VEGETABLES. The word “vegetable” is not mentioned as such, but vegetables were eaten. When the children of Israel left Egypt, the first thing they did was to lust after cucumbers, leeks, onions, and garlic!
Those who are forced to live a nomadic life cannot grow their vegetables. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were herdsmen, always moving on to new pastures. Their food was not fresh vegetables and salads—nor is it so with the Bedouins today.
Did Jacob make a lentil soup? Then did his father grow them or were they obtained in exchange for beasts? (See Lentils.) Maybe the Lens esculenta was found growing wild. Herdsmen would look for grazing where this vetch was to be found, because the plant is known as a milk stimulant.
Other vegetables grown were prob. the Finugrec, a kind of grass salad. Does Job in ch. 30 refer to yet another vegetable, for instead of mallows one can read “saltwort” and for Juniper, “broom”? The saltwort is used as a salad, and the broom roots—a root crop. Job says, in fact, that these vegetables were the food of the poorer classes.