Y O U N G P E O P L E ' S D I C T I O N A R Y O F S C R I P T U R A L • & • R E L I G I O U S T E R M S
Herb or Herbs is mentioned over 40 times in the KJV Bible. Most of uses of this word are found
in the Old Testament. Today we think of herbs as spices added to food to enrich the flavor of
what we are eating. For example, when someone makes chili, herb (spices) are added to give
chili a special tangy flavor.
In the Bible however, there are other meanings to the word herb. For example, we believe that
until after the flood in Noah’s life, humans were vegetarians. They ate herbs which we would
call vegetables, fruit, etc. It was after the flood that God seems to have told Noah that the flesh
of animals was acceptable to eat. However He solemnly warned Noah, and all of us, not to eat
the blood of an animal.
“And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every
fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your
hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green
herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall
ye not eat” (Gen. 9:2-4).
Herb is also used by the Lord Jesus in the gospels in the way we usually think of it—that is as
something that adds flavor to food, or gives a pleasant odor of some sort. In general, however,
herb in the Bible means all green plants which can be eaten (vegetables, etc.)