Spiritual Food and Drink

Or “Spiritual Bread and Water”

This is a subsidiary post of On Being Spiritual.

Related posts:

Relevant words:  ate, bread, dine, eat, famine, feed, food, drink, hunger, leaven, manna, milk, nourish, stomach, supper, table, taste, thirst, unleavened, water.

An asterisk at the beginning of the citation indicates that food and drink can be inferred.

Namesake Verses

John 6:55  –  “…true food…true drink.”

1 Corinthians 10:1-4  –  “…spiritual food…spiritual drink…”


Matthew 4:4 (quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 below)  –  “…’It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.”

Matthew 5:6  –  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Matthew 6:11  –  “Give us this day our daily bread.”  –  You can conclude that this petition refers to spiritual bread and not physical bread by reading Jesus’ follow-on remarks in Matthew 6:25 and 6:31-33.

Matthew 16:5-11  –  “…’How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'”

Luke 12:1  –  “…’Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.'”

Luke 14:15  –  “…’Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!'”

Luke 15:16, 17  –  “And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.  But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!'”

John 4:32-34  –  “…’I have food to eat that you do not know about.’…’No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?’…’My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.'”

John 6:51  –  “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven…”

John 6:55 – “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.”

1 Corinthians 3:1-3  –  “…I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it…”

1 Corinthians 5:8 –  “…not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 – “…spiritual food…spiritual drink…”
1 Corinthians 10:7 (quoting Exodus 32:6 below)  –  “…as it is written, ‘THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.'”

2 Corinthians 9:10, 11  –  “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness…”

1 Timothy 4:6  –  “…constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.”

Hebrews 5:12-14  –  “…and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.  But solid food is for the mature…”

Hebrews 6:4-6  –  “…and have tasted of the heavenly gift…and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come…”

Hebrews 13:9, 10  –  “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods…We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.”

1 Peter 2:1-3  –  “…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

Revelation 2:17  –  “…hidden manna…”

Revelation 3:20  –  “…I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

Revelation 19:9  –  “…’Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’…”


Exodus 25:30  –  “You shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times.”  –  Moses wrote of physical bread, but we know the presence of the Lord Himself as the bread which constantly nourishes our souls.

Exodus 32:6 (quoted in 1 Corinthians 10:7 above)  –  “…and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”  –  Notice how this event is evoked in Ecclesiastes 10:17 below.

Deuteronomy 8:3 (quoted in Matthew 4:4 above)  –  “…man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.”

1 Samuel 2:35-36  –  “…Everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and say, ‘Please assign me to one of the priest’s offices so that I may eat a piece of bread.'”

*1 Samuel 30:6  –  “…But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”  –  As for why “strength” can imply food and drink, see 1 Kings 19:8 and Ecclesiastes 10:17 below.

2 Samuel 9:11  –  “…So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons.”
2 Samuel 9:13  –  “So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.”  –  In its original context, these verses speak of physical food and drink, but we can certainly identify with Mephibosheth (especially with respect to his lameness) and see this as a metaphor in the spiritual dimension.

1 Kings 19:8  –  “So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.”  –  As for the “strength” that food gives, see also Ecclesiastes 10:17 below.

Psalm 23:5  –  “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…”

Psalm 34:8  –  “O taste and see that the LORD is good…”
Psalm 34:10  –  “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.”

*Psalm 119:28  –  “…strengthen me according to Your word.”  –  As for why “strength” can imply food and drink, see 1 Kings 19:8 above and Ecclesiastes 10:17 below.

Ecclesiastes 10:17  –  “Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time–for strength and not for drunkenness.”  –    Notice how this verse can call to mind Exodus 32:6 above.  As for the correlation between “food” and “strength,” see note on 1 Kings 19:8 above.

Isaiah 55:10  –  “…furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;”

Isaiah 58:6, 7  –  “…Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry…”

Jeremiah 3:15  –  “…who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.”

Jeremiah 15:16  –  “Your words were found and I ate them…”

Lamentations 4:4  –  “…the little ones ask for bread, but no one breaks it for them.”

Ezekiel 34:3  –  “…you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock.”
Ezekiel 34:10  –  “…I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore…”
Ezekiel 34:23  –  “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.”

Amos 8:11  –  “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord.'”

Malachi 3:10  –  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house…”

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