the vegetable diets they had for three years. If that was the case, then all vegetarians would be better and smarter than non-vegetarians. The rewards these young uncompromising Jewish men enjoyed were based on honouring God and remaining faithful when the circumstances were not complimentary.

As we would be rounding up the time of lent this year, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, let us like Daniel and his friends remain faithful to God and honour God in our actions.

The Daniel fast is about honouring God

The book of Daniel Chapter 1