Author: Simon Bartz, 5 January 2024
There are hundreds of references to food and drink in the Bible. Some of today’s healthiest choices were enjoyed by people in the Old and New Testaments. Fish, olive oil, garlic and pomegranates were on the menu, and in the best times the land flowed with milk and honey.
God initially prescribed a plant-based diet comprised of herbs and fruit (Genesis 1.29), but after the flood he blessed Noah and his sons (9.1–3) and widened the menu considerably when he said, ‘Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.’ Things got more complicated for the people of Israel under Moses’ leadership, but the New Testament restored freedom to our diets.
Here's a recipe straight out of Genesis, which I've translated for our contemporary kitchens.
One day, when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came home hungry and said, ‘I’m starving to death! Here and now give me some of that red stew!’
Genesis 25.29–30 (CEV)
When you read about Esau trading his birthright, can’t you just smell the stew cooking? This recipe comes from Jacob’s own cookbook, and although you could eat it with a certain brand of cream crackers, I recommend mashed potato or crusty bread instead. This will give you the real comfort food vibe that Esau just couldn’t resist after a tough day out in the fields.
This article originally appeared in Bible Society's magazine Word in Action.