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Bible Encyclopedias

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Cake

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(represented by several Hebrews words; see below). The Hebrews used various sorts of cakes; which was the form usually given to Oriental bread (2 Samuel 6:19; 1 Kings 17:12). (See LOAF). They were leavened or unleavened. They also offered cakes in the Temple made of wheat or of barley, kneaded sometimes with oil and sometimes with honey. For the purposes of offering, these cakes were salted, but unleavened (Exodus 29:2; Leviticus 2:4). In Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:19, we read of the Hebrews kneading their dough "to make cakes to the queen of heaven", (See ASHTORETH), which appears to have been, from early times, an idolatrous practice, and was also the custom of the Greeks and Romans. The ancient Egyptians also made offerings of cakes to their deities. In Hosea 7:8, Ephraim is called "a cake not turned." This figurative expression illustrates the mixture of truth and idolatry (Jews and Gentiles among the Ephraimites) by dough baked on one side only, and, therefore, neither doughnor bread. (See BREAD).

1. For secular Use. The ordinary (wheaten) bread of the Hebrews certainly had the shape of flat biscuits; and as this has been already sufficiently discussed under the article BAKE (See BAKE) , we will here consider only those finer sorts, which appear to have been of more artificial manufacture.' The terms for these are as follows:

(1.) Ash-cakes, עֻגּוֹת , uggoth'. (See ASH-CAKE).

(2.) Pancakes, baked in oil in the מִרְחֶשֶׁת, marche' sheth, or pot (Leviticus 2:7; see Jarchi in Rosenmü ller, ad loc.), perhaps like modern dcWuh-nuts. (See FRYING-PAN). Different are the לְבִיבוֹת, lebiboth' (2 Samuel 13:6-18; Sept. κολλυρίδες ), cakes kneaded of dough (2 Samuel 13:8), which, boiled in a deep pan, were emptied out from it tender, but notliquid (2 Samuel 13:8-9). The import of this last, from the etymology, is very uncertain (see Rodiger, De interpret. Arab. libr. hist. p. 94; Thenius on Samuel 13:6; Gesenius, Thes. p. 141). It was probably a kind of fancy cake, the making of which appears to have been a rare accomplishment, since Tamar was required to prepare it for Ammon in his pretended illness (2 Samuel 13:6).

(3.) Hole-cakes, חִלּוֹת, challoth' (2 Samuel 6:19), which were mingled with oil (בְּלוּלוֹת בִּשֶּׁמֶן , see Bahr, Symbol. 2:301), and baked in the oven (Leviticus 2:4).

(4.) Wafers, רְקִיקִים , rekkim' (Exodus 29:2; Leviticus 8:26; 1 Chronicles 23:29), made very thin (Gr. λἀγανα ), and spread with oil(מְשֻׁחִים בִּשֶּׁמֶן, Sept. διακεχαρισμένα ἐν ἐλαίῳ ). (See WAFER).

(5.) Crackers, the נִקֻּדִּים, nikkuddim', of 1 Kings 14:3, translated "cracknels" in the Authorized Version, an almost obsolete word, denoting a kind of crisp cake, q. d. "crumb-cake." The original-would seem, by its etymology (if from נָקֹד, speckled, spotted, Genesis 30:32 sq.), to denote something spotted or sprinkled over, etc. Buxtorf (Lex. Talm. col.1386) explains thus: " Little circles of bread like the half of an egg, Terumoth, 100:5;" and in another place (Epit. ad. Hrebr. p. 544), Also the crackers, 1 Kings 14:3, commonly called biscuit, received their name because they were formed in little round slices as if stamped out, or because they were punctured in some peculiar manner." It is, indeed, not improbable that they may have been' a sort of biscuit, or small and hard- baked cakes, calculated to keep (for a journey or some other purpose) by reason of their excessive hardness (or perhaps being twice baked, as the word biscuit implies). Not only are such hard cakes or biscuits still used in the East, but they are, like all biscuits, punctured to render them morehard, and sometimes, also, they are sprinkled with seeds, either of which circumstances sufficiently meets the conditions suggested by the etymology of the Hebrew word. The existence of such biscuits is further implied in Joshua 9:5; Joshua 9:12, where the Gibeonites describe their bread as having become as hard as biscuit (not "mouldy," as in the Authorized Version) by reason of the length of their journey. (See CRACKNEL).

