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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat?: Diet in Biblical Times
MacDonald, Nathan

Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2008 pp. xv + 156. $16.00


Description: 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 nonetheless the fruit of extensive scholarly research; the book’s substantial bibliography and endnotes point interested readers to a host of original sources. 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. Anyone who reads MacDonald’s responsible study will never read a “biblical diet” book in the same way again.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel

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Review by Raz Kletter
Published 8/7/2010
Citation: Raz Kletter, review of Nathan MacDonald, What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat?: Diet in Biblical Times, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


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