Nathan MacDonald
Wm. B. Eerdmans
156 Pages, Paper, $16.00

Beginning with a consideration of God’s promise to His Chosen People of a new land “flowing with milk and honey,” this interesting book provides valuable information on the question posed by the book’s title. MacDonald says the book came by accident as he endeavored to write other material while in Jerusalem, but his research compelled him to share what he learned about eating in Bible times.

Chapters are devoted to what the Israelites ate:  “the Mediterranean Triad” of bread (wheat and barley), wine (grapes and their juice), and olive oil; vegetables, “pulses,” and fruit; and meat, milk, birds, and fish. Then come chapters on how well the Israelites ate: environment and climate factors, food shortages, famine, archaeological evidence concerning the consumption of meat, food distribution, and nutritional deficiencies.

In recent decades many people have become interested in trying to eat the way people ate in Bible times—Biblical diets—as though there is merit in doing so. This book doesn’t advocate this mentality.

The book includes notes, bibliography, maps, time line chart,  general index, and Scripture index.