Daniels' Diet of Pulse
What did Daniel mean when he asked for Pulse and Water?
The original word for pulse is zeroa, which according to the Enhanced Strongs Lexicon is literally translated, vegetables. Pulse in this context has typically been said to mean, lentils, chickpeas or some sort of legume or seed type food.
But let’s look a little deeper.
Zara, the root word for zeroa, is found in the context of what God gave to mankind to eat at creation. The definition for vegetable enlarges considerably when God defines what is food. The word zara, according to the Enhanced Strongs Lexicon means to sow or scatter seed. This indicates the plants’ ability to make a seed which can produce yet another plant.
These guidelines are very broad!
For example, even a mushroom has a fruiting body by which it sows its’ seed. Potatoes, garlic, beets, carrots and onions make seeds if we let them. Don’t forget the seeds themselves, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and cashew nuts all qualify.
So what was Daniels diet concern that make him request pulse?
It is often thought that Daniels’ concern with the kings food was because the food had likely been offered to idols. This was a practice which Israelites opposed because of Gods' repeated instructions to keep themselves free from idols. The importance of abstaining from food offered to idols was later upheld in the New Testament church.
“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” Acts 15:28 & 29.
Paul clarifies the issue even further when he says,
“As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him. Howbeit [there is] not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat [it] as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple,
shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” 1 Corinthians 10:4-28.
So back to the Daniel Diet
The context of the story shows his concern was not to whom the food had been initially dedicated or for who it was prepared. His concern was that he wanted to have the diet prescribed in Genesis, at the creation of the world. He was asking for a whole plant food, unrefined, unprocessed!
This observation is underscored by the reason given for the initial refusal of Daniels request. The Prince of the Eunuchs was fearful that eating a plant based diet, would give bad health. This was a genuine concern. The prince obviously had subscribed to many of the same unfounded assumptions that many people in our society have today. Despite the Princes’ concern Daniel convinced his supervisor to let them eat their simple zeroa diet for 10 days.
Click here to read the outcome of the controlled study after 10 days and 3 years.