A few months ago, we had a mega-church service that spiritually impacted our lives. During the service, the invited guest speaker shook us after he arrived with several boxes carrying honey. He then ordered the ushers to give every house member one tin of honey with a little spoon to scoop with. He then revealed that he wanted every church member to taste the honey as he preached, to see how the word of God was sweeter than the honey. I was amazed at how the preacher used honey to bring across the word of God, and I kept asking myself the rest of the evening, “What does honey symbolize in the bible?”
Honey is used in the Bible to symbolize love and wisdom. The Bible also uses it to symbolize God’s promise to his people regarding provision. Exodus 3:7-8 records God’s promise to his people after he appeared to Moses through a burning bush. In this scripture, God promises to deliver the people of Israel from Egypt and bring them into a land that is flowing with milk and honey. This comes to pass as God provided manna as food to the Israelites every day except on the sabbath while in the wilderness.
So, read to the end to learn more about this topic, as I will discuss a few bible verses about honey and what the Bible says about it. I will also explain the symbolic meanings of honey in the Bible and how people in the Bible consumed honey, among other topics.
Is honey mentioned in the Bible?
Honey is mentioned in the Bible several times and is used to mean or represent different things. It is mentioned in Exodus when God appeared to Moses through the burning bush. It is also mentioned in Revelations 10:9-10. According to these verses, the author is given a little book by the angel, who instructs him to eat it. The author takes the little book and eats it, and realizes it has a sweet taste, just like honey, but it turns into a bitter taste once it reaches his stomach.
The Bible also mentions honey in the book of Genesis in the story of Joseph and his brothers. In the story, Jacob instructs his other sons to pack a few valuable presents, including honey, and take them to Joseph back in Egypt. The gifts were to act as a sign of honor and respect towards Joseph as he was a governor in that land.
. The New Testament also mentions honey in Matthew 3:1-4 at the time when John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus. The scripture records that John’s clothes were made from the camels’ hair and that he only used locusts and wild honey as food while in the desert.
The Bible also mentions honey in Judges 14:1-8 when recording Samson’s marriage. After Samson had killed a lion, he passed by the same route and encountered its carcass. Upon checking it, Samson found some honeycombs and honey, which he ate and took some to his parents.
The Bible also mentions honey in 1 Samuel 14:24-29. In this scripture, Saul puts an oath against anyone putting anything in their mouth before the evening after their war with the Philistines. However, his son Jonathan is not aware of the oath, so he dips his staff in honey and eats it. His eyes are immediately brightened, and he realizes what he had done.
Honey is also mentioned in Proverbs 25:16, where King Solomon advises people to eat just enough honey when they find it, as too much of it may lead to one vomiting.
Another mention of honey in the Bible is in Numbers 13:26-27. In this scripture, the men who had been sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan come back with a report. They inform Moses that, indeed, the land flows milk and honey.
Bible verses about honey
The author of Revelations 10:9-10 likens the scroll he was given to eat to honey’s sweetness. The author narrates how an angel gave him a little scroll and commanded him to eat it. Upon eating it, the author suggests that the little scroll was as sweet as honey in his mouth, but when it reached his stomach, it turned sour.
Psalms 81:11-16 records God pleading with the Israelites to listen to him. The book suggests that God would subdue Israel’s enemies and bestow a punishment upon them that would last forever. For the Israelites, God would feed them with the finest wheat and honey from the rock.
Ezekiel 27:17 suggests that Judah and Israel used honey as one of their trading items.
Song of Solomon 4:11 also mentions honey as a representation of love. The author likens his lover’s lips to the sweetness of the honeycomb. He also likens the taste of her mouth to that of milk and honey.
Proverbs 16:24 likens gracious words to a honeycomb, as they are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones, just like honey.
Leviticus 2:10-12 also records the instructions God gave concerning honey as an offering. In the scripture, God instructs the grains to be offered to him must be without any yeast or honey. Honey was only used as an offering to God if it was the first fruit. It was, however, not be found among those with a pleasing aroma that were used as offerings.
Proverbs 24:13-14 also records the author urging his son to eat honey as it is good. He reveals to the son that honey from the comb has a sweet taste, just like wisdom.
Exodus 16:31 records the Israelites likening manna’s taste to honey. The bread also called the manna, was likened to the appearance of coriander seed and its taste to that of wafers made with honey.
Proverbs 5:3 suggests that the lips of an adulterous woman drip honey, implying that they are sweet and can lead one into temptations.
In Deuteronomy 32:13, Moses reveals in his song that God made him ride on the heights of the land as he fed him with the fruit of the fields. The Lord also nourished him with honey from the rock.
1 Samuel 14:43-45 records of Saul questioning his son Jonathan about what he had done. Johnathan informs him that he had tasted the honey with his staff and he had to die. The other men in the army intervene in the situation and save Jonathan from dying, suggesting that he helped them defeat the Philistines with God’s help.
What does the Bible say about honey?
In the Old Testament, honey is mostly linked to the promise of God or his ability to provide for his people. When God appeared to Moses through the burning bush, he promised to rescue the children of Israel from Egypt and bring them into a new land filled with milk and honey.
The Bible also suggests that honey is sweet to the mouth when consumed. Proverbs 24:13 records the author instructing his son to eat honey, which is good for his taste.
