Bread was such a staple food in the Bible lands and times, that the Mosaic Law forbade taking a man’s millstone if he owed a debt, because it would in essence be taking his life. The first instruction God gave in regards to bread, besides the declaration that man would eat bread by the sweat of his brow, was pertaining to the Feast of Unleavened Bread established right before the Israelites left Egypt.
Exodus 12:14-16, 17-20:
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD
throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. Seven days
shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your
houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that
soul shall be cut off from Israel. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for
in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall
ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance forever. In the first month, on the
fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and
twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your
houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from
the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat
nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
After the first Passover, the people gathered their things and the items given to them by their
Egyptian neighbors and set off to follow Moses through the wilderness.
Deuteronomy 24:6: No one shall take a handmill or an upper millstone in pledge, for he
would be taking a life in pledge.
Exodus 12:34, 39:
And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being
bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And they baked unleavened cakes of the
dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were
thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any
In chapter 13, they were reminded again to “keep this ordinance (Feast of Unleavened Bread
with the Passover) in its season from year to year” as a memorial for all their generations to
come. (Exodus 13:10) He told them three times to make sure they understood. Then, after the
great escape from the Egyptian Army through the Red Sea, God told them:
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do
that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his
statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the
Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
Up to this point, the only commandments and statutes that God gave to Israel in addition to the
command to leave Egypt and dedication of the firstborn were a few ordinances that involved
specific instructions about food. The Law had not yet come to Moses, yet adherence to these
few seemingly insignificant commands guaranteed the health of His people.