Foods of the Bible

Eat these so that you might live!

Brian Kuehmichel
March 7, 2013



Good, fresh, healthy, wholesome foods are given by God (Genesis 1:29-30) to sustain and preserve our health so we might fulfill His directive to have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28) and to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Geneisis 1:28; 9:1) for His glory. Our Creator, who sustains us in life (Acts 17:28), gave us these foods (Genesis 1:29; 9:3-4) for our well-being to carry out His directives for us. Even so, we will grow old and die. (Romans 3:23; 5:12; 6:23)

But Jesus Christ is the giver of eternal life (John 3:15; 6:54; 10:28; 17:2-3; Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:24-25) and in Him we get the ultimate food and healing (Luke 22:30; 1 Peter 2:21-25).

John 6:51-58 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.



Even though God in Genesis 9:3-4 permits eating all manner of things because of our broken world, many of these are not healthful. For this reason God gave to Israel the directions about clean and unclean foods for the well-being of those who limit themselves to the clean and healthful foods. Leviticus chapter 11 gives details.

Genesis 9:3-4 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Leviticus 11:1-3, 9, 21-22
1-3 And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.

Leviticus 17:13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.

Leviticus 20:25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.

The Bible has an extensive list of generally available wholesome foods. These are shown below with their categories and include scriptures to reference.



