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nuclearfuels

MAtthew 4; Luke 4-5 : 40 actual days? Simon and Andrew's fishing business?

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It's been too long since I taught Seminary so I coudl use some help with:

1. Was it 40 days the Savior fasted? I remember reading this might be a phrase used to express a long time but perhaps not literally fasting for 40 24-hour days

2. What was the size of Simon Peter and Andrew's fishing business?  I vaguely remember reading in some study guide it wasn't a failing business and they may have had staff who helped them.

Trying to explain on Sunday to young children how hard it is to run your own business, and how you have to resort not to Plan B but more like Plan E on multiple high prioirty tasks that were due last week

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Typically it was not a total fast - i.e. 40 days without any food - but 40 days of only one meal such as you find during Ramadan. 

For fishing this link is helpful. Doesn't necessarily tell about their particular business but the more general case.

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I've read that the number "40" was used symbolically for an unspecified number of days/time... i.e., it rained 40 days and 40 nights... The Israelites under Moses wander in the wilderness for 40 years... Jesus was tempted of the devil 40 days, etc etc

GG

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9 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

1. Was it 40 days the Savior fasted? I remember reading this might be a phrase used to express a long time but perhaps not literally fasting for 40 24-hour days

 Sometimes when the scriptures say forty it means forty, but most of the time Bible scholars believe it is used as a nice round number that was symbolically assigned to give a value that represented "many" or "some", but it's not always easy to tell which is which. In the Bible, next to the number seven, the number forty occurs most frequently. 

It was the number of days God made it rain. (Genesis 7:4)
It was the number of years Israel ate manna (Exodus 16: 35)
It was the number of days Moses was with God in the mountain (Exodus 34:28)
It was the number of years the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness; (Numbers 14:33)
It was the number of days Christ fasted before beginning His ministry. (Matthew 4:2)
The risen Lord spent forty days with His apostles in Israel (Acts 1:1-3)
and many other places throughout the scriptures.

According to scripture scholars George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl:
"Sometimes the reader will be misled by the numbers of the Bible because he does not know how they originally were used. "Ten" sometimes stands for "several." "Forty," often means "many," "Seven," or "seventy," denote a large and complete number, although uncertain to the speaker." (Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price, George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, 1965)

For whatever reason it appears that it is God Himself who assigned this value(40) to whatever dealings He had with His children. Throughout the Bible the number forty seems to be associated with a period of preparation or trials or purification for the person or persons involved; forty days for an individual man and forty years for a nation. And I guess we could say it took 40 years for the saints of Salt Lake to be prepared and purified for the temple once it was built.

Edited by JAHS

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8 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Typically it was not a total fast - i.e. 40 days without any food - but 40 days of only one meal such as you find during Ramadan. ............................................

Scholars claim that Jewish fasting is typically total abstinence, as reflected in Luke 4:2, although Jesus may have received some sort of heavenly food from the angels (Mk 1:13).  The same  may have applied to Moses, who fasted 40 days on the Mount (Ex 34:28).  John Muddiman has a thorough article on the subject in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, II:773-776.  The modern Jewish fast for the Day of Atonement is a full 24-hours of no food or liquids at all, while at the same time attending to a full liturgy in the synagogue.  I've done it, and it is hard to get up for the final Sabbath Amidah prayer (one does all five  Amidahs "Standing").  One is completely exhausted -- and I did it while still relatively young.

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What is the point of being half God if you cannot go without any food for 40 days.

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1 hour ago, Metis_LDS said:

What is the point of being half God if you cannot go without any food for 40 days.

Christ was fully God :) 

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I follow the traditional Catholic Lenten fast, which is one meal a day. Sundays, as feast days, do not count as part of the 40 days (they actually trump any fast days). We can eat, we can celebrate, and some actually encourage us to do whatever it is we chose to give up.

