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Life in Biblical Times

Copyright � 2001


Serve foods of the Bible at snack time or a class picnic to help the children understand when, where, how, and what the people of the Bible ate and drank.

When they ate:

The two main meals were at noon (Genesis 43:16) and in the evening (John 13:2).

Where they ate:

Sitting on the ground.  An animal skin or piece of leather was used to cover the ground.  The food was placed in the middle of the skin or piece of leather.

Sitting or reclining at a table (John 12:2).

Reclining on a couch (Esther 7:8).

How they ate:

The Bible does not say whether people used knives, forks, or spoons when eating a meal.  It does refer to eating bread which had been dipped into the food (John 13:26).  It is likely that everyone at the meal dipped their bread into a common pot which held the stew, beans, soup, etc.

What they ate and drank:

Barley (Ruth 1:22) Cucumbers (Num. 11:5) Pistachio nuts (Gen. 43:11)
Flax (Ex. 9:31) Melons (Num. 11:5) Almonds (Gen. 43:11)
Millet (Ezek. 4:9) Leeks (Num. 11:5) Mint (Matt. 23:23)
Spelt (Ezek. 4:9) Onions (Num. 11:5) Dill (Matt. 23:23)
Wheat (Gen. 30:14) Garlic (Num. 11:5) Cummin (Matt. 23:23)
Wheat bread (Ex. 29:2) Beans (2 Sam. 17:28) Sweet cane (Jer. 6:20)
Barley bread (2 Kings 4:42) Lentils (2 Sam. 17:28) Cinnamon (Ex. 30:23)
Millet bread (Ezek. 4:9) Bitter herbs (Ex. 12:8) Grapes (Deut. 23:24)
Spelt bread (Ezek. 4:9) Wine (Gen 9:21) Grape juice (Num. 6:3)
Unleavened bread (Gen. 19:3) Vinegar (Ruth 2:14) Raisins (1 Sam. 30:12)
Leavened bread (Matt. 16:12) Olive oil (Ez. 16:19) Figs (1 Sam. 30:12)
Pomegranates (Num. 20:5) Apples (Song of Songs 2:5) Dates (2 Sam. 6:19)
Lamb (Ex. 12:4) Ox (Deut. 14:4) Goat (Deut. 14:4)
Deer (Deut. 14:5) Gazelle (Deut. 14:5) Ibex (Deut. 14:5)
Antelope (Deut. 14:5) Roe Deer (Deut. 14:5) Wild Goat (Deut. 14:5)
Mountain sheep (Deut. 14:5) Fish (Num. 11:5) Locusts (Matt. 3:4)
Honey (Matt. 3:4) Partridge (1 Sam. 26:20) Quail (Num. 11:31)
Cricket (Lev. 11:22) Grasshopper (Lev. 11:22) Chicken (Matt. 23:37)
Milk (Gen. 18:8) Curds (Gen. 18:8) Cheese (2 Sam. 17:29)
Eggs (Job 6:6) Salt (Job 6:6) Coriander seeds (Ex. 16:31)
Mustard (Matt. 13:31) Manna (Ex. 16:31) Water (Ex. 17:6)

Suggested Reference Materials (if you want more information):

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.  Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan Publishing House, 1975-1976.

Nelson's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts.  J. I. Packer, M. C. Tenney, W. White, Jr., editors.  Nashville:  Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995.