What are “victuals?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The term “victuals” appears 17 times in the Authorized Version King James Bible. Please note “victual” is pronounced “vittle,” rhyming with “little.” It is derived from the Latin “victualia,” as in “provisions;” this is the noun use of neuter plural of Latin “victualis,” simply meaning, “pertaining to food.” Related words are “victu(s),” as in “nourishment, way of living,” and “vivere” meaning, “to live.” You can read the pertinent verses and their contexts to appreciate why the word was used:

  • Genesis 14:11: “And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.”
  • Leviticus 25:37: “Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.”
  • Deuteronomy 23:19: “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:….”
  • Joshua 1:11: “Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.”
  • Joshua 9:11: “Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us.”
  • Joshua 9:14: “And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.”
  • Judges 7:8: “So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.”
  • Judges 17:10: “And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.”
  • 1 Samuel 22:10: “And he enquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
  • 1 Kings 4:7: “And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision.”
  • 1 Kings 11:18: “And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land.”
  • Nehemiah 10:31: “And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.”
  • Nehemiah 13:15: “In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.”
  • Jeremiah 40:5: “Now while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go.”
  • Jeremiah 44:17: “But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.”
  • Matthew 14:15: “And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.”
  • Luke 9:12: “And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.”

Also see:
» What are “phylacteries?”
» What are “groves?”
» What are “teraphim?”