One of the necessities for the sustenance of life. The chief staple in biblical times was bread, as suggested by the fact that the Hebrew word for bread (lekhem) can also designate food in general. Next to bread, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products were the most important staples of the Israelites. Common fruits were grapes, olives (used mostly in the form of oil), figs, dates, apples, and pomegranates. Among the vegetables, beans, cucumbers, lentils, onions, leeks, and garlic were most commonly grown. Dairy products, derived more from goats than cows, were consumed chiefly in the form of cheese, curds, and butter. Meat was also part of the diet, but for ordinary Israelites only on special occasions, since it was too expensive for daily fare. Both domesticated and wild animals, such as deer, gazelle, fish, and fowl, were used for food. Boiling and roasting were the preferred methods of preparing meat, from which all blood had to be drained (Gen 9:4-6; Lev 17:10-11; Deut 12:23-25; Acts 15:19). Certain animals considered ritually unclean could not be consumed (Lev 11:1-47). The Israelite diet was rounded out by spices and other natural products such as salt and honey. The Bible also warns against the misuse of food and says there is more to life than food and drink (Deut 8:3; Matt 6:25; Rom 14:17).

Gen 9:4-6

4Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.5For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it ... View more

Lev 17:10-11

Eating Blood Prohibited
10If anyone of the house of Israel or of the aliens who reside among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eat ... View more

Deut 12:23-25

23Only be sure that you do not eat the blood; for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the meat.24Do not eat it; you shall pour it out on ... View more

Acts 15:19

19Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God,

Lev 11:1-47

Clean and Unclean Foods
1The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them:2Speak to the people of Israel, saying:
From among all the land animals, these are th ... View more

Deut 8:3

3He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understan ... View more

Matt 6:25

Do Not Worry
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not lif ... View more

Rom 14:17

17For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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