Last week during our bible study, we discussed the last supper in the New Testament and how Jesus used bread to represent his body. We also discussed different instances where bread was mentioned in the Bible and what the Bible said about it. During our discussion, a member wanted to know, “How many times is bread mentioned in the bible?”
Bread is mentioned in the Bible over 250 times. Bread appears 177 times in the Old Testament and 78 times in the New Testament when you read the Bible through the New International Version (NIV). The rest of the other bible versions have this name mentioned between 200 to 400 times, including the New American Standard Bible (NASB), American Standard Version (ASV), and New King James Version (NKJV). Among the instances where bread is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 19, where Lot prepares bread without yeast for the two angels who had visited Sodom, and in Matthew 4:3, when the devil tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread in the wilderness.
So, join me to the end as I delve more into this topic. I will discuss five bible verses about bread in the scripture, the significance of bread in the Bible, and where bread first appears in the Bible, among other topics.
Bible verses about bread in scripture
Matthew 6:11 records a prayer when Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. The scripture calls us to call on God to give us our daily bread, which signifies our daily meals. God is our provider, so we should ask him for our provisions.
Jesus states in John 6:35 that he is the bread of life and that whoever goes to him will never go angry. He also adds that whoever believes in him will never be thirsty, emphasizing how he is the water of life.
Matthew 15:35-39 records Jesus feeding four thousand people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Jesus had spent the entire day healing the people by the mountainside for three days and saw their hunger. He then commanded his disciples to give them food, but his disciples informed him that they had no place to find enough bread to feed all the people. Jesus then asked what was available, and that is when he was given seven loaves of bread and a few fish. He multiplied them and fed all the people that were present.
What is the significance of bread in the Bible?
Bread as our daily needs
Bread has been used in the Bible to signify our daily needs. In the New Testament, Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. In his prayer, Jesus instructs us to pray to God for our daily bread. Bread has been used in this scripture to mean any physical food our bodies need to survive.
Bread as a body of Christ
Bread has also been used in the Bible to signify the body of Christ. When we eat physical bread, we tend to get satisfied. If we take in the teachings of Jesus and do what he calls us to do, we will be filled spiritually.
Where bread first appears in the Bible
Bread first appears in the Bible in Genesis 14:18, when King Melchizedek, king of Salem, brings out bread and wine to bless Abram at the valley of Shaveh after he rescued his nephew Lot from the men who had taken him captive. Abraham had also won the battle against the four kings of Elam, Shinar, Goyim, and Ellasar.
Another first elaborate mention of bread is in Genesis 18, when Abraham was visited with three visitors. He had sat at the entrance of his tent under a tree when he saw three men standing near him. He invited them in for a meal. He also wanted them to wash their feet and rest from the long distance they had covered. Abraham then entered the tent where his wife Sarah was and instructed her to bake some bread for the visitors.
What was the purpose of bread in the Bible?
The bread was mainly used in the Bible as food. In Exodus 12:1-8, when God was about to rescue the Israelites from the land of Egypt, he gave Moses and Aaron a few instructions on what the Israelites had to eat on the day of the Passover. Among the things they were to eat was bread without yeast. This is because bread was easy to make and was a staple food the Israelites were familiar with.
God also provided the Israelites with Bread as food in the wilderness after they complained to Moses of anger, as recorded in Exodus 16:13-16.
Bread is also seen as food in John 21 when Jesus took the bread and gave it to his disciples. This is after he had appeared to them for the third time by the Sea of Galilee.
Bread also served as a metaphor to represent the body and word of Jesus Christ. Jesus reveals in John 6:35 that he is the bread of life.
What kind of bread was eaten in biblical times?
People from biblical times mostly ate bread made from barley and wheat. Barley was the most famous grain during biblical times, as it took less time to mature and could withstand harsh conditions. Additionally, one could bake bread with barley without a leavening agent, which could turn out good.
To prepare bread in biblical times, women had to grind their grains using one large and small stone until the flour was enough to bake bread. They could then keep it for a few days to ferment or bake it directly and eat it.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.