paintings by L.S.J
Daniel 1:5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.
18 Now at the end of their days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.
When Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had fasted for ten days from ‘the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank’ and thereafter having proven themselves well, they went on that diet for the remaining three years of training. That’s highly commendable for a 3-year fast or abstinence that honored their Judaic faith amidst all that palatial opulence! One secret to Daniel’s sustained success is that his fasting from the ever-present opulence surpassed a season for a daily lifestyle. Having abstained from the king’s delicacies and wine initially for 10 days, and thereafter 3 years, Daniel’s body was tuned to a strict Judaic diet for the rest of his life. As a result of this purpose to honor his God, monumental success graced Daniel’s life. Thus it would be that Daniel served as a revered statesman for four successive monarchies. Daniel made fasting his lifestyle. Among his other fasts was one when the angel Gabriel visited him to reveal the dawn of the Messiah and the apocalyptic age. Yet above all these, Daniel remained humble and wise. ~ L.S.J
Dan 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Ezekiel 28 (NKJV) Proclamation Against the King of Tyre
28 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas,’ yet you are a man, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god 3 (Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you! 4 With your wisdom and your understanding you have gained riches for yourself, and gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; 5 By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches),”
Daniel 1 (NKJV) Daniel and His Friends Obey God
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.
3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”
11 So Daniel said to the steward[a] whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed[b]them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magiciansand astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.
Sexual abstinence (also known as continence) is the practice of refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity for medical, psychological, legal, social, financial, philosophical, moral or religious reasons. Asexuality is distinct from sexual abstinence and celibacy, which are behavioral and generally motivated by factors such as an individual’s personal or religious beliefs. Sexual abstinence before marriage is required in some societies by social norms, or, in some countries, even by laws. There is often a double standard in regard to female and male sexual abstinence.
Sexual abstinence may be voluntary (when an individual chooses not to engage in sexual activity due to moral, religious, philosophical, etc. reasons), a result of social circumstances (when one cannot find sexual partners), or legally mandated (e.g. in countries where sexual activity outside marriage is illegal, in prisons etc.).
The ancient world discouraged promiscuity for both health and social reasons. According to Pythagoras (6th century BCE) sex should be practiced in the winter, but not the summer, but was harmful to male health in every season because the loss of semen was dangerous, hard to control and both physically and spiritually exhausting, but had no effect on females.
This idea may have been merged with Zoroastrian ideas of good and evil in a philosophy known as gnosticism, which influenced Christian and Islamic attitudes to sexual activity.
Throughout history, and especially prior to the 20th century, there have been those who have held that sexual abstinence confers numerous health benefits. For males, lack of abstinence was thought to cause a reduction of vitality. In modern times, the argument has been phrased in biological terms, claiming that loss of semen through ejaculation results in a depletion of vital nutrients such as lecithin and phosphorus, which are also found at high levels in the brain. Conservation of the semen allegedly allows it to be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream and aid in the healthy development of the body. Along these lines, the noted German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche spoke of the positive physiological effects of abstinence: “The reabsorption of semen by the blood … perhaps prompts the stimulus of power, the unrest of all forces towards the overcoming of resistances … The feeling of power has so far mounted highest in abstinent priests and hermits” (quoted by Walter Kaufman in his classic, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, p. 222). Before the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s, it was commonly believed by members of the medical profession that numerous mental and physical diseases in men were caused primarily by loss of nutrients through seminal discharge, and that the deliberate conservation of this substance would lead to increased health, vitality, and intellectual prowess. This also applied to masturbation, which were also thought to lead to bedwetting and hairy palms.
Some advantages in favor of sexual abstinence were also claimed by Walter Siegmeister, better known as Dr. Raymond W. Bernard A.B., M.A., PhD, an early 20th-century American alternative health, esoteric writer, author and mystic, who formed part of the alternative reality subculture. In his essay entitled Science discovers the physiological value of continence (1957) he states:
“[I]t is clear that there is an important internal physiological relation between the secretions of the sex glands and the central nervous system, that the loss of these secretions, voluntarily or involuntarily, exercises a detrimental effect on the nutrition and vitality of the nerves and brain, while, on the other hand, the conservation of these secretions has a vitalizing effect on the nervous system, a regenerating effect on the endocrine glands[,] and a rejuvenating effect on the organism as a whole.”
Historically, there has been a swing from the sexually liberal end of the Industrial Revolution to the chaste values of the early Victorian period. This was then followed by a new puritanism from the late Victorian era to the mid-1900s. This important transformation often colors discussion of sexual behavior in the later 20th century.World War I began a return to sexual freedom and indulgence, but more often than not, the appearance of conforming to the earlier moral values of abstinence before marriage was retained. With the conclusion of World War II, the societal importance of abstinence declined swiftly. The advent of the first oral contraceptive pill and widely available antibiotics suppressed many consequences of wide and free sexual behavior, while social morals were also changing. By the 1970s, abandonment of premarital chastity was no longer taboo in the majority of western societies, and the reverse became true. To have experienced a number of sexual partners before marriage became the new norm. Some cultural groups continued to place a value on the moral purity of an abstainer, but abstinence was caught up in a wider reevaluation of moral values.
During the early 20th century, prominent feminist and birth control advocate Margaret Sanger argued that abstinence from sexual activity led to greater endurance and strength, and was a sign of the best of the species:
“Though sex cells are placed in a part of the anatomy for the essential purpose of easily expelling them into the female for the purpose of reproduction, there are other elements in the sexual fluid which are the essence of blood, nerve, brain, and muscle. When redirected in to the building and strengthening of these, we find men or women of the greatest endurance and greatest magnetic power. A girl can waste her creative powers by brooding over a love affair to the extent of exhausting her system, with the results not unlike the effects of masturbation and debauchery.”