The Oriental Institute

Yesterday I visited the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.  When I visit a museum such as this I am not only looking for items with a specific connection to a biblical account, such as the prism which mentions Hezekiah, but also for artifacts that might illustrate daily life in Bible times.

Cooking pots are mentioned several times in the Scripture. One such reference is a sort of proverb.

It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.  For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 7:5-6 ESV)

This cooking pot is from Iron IIc at Megiddo (732-600 B.C.).

Cooking pot from Megiddo. OIUC. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Cooking pot from Megiddo. OIUC. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Notice the interesting account from the days of the prophet Elisha.

When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” Then one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, for they did not know what they were. So they poured it out for the men to eat. And as they were eating of the stew, they cried out and said, “O man of God, there is death in the pot.” And they were unable to eat. But he said, “Now bring meal.” He threw it into the pot and said, “Pour it out for the people that they may eat.” Then there was no harm in the pot.  (2 Kings 4:38-41 NASB)

One wonders what might have been cooked in that now-broken pot from Megiddo.

One response to “The Oriental Institute

  1. Ferrell,
    Had a great time yesterday with you. Thanks for all you do!


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