We’re so blessed to live in an era when sciences prove so many things. Particularly when autopsies can reveal the true cause of death. No doubt many mysterious deaths in the Bible times aroused superstitions. Did you know eating honey could sometimes kill you? From “Food at the Time of the Bible,”
honey that bees manufacture from…rhododendron and oleander, can be poisonous. Those consuming this honey suffer from severe dizziness, muscle weakness, which can last a few hours, and may even die. In the early fifth century BCE, thousands of soldiers led by the Greek warrior Xenophon fell ill from consuming poisoned honey. The soldiers of Pompey, Roman conqueror of the Holy Land, found mysterious honey cakes placed along a road they traveled near the Black Sea. Unfortunately for them, they fell into temptation…. They never reached the battlefield.
I tried to verify from my other books as well if rhododendron and oleander were both found in Israel. Oleander was mentioned in “Desert and Shepherd in Our Biblical Heritage.” Also from “Food at the Time of the Bible,”
domesticated honey did not appear in the Bible lands until the Hellenistic period, biblical honey was aptly described as “honey from the rocks” (Deuteronomy 32:13) – honey that flowed accidentally into rock crevices or bushes, or where Jonathan found it “on the ground.” In the Bible, Samson ate honey when he found a beehive in the carcass of a lion (Judges 14:8-9)…. In the New Testament, John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4) ate honey as he moved through the wilderness…
It would be hard enough to track where bees go when they’re domesticated. But what about when they’re wild? From Wikipedia,
As a rule of thumb the foraging area around a beehive extends for two miles (3 km), although bees have been observed foraging twice and three times this distance from the hive.
So travelers eating wild honey would be even more vulnerable than locals, not knowing the area like if they lived there. They also couldn’t get blood work and other tests to determine what was wrong if they got sick.
The New King James Version of Matthew 17:15 says, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.” An epileptic is translated here from the literal word for “Moonstruck.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary says lunacy means “intermittent insanity once believed to be related to phases of the moon.”
In Acts 12:21-23,
On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
God likely “struck him” with some scientifically-explained illness. At least, God is in control of all scientific phenomena. He has possibly used scientifically explained phenomena to cause numerous miracles in the Bible. But God isn’t limited to scientifically explained phenomena either, is he?
The above pictures are from Food at the Time of the Bible