Bread is a word which in scripture is often put for food in general. Bread in the proper and general sense, usually means cakes make of wheaten flour; barley being use chiefly by the poor and for feeding horses. A woman of the first century would begin her morning's work by grinding the wheat for that day's eating in a small stone hand-mill, stone bearing upon stone. She would take the flour made into dough and kneed it in the wooden kneading-trough, then light the oven or brazier and then it was them made into cakes and baked.

In the smaller villages, there could be only one well for the entire population. The wife or daughter would take the pitchers to the well and wait among the women gathered there for her turn to fill it.

Galilee produces grapes, raisins, pomegranates, dates, figs.. beans, leeks, for drink, they had the local wine. One speaks of bread as the staple diet, with dried fish to flank it. Indispensable was olives. The next day, a boy drove a small herd of goats down the narrow streets of Jerusalem. Women carried firewood on a donkey. Women and girls passed them with pitchers of water on their shoulders. In nearby homes, other women were grinding grain to be made into matzos for Passover. In close by pens were lambs, ready for slaughter.

Cheese is several times alluded to in Scripture, and still an important article of food in the east. It is usually white and very salty; soft, when new, but soon becoming hard and dry. The cheese was like a small saucer in size, the coagulated curd of milk pressed into a solid mass. The making of cheese was an important industry in antiquity. Among the regulations regarding food in the Mishna was that no cheese made by foreigners should be eaten, for fear that it might be derived from the milk of an animal which had been offered to idols. Hebrews were forbidden to eat pork, which they had learned from sorrowful experience could cause death if improperly cooked, and to them the entire body of the hog was repugnant.

The Jews would have considered themselves polluted by eating with people of another religion, or with any who were ceremonially unclean or disreputable-as with Samaritans, publicans or Gentiles. Among themselves, however, the rites of hospitality were held sacred. Eating together was an established token of friendship of relations between families, which their children were expected to perpetuate. The Hebrew anciently sat at their meals; but afterwards adopted the practice of reclining on table-beds or divans. The meals of the Jews were generally two, loosely distinguished as dinner and supper. The food consisted of flesh, fish, or fowls, butter, honey, bread and fruits and conveyed to the mouth by the right hand. The Jews were wont to wash their hands before eating, a custom rendered necessary by their mode of eating, but made by the Pharisees a test of piety. Devout Jews recognized the giver of all good, and implored his blessing on their food. Among the Jews, "grace" was said both before and after meals, and also by women, slaves and children. Some families repeated the 23rd Psalm as they seated themselves to meals.

The fig tree is common in Palestine and the East, and flourishes with the greatest luxuriance in those barren and stony situations where little else would grow. Its large size, and its abundance of five-lobed leaves render it a pleasant shade tree, and its fruit furnished a wholesome food. Thus it was a symbol of peace and plenty. The natives are exceedingly fond of fish, pay 2 or 3 times that of meat. Salt fish had hung from hooks, there have been barrels and sacks of flour and honey, soya meal, dried peas and beans, rice, jars of oil and vinegar and wine.. woven reed baskets in which fish and fruit were often carried...taking bread from her own crock.. fish, cunningly preserved in oils and spices.. the rice, the bits of goose-flesh and mutton, the leaves of artichokes, the cabbage.

The taverns would offer fried fish, richly salted and jugs of beer. The brown liquid, bubbles, seemed like the essence of liquid, water intensified made from barley husks. They put extra salt on the fish to make you want their beer more.
[318, 322, 345, BD, 380, 383, 390, 392,]

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