What food did the ancient Israelites eat, and how much of it did they consume? That’s a seemingly simple question, but it’s actually a complex topic. In this fascinating book, Nathan MacDonald carefully sifts through all the relevant evidence—biblical, archaeological, anthropological, environmental—to uncover what the people of biblical times really ate and how healthy (or unhealthy) it was. Engagingly written for general readers, What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat? is the fruit of extensive scholarly research. Including an archaeological timeline and three detailed maps, the book concludes by analyzing a number of contemporary books that advocate a return to “biblical” eating.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Interested in ancient Israel? Be sure to check out the Eerdmans Israelite Studies Collection (5 vols.).
What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat? is a fascinating and eye-opening glimpse into the eating patterns and problems of the ancient Israelites. Judiciously using a variety of sources, MacDonald examines the culinary past, with results that challenge many scholarly and popular notions of the diet in biblical days. Complex scientific analyses are presented in a highly readable form, making this book an engaging and rewarding page-turner.
—Carol Meyers, Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Religion, Duke University
I heartily recommend it for three big reasons: a very readable book, careful in method and approach, and judicious in conclusion. There is nothing simplistic and grandiose about this book. There’s a ‘just the facts’ approach that is more than willing to admit when we can’t be sure. This could be a wonderful addition to any Old Testament course because it is interesting, well-written, and a model for how to do judicious work.
—Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
Of particular noteworthiness is MacDonald’s interest in balance and accuracy throughout this section. He takes nothing for granted and demonstrates great skill in avoiding both extremes of overstating and understating the evidence. That in itself is difficult enough to accomplish, but to do it while still remaining interesting is well nigh miraculous.
—Jim West, adjunct professor, Quartz Hill School of Theology
Nathan MacDonald is university lecturer in Hebrew Bible at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of St. John’s College.