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From the Bible, we see that the diet, or food, of the Jews was very simple and plain. It was chiefly bread, milk, honey, rice, and vegetables. John the Baptist used to feed upon “locusts and wild honey,” Mark ii. 6. The locusts are insects like grasshoppers in shape, but much larger. They fly in vast numbers together, and devour the green herbs : see Joel i. 4. Some think that the fruit of a tree is meant; but the insects are more likely to be intended here; they are often sold for food, dried or salted, and then eaten with rice or vegetables, though Burkhardt describes the Arabs as taking a handful of them when hungry. Moffatt saw the natives in South Africa gathering ox-loads of these insects for food. The bees made their combs in hollow places, as the cleft of rocks, Deut. xxxii. 13; Psa. lxxxi. 16; in hollow trees, 1 Sam. xiv. 25, 26; and even in the carcass of a lion, Judg. xiv. 8, or rather among the bones, for the flesh must have been consumed. Our blessed Lord ate some honey when he appeared to his disciples, Luke xxiv. 42, to show them that his body was actually raised from the grave. Honey is mentioned in many other texts. The land of Canaan is described as “a land flowing with milk (which includes butter) and honey,” Exod. iii. 8: Jer. xi. 5; even as Job mentioned them, Job xx. 17. At a town in Syria, Carne was taught to mix them as delicacies ; Irby and Mangles were instructed to dip their bread in such a mixture: they are still considered great dainties by the Arabs. D'Arvieux tells us, that one of the principal delicacies with which the Arabs regale themselves at breakfast, is cream, or new butter, perhaps something like the clotted cream used in the western parts of England, mixed with honey. Among the food brought to David and his men by Barzillai, 2 Sam. xvii. 29, was honey, and butter, and cheese. The butter was churned as now, by shaking the milk in leather bags, or bottles, such as that opened by Jael, Jud. v. 25. This butter-milk is described as most refreshing to a weary man oppressed with heat. The milk of goats and sheep is used even more than the milk of kine.

The Jews seldom had animal food, except at their solemn feasts and sacrifices. As they did not often eat flesh, they considered it a great dainty. Jacob's pottage of lentiles, which tempted Esau to sell his birthright, Gen. xxv. 29—34, shows how simple the usual food of the patriarchs was. Irby and Mangles breakfasted in an Arab camp from a mess of lentils and bread, seasoned with pepper; they describe it as very good. Lentils are a sort of small beans, they dissolve easily into a mess of a reddish or chocolate colour. From Isaac's desire for “savoury meat," Gen. xxvii. 4, flesh appears not to have been his usual food. The feast which Abraham prepared for the angels, Gen. xviii. 7, 8, and that which Gideon and Manoah got ready on a like occasion, show that flesh meat was considered to be something more than common fare. We may also recollect that the feast got ready for

the repenting prodigal, Luke xv. 23, was a fatted calf; and may notice the portion which Samuel set by for Saul, when he expected him: it was a piece of flesh meat, the shoulder, with what was upon it, 1 Sam. ix. 24. This was put by for Saul as a mark of distinction and respect; it was also at a solemn feast of the people, verses 12, 13, which explains why flesh meat was

prepared. In Deut. xii. 20—27, eating flesh is spoken of as a proof of wealth and prosperity. It was dressed in various ways, Judg. vi. 19; 1 Sam. ii. 15. Sometimes pieces of flesh meat are roasted at a fire, but more frequently the flesh is cut into small pieces directly the animal has been skinned; these are boiled in milk, and then mixed


with rice or other vegetables, forming a sort of stew called pillau; such was made for Isaac, Gen. xxvii. 9.

The sorts of food brought to David by_Abigail, 1 Sam. xxv. 18; by Ziba, 2 Sam. xvi. 1; and by Barzillai, 2 Sam. xvii. 28, 29; and those taken by David to his brothers and their captain, 1 Sam. xvii. 17, 18, show what was the usual food of the Israelites. The most common and useful article of food was bread, made in loaves of different sorts and sizes. Loaves, like those here represented have been found in Herculaneum.

