The Intercontinental Church of God

Specific Bible Studies - Bible Foods - Milk

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SUBJECT: Bible Foods - Milk

Sweet Milk (Heb. halab, "fat"; Grk. gala). This was in extensive use among the Hebrews, as well as other nations. They used not only the milk of cows but also that of sheep (Deut 32:14), of camels (Gen 32:15), and of goats (Prov 27:27). It was not regarded as a mere adjunct in cooking but as substantial food adapted to all ages and classes. The Scriptures frequently mention it in connection with honey as a delicacy (Ex 3:8; 13:5; Josh 5:6; Jer 11:5).

Curdled Cheese (Heb. hem'a). This seems to mean both butter and curdled milk. Curdled sour milk still forms, after bread, the chief food of the poorer classes in Arabia and Syria. Nor is it wanting on the tables of the well-to-do and is brought to market in large quantities. It is carried by travelers, mixed with meat and dried, and then dissolved in water to make a refreshing drink. It was this curdled milk that Abraham set before the angels (Gen 18:8) and Jael gave to Sisera (Judg 4:19). If kept long enough in this state it acquired a slightly intoxicating property. It is rendered "curds" (Isa 7:22), and its use in connection with honey is figurative of scarcity. Bread and wine would be unattainable, so thickened milk and honey would be eaten instead. A very striking allusion to milk is that which forbids a kid to be boiled in its mother's milk (Ex 23:19; 34:26; Deut 14:21). See KID.

(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary)

Figurative. Milk occurs as a sign of abundance (Gen 49:12; Ezek 25:4; Joel 3:18; etc.), but more frequently with honey. "Milk and honey" is a phrase that occurs about twenty times in Scripture. Milk is also illustrative of the blessings of the gospel (Isa 55:1; Joel 3:18), the first principles of God's Word (1 Cor 3:2; Heb 5:12; 1 Peter 2:2), edifying discourse (Song 4:11), and the wealth of the Gentiles (Isa 60:16).