(Heb 'adashim), a species of vetch (Ge 25:34; 2Sa 23:11), common in Syria under the name addas. The red pottage made by Jacob was of lentils (Ge 25:29-34). They were among the provisions brought to David when he fled from Absalom (2Sa 17:28). It is the Ervum lens of Linnaeus, a leguminous plant which produces a fruit resembling a bean.
Ge 25:34. Small beans, common in Syria and Egypt, called 'adas, very palatable; the ingredient of the red pottage ('edom), for which Esau sold his birthright. Dried and cooked they are still used as portable provisions for a journey; so Barzillai brought them to David's hungry followers (2Sa 17:28). In time of scarcity used with wheat, barley, beans, millet, and fitches, as a substitute for pure flour (Eze 4:9). The Arabs make Hebron the scene of Esau's selling his birthright, and therefore daily supply the needy with lentil soup from the kitchen of a mosque there. Some derive "Lent" from the use of lentils at that season in Roman Catholic countries.