The LDS practice of fasting on Sundays is at odds with the Catholic practice of Sundays being a celebration of the resurrection. You should fast on Fridays, in commemoration of the crucifixion, and then celebrate on Sundays :)

 

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

I follow the traditional Catholic Lenten fast, which is one meal a day. Sundays, as feast days, do not count as part of the 40 days (they actually trump any fast days). We can eat, we can celebrate, and some actually encourage us to do whatever it is we chose to give up.

The LDS practice of fasting on Sundays is at odds with the Catholic practice of Sundays being a celebration of the resurrection. You should fast on Fridays, in commemoration of the crucifixion, and then celebrate on Sundays :)

 

I seem to remember the pioneers fasted during the week- on Thursdays maybe?  I think it was changed to Sundays for convenience.  Personally, I love the idea of the Sabbath being a time to celebrate.  And Easter should never ever coincide with Fast Sunday.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Scholars claim that Jewish fasting is typically total abstinence, as reflected in Luke 4:2, although Jesus may have received some sort of heavenly food from the angels (Mk 1:13).  The same  may have applied to Moses, who fasted 40 days on the Mount (Ex 34:28).  John Muddiman has a thorough article on the subject in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, II:773-776.  The modern Jewish fast for the Day of Atonement is a full 24-hours of no food or liquids at all, while at the same time attending to a full liturgy in the synagogue.  I've done it, and it is hard to get up for the final Sabbath Amidah prayer (one does all five  Amidahs "Standing").  One is completely exhausted -- and I did it while still relatively young.

I don't think we're saying different things. I'm saying there would have been 40 days of a fast like that. Or 40 fasts but not a 40 day continual fast. So he'd eat at say 8 am a small meal and then nothing until the following day at 8 am. That's how Ramadan is done.  So Moses' fast in preparation to receive the law in Dt 9:9 is likely like that. (And Deuteronomy unlike Exodus, presents three separate 40 day fasts) And as you noted, the parallels between Moses and Jesus are quite intentional and pronounced. Lent originally in the 4th century was also a 40 day fast. Elijah also is frequently interpreted as fasting for 40 days (1 kgs 19:7-8) where the daily meal is miraculous.

I'd just note that if Moses and Jesus were a true 40 day fast with no food and water that'd be extremely miraculous but that part of the narrative is not treated as miraculous, strongly indicating it was a typical ANE fast.

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1 hour ago, Traela said:

And Easter should never ever coincide with Fast Sunday.

I don't think it ever does, does it?  The only time that Easter would ever fall on a Fast Sunday would be when it falls on the first Sunday in April, but the first Sunday in April is always general conference and we never have fast sunday on GC weekend.  It's always either before or after, right?

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1 hour ago, Traela said:

I seem to remember the pioneers fasted during the week- on Thursdays maybe?  I think it was changed to Sundays for convenience.  Personally, I love the idea of the Sabbath being a time to celebrate.  And Easter should never ever coincide with Fast Sunday.

 

 

If timed, Sunday is both Fast and Feast.

Skip the previous night's dinner, then the morning's and then break the fast with the Sacrament and feast after church.

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33 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I don't think we're saying different things. I'm saying there would have been 40 days of a fast like that. Or 40 fasts but not a 40 day continual fast. So he'd eat at say 8 am a small meal and then nothing until the following day at 8 am. That's how Ramadan is done.  So Moses' fast in preparation to receive the law in Dt 9:9 is likely like that. (And Deuteronomy unlike Exodus, presents three separate 40 day fasts) And as you noted, the parallels between Moses and Jesus are quite intentional and pronounced. Lent originally in the 4th century was also a 40 day fast. Elijah also is frequently interpreted as fasting for 40 days (1 kgs 19:7-8) where the daily meal is miraculous.

I'd just note that if Moses and Jesus were a true 40 day fast with no food and water that'd be extremely miraculous but that part of the narrative is not treated as miraculous, strongly indicating it was a typical ANE fast.

