Notes Dandelion

The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Numbers 9:11 (KJV)

In the second month on the fourteenth day in the evening they shall keep it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Numbers 9:11 (RSV)

In the second month on the fourteenth day between the two evenings, they should prepare it. Together with unfermented cakes and bitter greens they should eat it.

Numbers 9:11 (NWT)

Probably the children of Israel learned to eat bitter herbs from the Egyptians. Ancient Egyptians used to place the green herbs on the table, mixed with mustard, and then dunked their bread in the mixture. The Moldenke's believed that Cichorium endivia, Cichorium intybus, Lactuca sativa, Nasturtium officinale, Rumex acetosella, and Taraxacum officinale were among the green herbs of the Bible. By contrast, local Israeli botanist Michael Zohary lists none of these in his Plants of the Bible (ZOH), and only the watercress is listed as occurring in the Flora of Palestine. Zohary figures instead a diminutive chicory and the poppy-leaved Reichardia (which looks like dandelion) as more promising candidates. Regarding bitter herbs, Zohary says, "Many plants, especially those belonging to the Mustard and Daisy families, are frequently collected and used as potherbs and salad plants" (ZOH).

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