Bread: Among the Jews was generally made of wheat
(Exodus 29:2; Judges 6:19) though
also sometimes of other grains
(Genesis 14:18; Judges 7:13) Parched grain was
sometimes used for food without any other preparation
(Ruth 2:14) Bread
was prepared by kneading in wooden bowls or "kneading troughs"
(Genesis 18:6; Exodus 12:34; Jeremiah 7:18) The dough was mixed with leaven and made
into thin cakes, round or oval, and then baked. The bread eaten at the
Passover was always unleavened
(Exodus 12:15-20; Deuteronomy 16:3) In the towns
there were public ovens, which were much made use of for baking
bread; there were also bakers by trade
(Hosea 7:4; Jeremiah 37:21) Their ovens
were not unlike those of modern times. But sometimes the bread was
baked by being placed on the ground that had been heated by a fire,
and by covering it with the embers
(1 Kings 19:6) This was probably the
mode in which Sarah prepared bread on the occasion referred to in
(Genesis 18:6) In
(Leviticus 2:1)ff there is an account of the different
kinds of bread and cakes used by the Jews.
The shew-bread (q.v.) consisted of twelve loaves of unleavened bread
prepared and presented hot on the golden table every Sabbath. They
were square or oblong, and represented the twelve tribes of Israel.
The old loaves were removed every Sabbath, and were to be eaten only
by the priests in the court of the sanctuary
(Exodus 25:30; Leviticus 24:8)
(1 Samuel 21:1-6; Matthew 12:4) The word bread is used figuratively in such
expressions as "bread of sorrows"
(Psalms 127:2) "bread of tears"
(Psalms 80:5) i.e., sorrow and tears are like one's daily bread, they
form so great a part in life. The bread of "wickedness"
and "of deceit"
(Proverbs 20:17) denote in like manner that wickedness and
deceit are a part of the daily life.