Daily Archives: June 16, 2016

“A land flowing with milk and honey”

The promise made to the descendants of Abraham that they would receive “A land flowing with milk and honey” was made to them while they were in bondage in Egypt (Exodus 3:8; 13:5) and during the forty years of wilderness wandering (Leviticus 20:24; Deuteronomy 11:9).

Joshua and the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel affirmed that the LORD gave Israel a land flowing with milk and honey (Joshua 5:6; Jeremiah 32:22; Ezekiel 20:15).

You kept the promise that you swore on oath to their ancestors. You gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. (Jeremiah 32:22 NET)

The term honey (debash) is used in the Old Testament Scriptures 53 times. According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament 17 of these are in the “land flowing with milk and honey.” The BDB lexicon says the term is used of “honey both of fruits and of bees.”

“Honey was among the products Jacob sent to Egypt for grain (Gen 43:11). It was even more prized then than today because, since they had no sugar, it was their chief sweetener” (TWOT).

The manna in the wilderness tasted like “wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:31).

In a battle with the Philistines, Jonathan found honey dripping from the trees of the forest, ate some of it, and “had renewed energy” (1 Samuel 14:26-27 CSB).

The records we have in the Old Testament indicate that the bees of the land made their honey in the trees and rocks (Psalm 81:16).

Today, we see beehives throughout Israel. On one of our tours Rebekah Reeder Dutton asked if we could stop for a photo of some beehives. Her father maintains an apiary and she wanted some photos to show him. Since this was off the main highway we had plenty of space to stop for the photo. Rebekah kindly granted me permission to use one of her photos.

Bee hives in the Jordan River Park near Tel Bethsaida. Photo by Rebekah Dutton.

Beehives in the Jordan River Park near Tel Bethsaida. Photo by Rebekah Dutton.

The Ron Beach Hotel on the north side of Tiberias, at certain times of the year, has a honeycomb each morning for breakfast. Delicious.

Honey comb at the Ron Beach Hotel breakfast bar. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Honeycomb at the Ron Beach Hotel breakfast bar. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This honeycomb brings to mind several Biblical references. David describes the judgments of the LORD:

They are of greater value than gold, than even a great amount of pure gold; they bring greater delight than honey, than even the sweetest honey from a honeycomb.  (Psalm 19:10 NET)

The wise man urged the young man to eat honey, making the application that wisdom is sweet.

Eat honey, my child, for it is good, and honey from the honeycomb is sweet to your taste.  Likewise, know that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, you will have a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (Pro 24:13-14 NET)