Originally the Creator granted the use of the vegetable world
for food to man (Gen. 1:29), with the exception mentioned
(2:17). The use of animal food was probably not unknown to the
antediluvians. There is, however, a distinct law on the subject
given to Noah after the Deluge (Gen. 9:2-5). Various articles of
food used in the patriarchal age are mentioned in Gen. 18:6-8;
25:34; 27:3, 4; 43:11. Regarding the food of the Israelites in
Egypt, see Ex. 16:3; Num. 11:5. In the wilderness their ordinary
food was miraculously supplied in the manna. They had also
quails (Ex. 16:11-13; Num. 11:31).
In the law of Moses there are special regulations as to the
animals to be used for food (Lev. 11; Deut. 14:3-21). The Jews
were also forbidden to use as food anything that had been
consecrated to idols (Ex. 34:15), or animals that had died of
disease or had been torn by wild beasts (Ex. 22:31; Lev. 22:8).
(See also for other restrictions Ex. 23:19; 29:13-22; Lev.
3:4-9; 9:18, 19; 22:8; Deut. 14:21.) But beyond these
restrictions they had a large grant from God (Deut. 14:26;
Food was prepared for use in various ways. The cereals were
sometimes eaten without any preparation (Lev. 23:14; Deut.
23:25; 2 Kings 4:42). Vegetables were cooked by boiling (Gen.
25:30, 34; 2 Kings 4:38, 39), and thus also other articles of
food were prepared for use (Gen. 27:4; Prov. 23:3; Ezek. 24:10;
Luke 24:42; John 21:9). Food was also prepared by roasting (Ex.
12:8; Lev. 2:14). (See COOK T0000892.)