Cucumbers in the Bible

Cucumbers have been around a long time, eaten both fresh and preserved. Pickling cucumbers as a means of preserving a perishable food also lends variety and flavor. The ancient Hebrews knew this. They loved and longed for Cucumbers. As they wandered in the desert, they got tired of just eating manna and actually looked back fondly on their days of slavery in Egypt. Here was one of their complaints from the book of Numbers (11:5-6):

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

Isaiah uses a lodge in the midst of cucumbers to paint an idyllic scene of a small place in a lush garden, even while chaos reigns beyond its boundaries. Here cucumbers are a delight, while sin, corruption, and destruction are outside of the tended fields. Isaiah (1:8):

And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, [and] we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Cucumbers were looked on as a great luxury in ancient times, but one that the garden could plentifully provide, so that even the common man could partake of it. It was a great solace and joy to have a cucumber.

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Interesting Fact:

Overgrown and peeled pickled cucumbers in a sweet brine are called "slippery jacks".

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