An annual plant of the legume family that has long been cultivated by man and is still extensively grown in Egypt and Israel, as well as in other lands. (2Sa 17:27, 28; 23:11) This small plant (Lens esculenta), measuring from 15 to 46 cm (6 to 18 in.) in height, thrives in light, dry soil. Its compound leaves, generally consisting of six pairs of oblong leaflets, terminate in tendrils. Slender branchlets bear two to four small pealike flowers each. The short pods that develop from the flowers resemble those of the pea, and usually they contain two small lens-shaped seeds. The color of the seeds and that of the flowers differs with the variety of lentil plant. The seeds may be reddish brown, gray, or black, and the flowers, white or pale blue. Rich in protein and carbohydrates, the seeds are, as in the past, commonly used for soups. (Ge 25:34) In combination with barley, lentils have been used for making bread. (Compare Eze 4:9.) The plant itself serves well as a fodder for livestock.