Bread is often mentioned in the Bible, Gen. xviii. 5; xxi. 14; 1 Sam. xxviii. 22; Exod. xvi. 3; Deut. ix. 9. It often means bread only; though sometimes it is used as a general

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expression for a meal including other sorts of food, Matt: XV. 2; Mark iii. 20; vii. 2; Luke xiv. 1; John vi. 23. The bread was often of different sorts of grain mixed together, as enumerated Ezek. iv. 9, “ wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and fitches.” Burkhardt says, that coarse, black, unleavened bread is the common food of the Bedouins on a journey; they often travel for a long time, the whole of their daily food being a pound and a half of such bread. Parched corn was grain not quite ripe, roasted or dried in the ear, and eaten without anything else with it. Such was given to Ruth, ii. 14; and was sent to David's brethren, 1 Sam. xvii. 17; and by Abigail, xxv. 18. Robinson had such parched corn offered to him in a harvest field. He saw travellers eating the grain raw, as they gathered it in the way, like the disciples, Mark ii. 23.

The grain was usually ground into flour, then fermented, or made light by leaven, then kneaded into bread. The flour was ground by small hand-mills, which were only two flat circular stones, one placed upon the other : the upper one was turned round, while the corn was poured between them, through a hole at the top. In these representations are, a mill complete, and ready for use. Also the upper stone and the lower stone. It will be seen that they are fitted one into the other.

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Mills like these were in use in the highlands of Scotland till very lately. They were called querns; and were usually worked by two women, see Matt. xxiv. 41, who sat one on each side, and turned the upper stone round, pushing the handle from one to the other. In Pennant's “ Tour in Scotland,” there is a picture which represents this, for it was usual in the Highlands of Scotland. One of these millstones the woman of Thebez, Judg. ix. 53, cast upon the head of Abimelech : see also Matt. xviii. 6. Shaw, Clarke, Hall, and other travellers, have described the two women grinding with the flat stones. The employment is laborious, and usually performed by the lowest servants, Exod. xi. 5; it is spoken of in Scripture as menial, Isa. xlvii. 2; Lam. v. 13. Sometimes the grain is beaten or pounded in a mortar, Numb. xi. 8; Prov. xxvii. 22, but this is not common with corn. Coffee is thus beaten.

These mills grind the flour but slowly, so that it is the employment of every day to grind some flour. The sound of grinding, and of the women singing as they work the mill, is heard in the morning early in the houses of the east, and is considered a sign that the people are well and active;

when it is not heard, the neighbours fear that all is not well, Eccl. xii. 4. This explains the description of the desolate state to which Jerusalem was to be reduced, Jer. Xxv. 10.

As the millstones were so necessary to prepare the daily food of each family, the Israelites were forbidden to “ take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge : for he taketh a man's life to pledge,” Deut. xxiv. 6. This is a strong expression; it shows how important an article of food bread must have been, when the instrument by which it was prepared was of so much consequence to every family. The finest flour was made into cakes, and baked quickly upon the hearth, Gen. xviii. 6; the coarser four was made into loaves, 1 Sam. xxi. 3. Sometimes the cakes were baked upon the coals, being laid upon the hot embers, or upon a flat piece of iron, or a grate of iron over the fire, as cakes are now sometimes baked upon a plate of iron, called a girdle in the north of England and Scotland, and are called girdle-cakes, 1 Kings xix. 6 ; they must be carefully turned, the neglect is noticed, Hosea vii. 8. But we also read of ovens being used, Lev. ii. 4 ; Mal. iv. 1. The ovens now in use


EASTERN OVEN, AND A WOMAN WITHDRAWING A CAKE FROM IT. in the east are heated by fuel being burned within them, Luke xii. 28, as in our bakers' ovens. When the oven is hot, the loaves are put into it to bake. The bread is usually made in flat cakes. The lighter kinds of bread stick to the sides of these ovens, and are soon baked. These ovens

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