(6.) Honey-cakes, צִפִּחִית בִּדְבִּשׁ, tsappichith' bidbash' (Exodus 16:31; Talm. דּוּבְשָׁנִין, Mishna, Challa, 1:4), such as are still much relished by the Arabs. (See HONEY). Different from these were the raisin- cakes, אֲשִׁישֵׁי אֲנָבִים, ashishey' anabim' (Hosea 3:1; Sept. πέμματα μετὰ σταφίδας, Authorized Version "flagons of wine"), probably a mass of dried grapes pressed into form; comp. the lumps (" cakes") of Jigs, דְּבֵלִים, dcebelim', in 1 Samuel 25:18. (See FIG). The term אֲשִׁישָׁה, ashishah' (as explained by the Targ. of Ps. Jonathan at Exodus 16:31; also the Mishna, Nedar. 6:10; see Gesen. Thes. 1:166 sq.), seems to denote the same kind of cakes as used for refreshment (Song of Solomon 2:5;2 Samuel 6:19; 1 Chronicles 16:3). (See FLAGON). A species of cake prepared with honey is thought (so Jerome) to be referred to in Ezekiel 16:13 (see Rosenmü ller, in loc.).

(7.) The hashed fragments of the offering, מִנְחִת פִּתִּים תֻּפִּינֵי, tuppiney'minchath' pattim' (lit. cookings (f the offering of [i.e. in] pieces, Auth. Ver. "baken pieces of the meat-offering," Leviticus 6:21, i:e. cooked and prepared like the meat-offering, and then broken up into pieces; comp. Leviticus 2:4 sq.; Leviticus 7:9), are probably cooked pieces that were again kneaded up with oil and baked (comp. Wansleb in Paulus, Samml. 3:330; Bahr, Symbol. 2:302). For this purpose use was made of a frying-pan, מִחֲבִת, machabath' (Leviticus 2:5, etc.), probably a flat iron plate (stew-pan or griddle), beneath which the fire was kindled (comp. Niebuhr,1:234). (See PAN).

(8.) The thin cakes, כִּוָּנִים, kavanim' (" cakes," Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:19), a sort of wafer used in heathen offerings, are rendered in-the Sept. by the Graecized term χαυῶνες, which is explained by Suidas and other ancient glossarists as signifying barley-cakes steeped in oil; compare the cakes and barley-meal used with sacrifices among the Greeks and Romans (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v. Sacrificium). (See QUEEN OF HEAVEN).

The only remaining Hebrews words relating to the subject, or rendered "cake" in the Auth. Vers., are, מָעוֹג, magq', a cake, i.e. whole piece (q. d. "slice") of bread (1 Kings 17:12; in Psalms 35:16, in the phrase לִעֲגֵי מָעוֹג, cake-buffoons, scurrce placentace "mockers in feasts," i.e. table- jesters); מִצָּה, matstsah' (Joshua 5:11; Judges 6:19-21; 1 Chronicles 23:29, etc.), sweet or unleavened bread, as usually rendered, (See LEAVEN); and צְלוּל, tselul', צְלִיל, tselil (Judges 7:13), a round cake of barley-bread. The חֹרִי, chori', of Genesis 40:16 (where it only occurs in the expression סִלֵּי חֹרִי, Sept. κανᾶ χονδριτῶν , Vulg. canistra farince, Auth. Vers. "white baskets," marg. "basketsfull of holes"), may signify either white bread, as made of fine flour (in the Mishna, Edaioth, 3:10, חרי is a species of bread or cake like the Arab.chumauray, white bread or flour), or it may refer to some peculiarity of the baskets merely. (See BASKET). In the Mishna, Challa, 11:4 sq., many other kinds of cake are referred to, but the import of the words there employed is very uncertain. On the Greek cakes, see especially Athen. 14:644 sq. See generally Rau, Diss. de re cibari hebrceor. (Tr. ad Rh. 1769). (See FOOD).

