Charcoal (Isa. 47:14; John 18:18), sticks (Jer. 7:18), rushes (Job 41:20), thorns (Eccl. 7:6), wood (Josh. 9:27; Isa. 44:14-16), as well as the bramble (Ps. 58:9) and the broom tree and the vine tree (Ps. 120:4; Ezek. 15:6), are among the fuels specifically mentioned in the Bible. Additionally, olive oil was a fuel commonly used in lamps. (Ex. 27:20; Matt. 25:3, 4) In Scripture, fuel is also referred to as “food for fire.” (Isa. 9:5, 19) Wood, in its natural state or in the form of charcoal, was likely the main fuel of the Israelites. For heating purposes charcoal was commonly burned in a brazier. (Jer. 36:22) At other times it was burned without a container, as was undoubtedly the case when Jesus Christ, after his resurrection, prepared breakfast over a charcoal fire.—John 21:9, 10; see CHARCOAL.
To depict the severity of Jerusalem’s siege, Ezekiel was instructed to use human excrement for fuel, but, when he objected, Jehovah permitted him to use cakes of cattle dung instead. (Ezek. 4:8, 12-15) Although dried cattle dung is today used in the Middle East by Syrian peasants and others because of the scarcity of wood, this does not necessarily mean that the Israelites ordinarily used it, especially since ancient Palestine was more heavily wooded than now.