Food plays an important role in the Bible. Along with teaching, healing and casting out demons, providing food was one of the major ministries of Jesus. Interestingly, while fruit and other plants appear numerous times , not much is said about vegetables in the Bible. In this article, you will learn about references in the religious text that mentions two members of the vegetable family.
The absences of references to vegetables should not lessen the significance of the food. Vegetables simply did not emerge within the narratives of the Bible. Because of this, we only see lentils and beans mentioned in the religious text.
In Daniel 1:12, we see Daniel as a captive of the Babylonians. He requests a vegetable and water diet. However, the only vegetable garden in the Bible is associated with the evil king Ahab, which comes from property violently taken from Naboth the Jezreelite. Ahab had plans to seize Naboth’s vineyard and transform it into a vegetable garden. His intentions are fueled by greed and selfishness. He has no agricultural need for the garden, but is simply motivated by his wife Jezebel.
In biblical times, there were a variety of bean types, but it is not definite which kind of bean was mentioned in the following passages:
Ã‚Â· “When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Makir son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim brought bedding and bowls and articles of pottery. They also brought wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds, sheep, and cheese from cows’ milk for David and his people to eat. For they said, “The people have become hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert.” [New International Version; II Samuel 17: 27-28]
Ã‚Â· “But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.” [New American Standard Bible; Ezekiel 4: 9]
Archeological evidence suggests that the beans could have possibly been broadbeans (vicia fava), which were abundant in the Nile Valley. They were served as a traditional breakfast item, mashed into gruel, and used to bake coarse bread. The beans were widely grown throughout the Middle East.
With a close relation to garlic, leeks and chives, the onion made an appearance in the Bible only once. In Numbers 11:5, we find the following passage: “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.” [English Standard Version]