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The United Nations declared 2016 to be the year of Pulses. The United Nations defines pulses from the Latin language as legumes, meaning beans, peas and lentils. They are promoted for their high nutritional content of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are also recognized to be extremely easy on the environment to produce when compared to other food sources such as animal flesh. So with all the good press regarding pulses, it behooves us to revisit a remarkable story recorded in the Bible. The time was early in the Babylonian empire and the issue revolved amazingly, around the request for pulse by a political prisoner by the name of Daniel. 

What did Daniel mean when he asked for Pulse and Water?

The original Hebrew 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.

Zera, coming from the same root word as 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 zera, according to the Enhanced Strongs Lexicon means fruit, fruitful, plant, or plant bearing seed. This indicates the plants’ ability to make a seed which can produce yet another plant.

Click HERE to watch a verse by verse presentation about Daniel.  This presentation shows many scientific facts surrounding the Daniel diet.

These guidelines are very broad!

This means that Daniel was asking for a plant diet, including fruits, grains, nuts, and vegatables.  Fruits and grains obviously bear seeds.  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.

Click HERE to watch a verse by verse presentation about Daniel.  This presentation shows many scientific facts surrounding the Daniel diet.

So what was Daniel's diet concern that make him request pulse?

It may be thought that Daniel's refusal of the kings food was because the food had likely been offered to idols. This practice was opposed by the Israelites 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

However, Daniel's request shows that his concern was not only to whom (or what) the food had been initially offered or dedicated. 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 Daniel's 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. Concerns about not getting adequate protein, calcium, B or D vitamins or the right fats. Concerns that have been repeatedly demonstrated to be unfounded yet continue to be strongly promoted. Despite the Princes’ concern Daniel convinced his supervisor to let them eat their simple zeroa diet for 10 days.

The outcome was amazing!

Daniel 1:15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

After eating this diet for three years Scriptures tell us the astounding results:

Daniel 1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
1:19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
1:20 And in all matters of wisdom [and] understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians [and] astrologers that [were] in all his realm.

Not that a 3 year result wasn't enough, we can take it even further and see that Daniel outlived the King and was alert and coherent enough to advise the King's grandson, Belshazzar, roughly 70 years after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar began. Now that is a telling piece of information! See Daniel Chapter 5.

Click here to read more of the history and actual Scriptures of Daniels Diet.

Click HERE to watch a verse by verse presentation about Daniel.  This presentation shows many scientific facts surrounding the Daniel diet.