Bible Foods
Category How used Food Name References
A
Tree NutFresh / driedAlmondsGenesis 43:11; Numbers 17:8
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedAniseMatthew 23:23
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedApplesSong of Solomon 2:5; Joel 1:12
Cultured, fermented foodsCulturedApple cider vinegar 
B
Grains & SeedsGround / baked / boiled / roastedBarleyDeuteronomy 8:8; Judges 7:13; Ruth 2:23; Ezekiel 4:9
Grains & SeedsBaked / roastedBarley Bread2 Kings 4:42
Vegetables and LegumesBaked / roastedBeans or Pulse (Legumes - cassia, fava bean, peas, chickpea, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, etc)2 Samuel 17:28; Exekiel 4:9
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedBeefDeuteronomy 14:4; 1 Kings 4:22-23
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedBitter Herbs (arugula, cilantro, dandelion greens, endive, parsley, watercress, etc.)Exodus 12:8 (See: Spices)
Clean Animalbison (pygarg)Deuteronomy 14:5
Grains & SeedsDerived / baked /roastedBreadGenesis 25:34; 1 Samuel 17:17; 2 Samuel 6:19; 16:1; Mark 8:14; Luke 22:19
Grains & SeedsDerived / baked /roastedBread-UnleavenedGenesis 19:3; Exodus 12:20
Cooked: boiled, roastedBrothJudges 6:19-20; Isaiah 65:4
Clean AnimalExtractedButterIsaiah 7:22; Proverbs 30:33
C
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedCalf, Cattle & Oxen (Bovine)1 Kings 19:21; Proverbs 15:17; Luke 15:23
Grains & SeedsBaked / roastedCakes (from grains)2 Samuel 13:8
Herbs, Seasonings & Spices Carob (St. John's Bread)Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6 (akris: this Greek word for locusts can apply to either an insect or the top of a tree or plant. Many believe this to be St. John's Bread or Carob which grew wild around the river Jordan . It is named for John the Baptist).
Cultured, fermented foodsCulturedCheeseI Samuel 17:18; 2 Samuel 17:29; Job 10:10
Clean FowlCooked: boiled, roastedChickenMatthew 23:37
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesDriedCinnamonExodus 30:23; Revelations 18:13 (See: Spices)
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedCoriander (cilantro)Exodus 16:31; Numbers 11:7 (See: Spices)
Grains & SeedsBaked / roasted / boiledCorn (refers to "grain" such as wheat or barley)Ruth 2:14; I Samuel 17:17; Matthew 12:1
Vegetables and LegumesFreshCucumbersNumbers 11:5
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedCumin or CumminIsaiah 28:25; Matthew 23:23 (See: Spices)
Cultured, fermented foodsCulturedCurds (cottage and ricotta cheese)Genesis 18:8; Isaiah 7:15 - (Bovine) Deuteronomy 32:14
D
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedDates2 Samuel 6:19; 1 Chronicles 16:3
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedDillMatthew 23:23; Luke 11:42 (See: Spices)
Clean FowlCooked: boiled, roastedDoveLeviticus 12:8
E
Clean Fowl EggsJob 6:6; Luke 11:12
F
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedFigs (Sycamore Fruit)Numbers 13:23; I Samuel 25:18; Nehemiah 13:15; Psalm 78:47; Jeremiah 24:1-3; Amos 7:14
Grains & SeedsBaked / roastedFitches (Spelt)Ezekiel 4:9
Clean Finned FishCooked: boiled, roastedFish with Scales (Anchovies, Bass, Bream, Cod, Flounder, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Mackerel, Orange Roughy, Perch, Pike, Pollack, Salmon, Sardines, Tilapia, Trout, Tuna, Turbot, Whitefish & Whiting, among others)Deuteronomy 14:9; Leviticus 11:9; Matthew 7:10
Grains & SeedsGround / baked / boiled / roastedFlax SeedExodus 9:31
Grains & SeedsGround / baked / boiled / roastedFlour (Whole Meal)Ezekiel 16:19; Numbers 6:15; 2 Samuel 17:28; 1 Kings 17:12
Clean FowlBaked / roastedFowl (chicken, dove, duck, goose, grouse, partridge, pheasant, pigeons, quail, turkey, etc.)Deuteronomy 14:11; 1 Kings 4:23; [Partridge (1 Samuel 26:20; Jeremiah 17:11), Pigeon (Genesis 15:9; Leviticus 12:8), Quail (Psalm 105:40), Dove (Leviticus 12:8), Chicken (Matthew 23:37)]
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedFruits [of trees, shrubs, vines, berries, etc.] (Apples, Almonds, apricot, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Melons, Olives, Pomegranates, plum, Sycamore Fruit)Genesis 1:29; 3:2; 2 Samuel 16:2
G
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedGarlicNumbers 11:5 (See: Spices)
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedGoatGenesis 27:9; Deuteronomy 14:4
Clean AnimalRaw or culturedGoat milkProverbs 27:27
Vegetables and LegumesFresh / driedGourds & squashes (pumpkin, squash, zucchini, etc.)2 Kings 4:39
Grains & SeedsGround or whole / baked / boiled / roastedGrain(s) (barley, emmer, millet, spelt, sorghum, wheat - ground meal)Ruth 2:14; Matthew 13:33
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedGrapesLeviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 23:24; 24:21
Fruits - Fresh & DriedExtractedGrape Juice (new wine)Numbers 6:3; Zechariah 9:17
Clean AnimalCooked: roastedGrasshoppers, Crickets & LocustsLeviticus 11:22
H
Vegetables and LegumesFresh / driedHerbs (leafy plants: endive, escarole, orache, spinach, etc.) and VegetablesGenesis 1:29; Exodus 12:8; Proverbs 15:17; 27:25; Matthew 13:32 (See: Spices)
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedHerbs & Seasonings (See: Spices) 
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesExtractedHoneyExodus 33:3; Deuteronomy 8:8; Judges 14:8-9; Psalm 19:10; Proverbs 24:13; 25:16; Isaiah 7:15 (warning to use in moderation)
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedHyssop (marjoram, capers)(marjoram) Exodus 12:22; (capers) Psalms 51:7; John 19:29 (See: Spices)
I
Clean AnimalBaked / roastedinsects (See: Locusts) 
L
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedLamb & SheepDeuteronomy 14:4
Vegetables and LegumesFresh / driedLeeksNumbers 11:5 (See: Spices)
Vegetables and LegumesFresh / driedLegumes(See: Beans or Pulse)
Vegetables and LegumesFresh / driedLentilsGenesis 25:34; 2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9
Cultured, fermented foodsCulturedLeaven (Yeast)Leviticus 23:17; Galatians 5:9
Clean AnimalBaked / roastedLocusts (grasshoppers, crickets, some beetles)Leviticus 11:22; Mark 1:6
M
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedMeatsDeuteronomy 14; Leviticus 11
Vegetables and LegumesFreshMelonNumbers 11:5; Isaiah 1:8
Clean AnimalRaw or culturedMilk (Bovine, camel, sheep)Exodus 33:3; Deuternonmy 32:14; Job 10:10; Judges 5:25; Isaiah 7:21-22 | Curds (Isaiah 7:15)
Grains & SeedsBaked / roastedMilletEzekiel 4:9
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedMintMatthew 23:23; Luke 11:42 (See: Spices)
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedMulberry2 Samuel 5:24; 1 Chorinthians 14:14
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesGround or whole / fresh / driedMustard SeedsMatthew 13:31; Mark 4:31; Luke 13:19 (See: Spices)
N
Tree NutDriedNutsGenesis 43:11; Song of Solomon 6:11
O
Extracted foodsExtractedOils (from plants)Proverbs 21:17
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedOlivesLeviticus 2:4; Deuteronomy 8:8; 28:40; Ezra 6:9; Isaiah 17:6; Micah 6:15
Fruits - Fresh & DriedExtractedOlive oilLeviticus 2:4; Deuteronomy 8:8; 28:40; Ezra 6:9; Isaiah 17:6; Micah 6:15
Vegetables and LegumesFresh / driedOnionsNumbers 11:5 (See: Spices)
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedOxen (See: Calf, Cattle & Oxen) 
P
Clean FowlCooked: boiled, roastedPartridge1 Samuel 26:20; Jeremiah 17:11
Clean FowlCooked: boiled, roastedPigeonGenesis 15:9; Leviticus 12:8
Tree Nut Pistachio NutsGenesis 43:11
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedPomegranatesNumbers 13:23; Numbers 20:5; Deuteronomy 8:8
Clean FowlCooked: boiled, roastedPoultry (See: Fowl) 
Q
Clean FowlCooked: boiled, roastedQuailExodus 16:13; Numbers 11:32; Psalm 105:40
R
Fruits - Fresh & DriedDriedRaisins (see also: Grapes)Numbers 6:3; 2 Samuel 6:19; 2 Samuel 16:1
Vegetables and Legumes root vegetables (See: Onions, Leeks) 
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesGround / baked / boiled / roastedRueLuke 11:42
Grains & SeedsGround / baked / boiled / roastedRyeIsaiah 28:25
S
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedSaffronSong of Solomon 4:14 (See: Spices)
Herbs, Seasonings & Spices SaltLeviticus 2:13; Ezra 6:9; Job 6:6; Luke 14:34
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedSheep & LambDeuteronomy 14:4
Grains & SeedsDerived / baked /roastedSourdough (yeast) BreadLeviticus 23:17; Amos 4:5
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedSpices(anise, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, ginger, marjoram, mint, mustard, parsley, saffron, tumeric, etc.) Genesis 43:11; Exodus 30:23; 1 Kings 10:10 (See: Herbs)
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesCooked: roasted(St. John's Bread / carob) Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6 (akris: this Greek word for locusts can apply to either an insect or the top of a tree or plant.)
Vegetables and LegumesFresh / driedSquash (Gourds)2 Kings 4:39
Herbs, Seasonings & SpicesFresh / driedSweet Cane (Sucanat or Evaporated Cane Juice)Isaiah 43:24; Jeremiah 6:20
Fruits - Fresh & DriedFresh / driedSycamore (Figs)Numbers 13:23; I Samuel 25:18; Psalm 78:47; Amos 7:14
U
Grains & SeedsDerived / baked /roastedUnleavened Bread (Tortillas, Flat Bread, Chapatis)Genesis, 19:3; Exodus 29:2
V
Edible AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedVeal (bovine-young cattle)Genesis 18:7-8
Vegetables and LegumesFresh / driedVegetablesProverbs 15:17 (See: Herbs)
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedVenisonGenesis 27:7 KJV; Deuteronomy 14:5
Clean AnimalCooked: boiled, roastedWild gameGenesis 25:28
Cultured, fermented foodsCulturedVinegarNumbers 6:3; Ruth 2:14; John 19:29
  WaterGenesis 21:19; John 4:7
W
Grains & SeedsGround or whole / baked / boiled / roastedWheatDeuteronomy 8:8; Ruth 2:23; Psalm 81:16; Ezra 6:9;
Grains & SeedsDerived / baked /roastedWheat breadExodus 29:2
Cultured, fermented foodsCulturedWineEzra 6:9; John 2:1-10; 1 Timothy 5:23
Y
Cultured, fermented foodsCulturedYogurt (Butter of Kine)Deuteronomy 32:14
 