Yes, I am familiar with the Ramadan fast.  Been there, seen it first hand.  A Muslim friend even broke his fast to eat with me, due to the rules of hospitality.  His wife prepared us a meal during daylight.

However, I see no reason to assume a Ramadan pattern for either Moses or Jesus, who are clearly engaged in miraculous fasts.

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57 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I don't think it ever does, does it?  The only time that Easter would ever fall on a Fast Sunday would be when it falls on the first Sunday in April, but the first Sunday in April is always general conference and we never have fast sunday on GC weekend.  It's always either before or after, right?

Fast Sunday gets moved to the last Sunday in March or the second Sunday in April, either of which can be Easter Sunday.

 

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26 minutes ago, Traela said:

Fast Sunday gets moved to the last Sunday in March or the second Sunday in April, either of which can be Easter Sunday.

 

I guess I’ve always been in wards that picked the Sunday that wasn’t Easter to move fast Sunday to. 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

The only time that Easter would ever fall on a Fast Sunday would be when it falls on the first Sunday in April, but the first Sunday in April is always general conference and we never have fast sunday on GC weekend.

Outside of the Americas, General Conference is not on the first Sunday in April. We often have Easter coincide with our April Fast Sunday.

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8 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

I follow the traditional Catholic Lenten fast, which is one meal a day. Sundays, as feast days, do not count as part of the 40 days (they actually trump any fast days). We can eat, we can celebrate, and some actually encourage us to do whatever it is we chose to give up.

The LDS practice of fasting on Sundays is at odds with the Catholic practice of Sundays being a celebration of the resurrection. You should fast on Fridays, in commemoration of the crucifixion, and then celebrate on Sundays :)

 

Fasting is a celebration though! At least in Latter-day Saint teachings it is. Fasting and prayer is also called rejoicing and prayer in D&C 59.

I’ve been pondering on this, and whether there’s a metaphysical connection to abstaining from telestial food, whose partaking is posited as one reason for the Fall by some of the older prophets. The sacrament being the exception given its sanctification.

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On 2/9/2019 at 12:52 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

Yes, I am familiar with the Ramadan fast.  Been there, seen it first hand.  A Muslim friend even broke his fast to eat with me, due to the rules of hospitality.  His wife prepared us a meal during daylight.

However, I see no reason to assume a Ramadan pattern for either Moses or Jesus, who are clearly engaged in miraculous fasts.

It's definitely a possible reading. I think the main arguments against it are that the main texts simply don't portray Jesus' fast as miraculous but just something that made him hungry. (Matt 4:1) Mark just mentions it is passing. Luke 4 gives the account most in keeping with your reading. "He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry." (1) But even that can be read either way and is clearly dependent upon Mark. Again though the miracle is the temptations of the devil, not the fasting, at least as portrayed. John doesn't even mention it.

We can of course read it in this miraculous way. And I'm not saying in the least that's an indefensible reading. Indeed one could see it as commenting on Deuteronomy 9. There at the end of the 40 days the people have become corrupt and built an idol. Jesus is temped with idolatry. And Dt 9:9 has Moses saying, "I ate no bread and drank no water." I'm just saying if we read it as fasting during the day and then a small meal at night that's compatible with the text too. 

I confess to me that if the fast is miraculous it actually undermines the significance of the fast. Since what makes the fast so powerful is giving up material things for God. If God is enabling it, then it really isn't the difficult sacrifice portrayed. The alternative is that what counts is the symbolism as repeating Moses's actions in Dt 9 & Ex 34 and the physical effort doesn't matter as much. Certainly both Mark, Matthew and Luke are presupposing that the reader will pick up on Jesus as a second Moses with the inversion of meeting Satan. They're not the only to follow the type settings. Elijah obviously is in imitation of Moses too (1 Kng 19:8). Outside the Bible you find similar typology in Apocalypse of Abraham, 2 Baruch, and the Protovengelium of James. Outside of Judaism it's interesting that there's a somewhat similar account with Pythagoras only he dies of starvation after 40 days. 

