The two most widely used vegetables in Bible times were beans and lentils. The prophecy of Ezekiel mentions both of these in one verse (Ezekiel 4:9). Beans are included in the articles of food which David's friends brought to him when he was in flight from Jerusalem, because of Absalom's rebellion (II Samuel 17:28). The most famous Biblical use of lentils was of course, the selling of Esau's birthright for a meal including lentils with bread (Genesis 25:33, 34).
Thomson tells of being invited to a meal of lentils which he found to be very savory with its "appetizing fragrance and substantial taste, that to a hungry man must have been very tempting. In eating this dish, he did as his hosts did, doubled "some of their bread spoon-fashion," and then dipped it into the saucepan. He suggests that Esau no doubt used the same kind of spoon of bread in eating the pottage of lentils.
The Israelites' Egyptian diet included the vegetables: leeks, onions, and garlic (Numbers 11:5). Most of these were probably used sometimes in Israel. The prophet Isaiah mentions a "garden of cucumbers" (Isaiah 1:8). Gourds were also used, as suggested by two Scripture passages (Jonah 4:6-10; II Kings 4:39). The "pulse" which Daniel and his companions wanted as their diet, when they were captives, was probably vegetables (Daniel 1:12). The word means primarily, "something sown," and therefore would include edible seeds that are cooked, such as lentils, beans, peas, etc. It was a simple vegetable diet that was wanted instead of the rich, unwholesome food of the king's table. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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