The Bible also suggests that honey can be used as a product that can be given away as a gift. In the story of Joseph and his brothers, Jacob instructs his sons to pack up a few gifts, including honey, to take to Joseph back in Egypt.
The Bible also suggests that the word of God is sweeter than honey. Proverbs 16:24 suggests that gracious words are like a honeycomb that is sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
What does honey represent in the Bible?
Honey is a representation of God’s grace and gifts
Honey is used in the Bible to represent God’s grace and gifts to his people. There are different instances in the Bible in which honey is given as a gift to someone.
2 Chronicles 31:5 also records the Israelites taking the first fruit of their grains, olive, wine, and honey, to God as a tithe to remind them of God’s grace over their life.
The word of God
Honey is used in the Bible to represent the word of God. King David talks about the word of God in Psalms 119:103, suggesting that it is sweeter than the honey in his mouth.
The Bible also uses honey to represent God’s provision to all who trust him. When John the Baptist set out to the desert to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus, he did not carry any food with him. God was, however, with him as he provided him with locusts and honey as his food.
Exodus 16:31 also records how God provided food for the Israelites while they were on their way to the Promised Land. The Israelites could find manna lying all over the ground, which they compared to the taste of honey.
Prosperity and abundance
Honey is also used in the Bible to represent prosperity and abundance. When God promised Moses that he would bring the Israelites to a land full of milk and honey, he might have had another meaning attached to it. Scholars suggest that God used milk and honey to paint a picture to Moses of what kind of land he had set aside for the Israelites.
For land to produce that much honey, it had to have bees, meaning it had to have various plants and crops for pollination. Additionally, for the land to have too much milk, it had to have livestock and green pasture, making the land prosperous.
5 symbolic meanings of honey in the Bible
God’s promise of abundance
Honey is used in the Bible to symbolize the promise of God of abundance to his people. While Pharaoh mistreated the Israelites in the land of Egypt, God had already established a plan for them. God appeared to Moses through a burning bush and revealed his intentions concerning the Israelites. God promised Moses that he would deliver the Israelites from the land of Egypt and bring them to a good and spacious land that would be flowing with honey and milk. True to his promise, the land where the Israelites settled was among the most fertile land of that time.
The Bible has also used honey to symbolize wisdom. Solomon suggests this in Proverbs 24:13-14 as he encourages his son to eat honey, suggesting that it is good and sweet to his taste. Solomon further likens wisdom to honey and notes that there is a future for the son if he finds it.
The Bible also uses honey to symbolize God’s provision for his people. Mark 1:6 records how John the Baptist survived on locusts and honey the Lord provided him in the wilderness as he made way for the Messiah.
God’s provision for his people is also seen through the book of Exodus, where the Israelites used to eat manna that used to fall from heaven. They likened his manna to wafers that had been prepared using honey.
The Bible uses honey as a symbol of love. This is suggested in Song of Solomon 4:11 when the writer likens his brides’ lips drop to that of the honeycomb.
The Bible also uses honey as a symbol for God’s word. This is seen in the book of Psalms, where King David likens the word of God to the taste of honey in his mouth.
How is honey used in the Bible?
As a gift
Honey has been used in the Bible as a very unique and beautiful gift one can receive. Presenting honey to someone as a gift means that you honor and respect them or value your relationship with them.
Honey usage in the Bible as a gift is seen in 1 Kings 14:1-3 when Jeroboam’s wife visited a prophet in Shiloh. Jeroboam instructs his wife to take ten loaves of bread, a few cakes, and a jar of honey to the prophet so that she can be told what would happen to Abijah, their son who was sick.
As an offering
Honey was also used in the Bible as an offering to God. People would present honey to the priest as an offering of the first fruit. Honey was not used as an offering of pleasing aroma to God, as suggested in Leviticus 29:9-12.
Honey was majorly used in the Bible as food. As stated, John the Baptist used honey and locusts as his only food in the wilderness. The Israelites also used honey as food when they were still in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land.
David and his people were also given a variety of food, including honey, roasted grain, lentils, and cheese from cows to eat when they arrived in Mahanaim. This is after they had spent a while in the wilderness with his army fighting.
Luke 24:36-42 suggests that even Jesus ate honey after his resurrection. This happened after he appeared to his disciples, who had not seen him yet. He showed them his hands and feet bruised from the nails, but they still did not believe him. He then requested food, which he was brought a broiled fish and honeycomb, which he ate before them.
How was honey consumed in the Bible?
Honey was, at times, consumed together with the honeycomb. After Jesus appeared to his disciples when he had just resurrected, he requested food to prove to them that he still had his physical body. He was given a piece of broiled fish and honeycomb, which he ate. Song of Solomon 5:1 also records the author revealing how he has eaten his honeycomb with his honey.
Honey was also consumed in the Bible together with curds or butter. Prophet Isaiah suggests in Isaiah 7:15 that the child who will be born of the virgin will eat curds and honey until he reaches the age of knowing what is good or bad.
Honey was also consumed in the Bible alongside milk. This is seen in Song of Solomon 4:11, where the author likens his spouse’s dripping lips to that of the honeycomb and her under the tongue to the taste of milk and honey.
Honey was also, at times, consumed alone. 1 Samuel 14:29 records Jonathan revealing how he tasted the honey alone due to the troubles that his father had brought onto the land.
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.