2. As sacriflcial Offerings. The second chapter of Leviticus gives a sort of list of the different kinds of bread and cakes in use among the ancient Israelites, for the purpose of distinguishing the kinds which were from those which were not suitable for cfferings. Of such as were fit for offerings, we find,

(1.) Bread baked in ovens (Leviticus 2:4); but this is limited to two sorts, which appear to be, first, the bread baked inside the vessels of stone, metal, or earthen ware, as was customary. In this case the oven is half filled with small smooth pebbles, upon which, when heated and the fuel withdrawn, the dough is laid. Bread prepared in this mode is necessarily full of indentations or holes, from the pebbles on which it is baked. Second, the bread prepared by dropping with the hollow of the hand a thin layer of the almost liquid dough upon the outside of the same oven, and which, being baked dry the moment it touches the heated surface, forms a thin,. wafer-like bread or biscuit. The, first of these Moses appears to distinguish by the characteristic epithet of חִלּוֹת, challoth' (see above), perforatcd, or full of holes (Exodus 29:2; Leviticus 2:4; Leviticus 7:12; Numbers 6:15, etc.), and the other by the name of רְקוּקִים, rekukim', thin cakes, being, if correctly identified, by much the thinnest of any bread used in the East. A cake of the former was offered as the first of the dough (Leviticus 8:26), and is mentioned in 2 Samuel 6:19, with the addition of "bread" perforated bread. Both sorts, when used for offerings, were to be unleavened (perhaps to secure their being prepared for the specialpurpose); and the first sort, namely, that which appears to have been baked inside the oven, was to Le mix(d up with oil, while the other (that baked outside the oven), which, from its thinness, could not possibly be thus treated, was to be only smeared with oil. The fresh olive oil, which was to be used for this purpose, imparts to the bread something of the flavor of butter, which last is usually of very indifferent quality in Eastern countries.

(2.) Bread baked in a pan 1st, that which, as is still usual, is baked in, or rather on, the tajen. This also, as an offering, was to be unleavened and mixed with oil. 2d. This, according to Leviticus 2:6, could be broken into pieces, and oil poured over it, forming a distinct kind of bread and offering. And, in fact, the thin biscuits baked on the tajin, as well as the other kinds of bread, thus broken up and remade into a kind of dough,form a kind of food or pastry in which the Orientals take much delight, and which makes a standing dish among the pastoral tribes. The ash-cake answering to the Hebrew עֻגָּה, uggah, is the most frequently employed for this purpose. When it is baked, it is broken up into crumbs and rekneaded with water, to which is added, in the course of the operation, butter, oil, vinegar, or honey. Having thus again reduced it to a tough dough, the mass is broken into pieces, which are baked in smaller cakes and eaten as a dainty. The preparation for the Mosaical offering was more simple, but it serves to indicate the existence of such preparations among the ancient Israelites.

(3.) Bread baked upon the hearth that is to soy, baked upon the hearth- stone, or plate covering the fire-pit, which frequently answers the purpose of an oven. This also was to be mixed with oil (Leviticus 2:7).

As these various kinds of baked bread were allowed as offerings, there is no question that they were the best modes of preparing bread known to the Hebrews in the time of Moses; and as all the ingredients were such as Palestine abundantly produced, they were such offerings as even thepoorest might without much difficulty procure. (See SHEW-BREAD).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Cake'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/c/cake.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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