Edited by clarkgoble
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On 2/9/2019 at 10:13 AM, MiserereNobis said:

I follow the traditional Catholic Lenten fast, which is one meal a day. Sundays, as feast days, do not count as part of the 40 days (they actually trump any fast days). We can eat, we can celebrate, and some actually encourage us to do whatever it is we chose to give up.

The LDS practice of fasting on Sundays is at odds with the Catholic practice of Sundays being a celebration of the resurrection. You should fast on Fridays, in commemoration of the crucifixion, and then celebrate on Sundays :)

 

It's only 2 meals and then Sunday dinner becomes a mini Ramadan break-the-fast  celebration, so we get both done in 24 hours. Typical LDS efficiency. ;)

 

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On 2/9/2019 at 11:13 AM, MiserereNobis said:

I follow the traditional Catholic Lenten fast, which is one meal a day. Sundays, as feast days, do not count as part of the 40 days (they actually trump any fast days). We can eat, we can celebrate, and some actually encourage us to do whatever it is we chose to give up.

The LDS practice of fasting on Sundays is at odds with the Catholic practice of Sundays being a celebration of the resurrection. You should fast on Fridays, in commemoration of the crucifixion, and then celebrate on Sundays :)

 

Some, especially Eastern Catholics and the Orthodox churches (to this day), fast on Wednesday and Friday, probably the most ancient tradition.  In Orthodoxy and Byzantine Catholicism, Wednesday fasting recalls the betrayal by Judas; Friday, the Crucifixion, as in the Latin Rite. E.g., fasting on these days is prescribed in the Didache.

Edited by Spammer
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16 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

It's definitely a possible reading. I think the main arguments against it are that the main texts simply don't portray Jesus' fast as miraculous but just something that made him hungry. (Matt 4:1) Mark just mentions it is passing. Luke 4 gives the account most in keeping with your reading. "He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry." (1) But even that can be read either way and is clearly dependent upon Mark. Again though the miracle is the temptations of the devil, not the fasting, at least as portrayed. John doesn't even mention it.

We can of course read it in this miraculous way. And I'm not saying in the least that's an indefensible reading. Indeed one could see it as commenting on Deuteronomy 9. There at the end of the 40 days the people have become corrupt and built an idol. Jesus is temped with idolatry. And Dt 9:9 has Moses saying, "I ate no bread and drank no water." I'm just saying if we read it as fasting during the day and then a small meal at night that's compatible with the text too. 

I confess to me that if the fast is miraculous it actually undermines the significance of the fast. Since what makes the fast so powerful is giving up material things for God. If God is enabling it, then it really isn't the difficult sacrifice portrayed. The alternative is that what counts is the symbolism as repeating Moses's actions in Dt 9 & Ex 34 and the physical effort doesn't matter as much. Certainly both Mark, Matthew and Luke are presupposing that the reader will pick up on Jesus as a second Moses with the inversion of meeting Satan. They're not the only to follow the type settings. Elijah obviously is in imitation of Moses too (1 Kng 19:8). Outside the Bible you find similar typology in Apocalypse of Abraham, 2 Baruch, and the Protovengelium of James. Outside of Judaism it's interesting that there's a somewhat similar account with Pythagoras only he dies of starvation after 40 days. 

I don't separate the fast of Jesus from the temptations.  They clearly go together.  Also, the fast is miraculous precisely because it is so difficult.  Like the Atonement, it goes beyond our normal human capacity and demonstrates the love and commitment of Jesus.  None of us could do it.  We do not need to make excuses why Jesus could get through that horrible experience, nor why he was able to resist the temptations of the Devil.  The whole point is his superhuman ability with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.  Us ordinary humans just don't have that depth of commitment.  Any of us would fail.  That is the whole point.  Ramadan is made for human weakness.

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