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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Nave's Topical Bible
• Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Dates or honey
Milk & honey
• Torrey's Topical Textbook
• Easton's Bible Dictionary
• Fausset's Bible Dictionary
• Smith's Bible Dictionary
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Greek - honey
Hebrew - honey, honeycomb
Hebrew - honeycomb, honey, honey from the comb

produced by bees providing a sweet food stuff for people to eat.

Old Testament During Bible times, honey appeared in three forms: (1) honey deposited from wild bees (Deuteronomy 32:13), (2) honey from domesticated bees (one of the products “of the field” 2 Chronicles 31:5), and (3) a syrup made from dates and grape juice (2 Kings 18:32). Honey served as a food stuff (Genesis 43:11) and as an item of trade (Ezekiel 27:17).

Almost all references to honey in the Old Testament are to wild honey. Bees made their honeycombs and deposited their honey in holes in the ground (1 Samuel 14:25); under rocks or in crevices between rocks (Deuteronomy 32:13); or in the carcasses of animals (Judges 14:8).

Honey was prohibited from being used in burnt offerings because it fermented easily (Leviticus 2:11). Honey was rare enough to be considered a luxury item (Genesis 43:11; 1 Kings 14:3). Honey was so ample in Canaan that the land there was described as a land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8).

Bee keeping is not mentioned specifically in the Old Testament. In later times bee keeping was practiced by the Jews. The hives were of straw and wicker. Before removing the combs, the bee keeper stupefied the bees with fumes of charcoal and cow dung burnt in front of the hives.

The Lord's ordinances are “sweeter than honey” (Psalms 19:10). God's goodness to Jerusalem was expressed by the phrase “you ate honey” (Ezekiel 16:13).

New Testament Honey is mentioned in three New Testament passages (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6; Revelation 10:9-10). In New Testament times, honey was viewed as a food eaten by lowly people (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6).

Gary Hardin

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'HONEY'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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