Bean (פּוֹל, pol; Sept. κύαμος) occurs first in 2Sa 17:28, where beans are described as being brought to David, as well as wheat, barley, lentils, etc., as is the custom at the present day in many parts of the East when a traveler arrives at a village. So in Eze 4:9, the prophet is directed to take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, etc. and make bread thereof. This meaning of the Hebrews word is confirmed by the Arabic ful, which is applied to the bean in modern times, as ascertained by Forskal in Egypt, and as we find in old Arabic works. The common bean, or at least one of its varieties, we find noticed by Hippocrates and Theophrastus under the names of κύαμος ἑλληνικός, "'Greek bean," to distinguish it from κύαμος αἰγύπ τιος, the "Egyptian bean," or bean of Pythagoras, which was no doubt the large farinaceous seed of Nelumbium speciosum (Theophr. Plant. 4, 9; Athen. 3, 73; comp. Link, Urwelt, 1, 224; Billerbeck, Flor. Class. p. 139). Beans were employed as articles of. diet by the ancients, as they are by the moderns, and are considered to give rise to flatulence, but otherwise to be wholesome and nutritious. (comp. Pliny, 18:30). Beans are cultivated over a great part of the Old World, from the north of Europe to the south of India; in the latter, however, forming the cold-weather cultivation, with wheat, peas, etc. They are extensively cultivated in Egypt and Arabia. In Egypt they are sown in November, and reaped in the middle of February (three and a half months in the ground); but in Syria they may be had throughout the spring. The stalks are cut down with the scythe, and these are afterward cut and crushed to fit them for the food of camels, oxen, and goats. The beans themselves, when sent to market, are often deprived of their skins. Basnage reports it as the sentiment of some of the rabbins that beans were not lawful to the priests, on account of their being considered the appropriate food of mourning and affliction; but he does not refer to the authority; and neither in the sacred books nor in the Mishna (see Shebiith, 2, 9) can be found any traces of the notion to which he alludes (see Otho, Lex. Rob. p. 223). So far from attaching any sort of impurity to this legume, it is described as among the first-fruit offerings; and several other articles in the latter collection prove that the Hebrews had beans largely in use after they had passed them through the mill (Kitto, Phys. Hist. of Palestine, p. 319). The paintings on the monuments of Egypt show that the bean was cultivated in that country in very early times (comp. Strabo, 15:822), although Herodotus states (2, 37; comp. Diog. Laert. 8:34) that beans were held in abhorrence by the Egyptian priesthood, and that they were never eaten by the people (but see Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 1, 323 abridgm.); but as they were cultivated, it is probable that they formed an article of diet with the poorer classes (comp. Horace, Sat. 2, 3, 182; 2:6, 63); and beans with rice, and dhourra tread, are the chief articles of food at this day among the Fellah population. They are usually eaten steeped in oil. Those now cultivated in Syria and Palestine are the white horse-bean and the kidney-bean, called by the natives mash.

Bible concordance for BEAN.

Definition of bean

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