Honey in Bible Times

Honey in Bible Times
Sliced honeycomb...  Yum, yum.  What a treat! 
    Honey also has a rich history being the first sweetener known to man. The value of honey in ancient times can be seen in the Bible where God told his people that he would lead them to a land filled with milk and honey.  This meant that it would be very good land because it had very good ground.  As a beekeeper, good ground is something that I look for. For the bees to make lots of honey they need to be in a place that is conducive for lots of flowers to grow.  Here in the northeast of the United States it is some of the best ground for the flowers that are necessary for honeybees to produce lots of honey. 

    The Bible also tells of the intrinsic value of honey when it foretells the coming of Christ.  It told how he would eat honey and butter that he might know to refuse the evil and choose the good.  What it is saying is that he chose the very best things in life when it came to what activities to do, and that gave him the ability to avoid those things which would cause him to stumble.  Honey and butter were a symbol of this because they were the richest foods you could find.  When you're familiar with the best of the best, those things which aren't good taste rather bad.  By the way, honey and butter go quite well together.

    Honey's energy properties were recognised all the way back in the Old Testament where Saul's son, Jonathan, was refreshed by some honeycomb he found in the woods.  He took a rod and dipped it in the comb.  He said it caused his eyes to be enlightened.

     Honey as a gift is nothing new.  Jacob (who was named Israel) told his sons to bring a little honey as a gift to the man who was in charge of food distribution in Egypt in order to gain his favor.  Unknown to him, the man in charge of the grain in Egypt was his own son, Joseph.

    It amazes me to hear stories of people taking the wild honeycomb from old hollow trees without any protection. This still happens in some parts of the world.  The Bible tells about people getting honey out of rocks . There's an old hymn I've liked playing on the piano that says, "There is honey in the Rock my brother." I liked it because of my interest in bees. Of course, the song is written as a metaphor; the Rock is Christ Jesus and the honey is the joy he gives. But I didn't understand why it talked about honey that way because where I live the bees build their combs in hollow trees. Since then I've seen pictures of colonies of bee in rock cliffs. These pictures were amazing not just because the bees built their colonies in the rocks, but also because of the brave tribal men that it portrayed, without protective gear, climbing the rocks with a rope in order to harvest the honey.  It makes one appreciate the availability of honey today when you consider the efforts that were made to obtain it in Bible times

Bees in our area like hollow trees like this bee tree that was cut down.