Have you always wanted to prepare a biblical feast? Perhaps you would just like to learn more about the different types of foods in the Bible. Hundreds of Scripture passages describe foods, drinks, and stories of feasting and eating meals.
Some of today’s healthiest known foods were part of the biblical diet. These include olives, olive oil, grapes, goat milk, raw honey, lamb, pomegranates, and bitter herbs.
Scripture also contains a few accounts of people eating highly unusual and supernatural foods. This complete “shopping list” consists of spices, fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, fish, fowl, meats, drinks, and many other strange foods of the Bible. They range in taste and aroma from sweet to savory to pungent. References to the passages are provided for each of the Bible foods.
Seasonings, Spices, and Herbs
Spices and herbs consumed as food in the Bible were used to flavor bread, cakes, meats, soups, stews, and were taken as digestive aids. Coriander, the seed of cilantro, is known today to be a powerful anti-oxidant with natural cleansing qualities.
- Anise (Matthew 23:23 KJV)
- Coriander (Exodus 16:31; Numbers 11:7)
- Cinnamon (Exodus 30:23; Revelation 18:13)
- Cumin (Isaiah 28:25; Matthew 23:23)
- Dill (Matthew 23:23)
- Garlic (Numbers 11:5)
- Mint (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42)
- Mustard (Matthew 13:31)
- Rue (Luke 11:42)
- Salt (Ezra 6:9; Job 6:6)
Fruits and Nuts
People of the Bible ate many of today’s most nutritious “superfoods” in this grouping of fruits and nuts. Pomegranates, for example, are believed to have highly beneficial anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-tumor properties.
- Apples (Song of Solomon 2:5)
- Almonds (Genesis 43:11; Numbers 17:8)
- Dates (2 Samuel 6:19; 1 Chronicles 16:3)
- Figs (Nehemiah 13:15; Jeremiah 24:1-3)
- Grapes (Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 23:24)
- Melons (Numbers 11:5; Isaiah 1:8)
- Olives (Isaiah 17:6; Micah 6:15)
- Pistachio Nuts (Genesis 43:11)
- Pomegranates (Numbers 20:5; Deuteronomy 8:8)
- Raisins (Numbers 6:3; 2 Samuel 6:19)
- Sycamore Fruit (Psalm 78:47; Amos 7:14)
Vegetables and Legumes
God provided vegetables and legumes packed with nutrients, fiber, and protein to power the people of the Bible. In Babylon, Daniel and his friends observed a diet of only vegetables (Daniel 1:12).
- Beans (2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9)
- Cucumbers (Numbers 11:5)
- Gourds (2 Kings 4:39)
- Leeks (Numbers 11:5)
- Lentils (Genesis 25:34; 2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9)
- Onions (Numbers 11:5)
Healthy grains were a primary staple in Bible times. Grains are some of the easiest natural foods to keep preserved for years. Throughout the Bible, bread is a symbol of God’s life-sustaining provision. Jesus Himself is the “Bread of Life”—our true source of spiritual life. The bread that Jesus represents never perishes or spoils.
- Barley (Deuteronomy 8:8; Ezekiel 4:9)
- Bread (Genesis 25:34; 2 Samuel 6:19; 16:1; Mark 8:14)
- Corn (Matthew 12:1; KJV – refers to “grain” such as wheat or barley)
- Flour (2 Samuel 17:28; 1 Kings 17:12)
- Millet (Ezekiel 4:9)
- Spelt (Ezekiel 4:9)
- Unleavened Bread (Genesis 19:3; Exodus 12:20)
- Wheat (Ezra 6:9; Deuteronomy 8:8)
Seafood was another staple in the Bible. However, only certain fish and other seafood were suitable for eating. According to Leviticus 11:9, edible seafood had to have fins and scales. Shellfish was prohibited. Today we know that fish such as Tuna, Salmon, Cod, Red Snapper, and many others are high in protein and healthy omega fats, which can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and provide many other health benefits.
- Matthew 15:36
- John 21:11-13
These birds were considered clean and suitable for eating in the Bible.
- Partridge (1 Samuel 26:20; Jeremiah 17:11)
- Pigeon (Genesis 15:9; Leviticus 12:8)
- Quail (Psalm 105:40)
- Dove (Leviticus 12:8)
The Bible distinguishes between clean and unclean animals. According to the book of Leviticus, clean meats are those from animals that have a cloven hoof and chew the cud. Jewish dietary laws taught God’s people not to eat the blood of animals or any meat that had been sacrificed to idols. These foods were considered unclean. Clean animal meats of the Bible were:
- Calf (Proverbs 15:17; Luke 15:23)
- Goat (Genesis 27:9)
- Lamb (2 Samuel 12:4)
- Oxen (1 Kings 19:21)
- Sheep (Deuteronomy 14:4)
- Venison (Genesis 27:7 KJV)
Along with bread, fish, meat, olives, grapes, and other fruits and vegetables, dairy products were important foods of the Bible. They provided great variety and significant nutrition to the ancient world. Fresh, raw products from grass-fed cows, sheep, and goats constituted the dairy portion of the biblical diet.
- Butter (Proverbs 30:33)
- Cheese (2 Samuel 17:29; Job 10:10)
- Curds (Isaiah 7:15)
- Milk (Exodus 33:3; Job 10:10; Judges 5:25)
Miscellaneous Foods of the Bible
Many of these foods of the Bible, such as raw honey, contain disease-fighting and energy-boosting nutrients, allergy defense builders, and probiotic support.
- Eggs (Job 6:6; Luke 11:12)
- Grape Juice (Numbers 6:3)
- Raw Honey (Genesis 43:11; Exodus 33:3; Deuteronomy 8:8; Judges 14:8-9)
- Olive Oil (Ezra 6:9; Deuteronomy 8:8)
- Vinegar (Ruth 2:14; John 19:29)
- Wine (Ezra 6:9; John 2:1-10)
Unusual and Supernatural ‘Foods’ in the Bible
- Fruit From the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:6, 22)
- Manna (Exodus 16:31-35)
- Gold Dust (Exodus 32:19-20)
- Human Flesh (Deuteronomy 28:53-57)
- Miraculous Bread and Water in the Desert (Genesis 21:14-19; Numbers 20:11)
- Two-Sided Scroll of Lamentations (Ezekiel 2:8 – 3:3)
- Bread Baked Over Human Excrement (Ezekiel 4:10-17)
- Angel Cakes (1 Kings 19:3-9)
- Animal Diet of Grass (Daniel 4:33)
- Bread and Meat From Ravens (1 Kings 17:1-6)
- Miraculous Flour and Oil (1 Kings 17:10-16; 2 Kings 4:1-7)
- Locust (Mark 1:6)
- Miraculous Fish and Loaves of Bread (2 Kings 4:42-44; Matthew 14:13-21; Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 6:30-44; Mark 8:1-13; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15)