Unclean or Forbidden Foods of The Bible

Leviticus chapter 11 gives specific details. Click for another list.

  • Blood and blood products (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 3:17; 7:23-27; 17:10-14; 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:16, 23, 27; 15:23) from any source (except scaled and finned fish)!
  • Birds of prey or scavengers such as emu, eagles, hawks, ostrich and vultures. (Leviticus 11:13-20)
  • Freshwater or marine creatures without scales and fins (amphibians, catfish, eels, sharks, turtles, whales, etc.). (Leviticus 11:9-12, 30, 41-41; Deuteronomy 14:10)
  • Shellfish (clams, crabs, crayfish, lobsters, octopus, oysters, shrimp, snails and the like. (Leviticus 11:9-12, 30, 41-43)
  • Reptiles (alligators, snakes, turtles, tortoises, etc.), rodents, worms & larvae, and most insects. (Leviticus 11:29-32, 41-43)
  • Camels, cats, dogs, horses, pigs, rabbits, rodents, etc. (Leviticus 11:4-8, 26-27)
  • Wines and grape juices not made under Jewish supervision (kosher) [contains too much alcohol or other contaminents].
  • Muscle tissue containing the sciatic nerve in the hindquarters, (ex: fillet mignon) (Genesis 32:32)
  • Fat surrounding animal organs. (Leviticus 3:17; 7:23-25)
  • Meat and dairy eaten together. (Exodus 23:19; 34:26; Deuteronomy 14:21)

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