Honey in Judaism
In Jewish tradition, honey is a symbol for the new year—Rosh Hashana. At the traditional meal for that holiday, apple slices are dipped in honey and eaten to bring a sweet new year. Some Rosh Hashana greetings show honey and an apple, symbolizing the feast. In some congregations, small straws of honey are given out to usher in the new year.
A custom of some Jews, is to wait until a male child turns three before giving him his first haircut. This custom, called an Upsherin, is time when a child is supposed to start his formal bible training. A drop of honey is placed on his tongue and his parents or teacher tells him that the words of the Torah should be sweet to him as taste of honey.
Honey in Islam
In Islam, there is an entire Surah in the Qur'an called al-Nahl (the Honey Bee). According to hadith, Prophet Muhammad strongly recommended honey for healing purposes. The Qur'an also promotes honey as a nutritious and healthy food:
"And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills, on trees and in (men's) habitations…there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for mankind. Verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought"
Honey in Buddhism
In Buddhism, honey plays an important role in the festival of Madhu Purnima, celebrated by Buddhists in India and Bangladesh. The day commemorates Buddha's making peace among his disciples by retreating into the wilderness. The legend has it that while he was there, a monkey brought him honey to eat. On Madhu Purnima, Buddhists remember this act by giving honey to monks. The monkey's gift is frequently depicted in Buddhist art.
Honey in the Bible
Jacob and honey (Genesis 43:11)
"Then their father Israel "If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift - a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds."
A land flowing with milk and honey
The Book of Exodus describes the Promised Land as a "land flowing with milk and honey" (33:3).
Deuteronomy 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, and he did eat the fruitage of the field; and He made him to suck honey out of the crag, and oil out of the flinty rock;
Samson and honey
In The Book of Judges, Samson found a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of a lion (14:8).
14:1 And Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines.
14:2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said: 'I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore get her for me to wife.'
14:3 Then his father and his mother said unto him: 'Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines?' And Samson said unto his father: 'Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.'
14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord; for he sought an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines had rule over Israel.
14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah; and, behold, a young lion roared against him.
14:6 And the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as one would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand; but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.
14:7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
14:8 And after a while he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion; and, behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.
14:9 And he scraped it out into his hands, and went on, eating as he went, and he came to his father and mother, and gave unto them, and they did eat; but he told them not that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.
14:10 And his father went down unto the woman; and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
14:11 And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
14:12 And Samson said unto them: 'Let me now put forth a riddle unto you; if ye can declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of raiment;
14:13 but if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of raiment.' And they said unto him: 'Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.'
14:14 And he said unto them: Out of the eater came forth food, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days declare the riddle.
14:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife: 'Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire; have ye called us hither to impoverish us?'
14:16 And Samson's wife wept before him, and said: 'Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not; thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and wilt thou not tell it me?' And he said unto her: 'Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell thee?'
14:17 And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted; and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she pressed him sore; and she told the riddle to the children of her people.
14:18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down: What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them: If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.
14:19 And the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and smote thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave the changes of raiment unto them that declared the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.
14:20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had had for his friend.
Jonathan and honey (1 Samuel 14:24-27)
14:25 And all the people came into the forest; and there was honey upon the ground.
14:26 And when the people were come unto the forest, behold a flow of honey; but no man put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath.
14:27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath; and he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes brightened.
Honey in the Book of Proverbs
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Proverbs 24:13 My son, eat thou honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to thy taste;
Honey in the Book of Psalms
Psalms 81:17 They should also be fed with the fat of wheat; and with honey out of the rock would I satisfy thee.'
Honey in Ezekiel
Ezekiel 16:19 My bread also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou didst even set it before them for a sweet savour, and thus it was; saith the Lord GOD.
Honey in the Talmud (Berachot 57b
Fire is a sixtieth of Gehenom;
Honey, a sixtieth of Manna;
Shabbat, a sixtieth of Olam HaBa;
Sleep, a sixtieth of death;
A dream, a sixtieth of prophesy.
Bava Batra 18 contains a discussion about planting mustard plants near beehives. The fear was that the bees would consume the mustard seeds and have sharp taste in their mouths, then go back to their hives and consume honey and thus lowering the yield to the beekeeper.
Honey in the New Testament
John the Baptist and honey (Matthew 3:1-4)
"In those days John The Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." This is He who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for The Lord, make straight paths for Him.'" John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey."
Honey in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 10:7-11)
"But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to His servants the prophets.". Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: "Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land." So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey." I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."
You can buy Black Bear Honey directly from us. All honey is packed in glass jars.
Our honey is made in small quantities by our family in Israel and is available directly from us. We are not a large commercial apiary trucking hives around the country. Each hive is hand painted and they are visited regularly and cared for by our family.
Each bottle is filled and inspected to make sure the honey our bees make is the best quality. Email us or call (050 314-4915) today to order some delicious Black Bear Honey.
Black Bear Honey is 100% pure, natural.
Do you know someone sweet that deserves a special gift? Someone who would appreciate a gift so unique and special they will be talking about it for years to come?
Name a beehive after someone special. All you need to do is send us details about the person being honored and we will put their name on the hive for a year. We photograph the hive and create a web page, especially designed for your gift. You and your friends can share pictures of bees coming and going into a hive bearing the name of the person being honored. Your gift also helps disadvantaged families in Israel because with every gift, we send two pounds of honey, from our apiary, to poor families in Israel. Check out www.beemitzvah.com