benz (pol; Arabic ful):
A very common product of Palestine; a valuable and very ancient article of diet. The Bible references are probably to the Faba vulgaris (N. D. Leguminosae) or horsebean. This is sown in the autumn; is in full flower--filling the air with sweet perfume--in the early spring; and is harvested just after the barley and wheat. The bundles of black bean stalks, plucked up by the roots and piled up beside the newly winnowed barley, form a characteristic feature on many village threshing-floors. Beans are threshed and winnowed like the cereals. Beans are eaten entire, with the pod, in the unripe state, but to a greater extent the hard beans are cooked with oil and meat.
In Ezekiel 4:9, beans are mentioned with other articles as an unusual source of bread and in 2 Samuel 17:28 David receives from certain staunch friends of his at Mahanaim a present, which included "beans, and lentils, and parched pulse."
E. W. G. Masterman
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