An annual plant of the leguminous family that has long been cultivated by man and is still extensively grown in Egypt and Palestine, as well as in other lands. (2 Sam. 17:27, 28; 23:11) This small plant, measuring from six to eighteen inches (c. 15.2 to 45.7 centimeters) 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 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. (Gen. 25:34) In combination with barley, lentils have been used for making bread. (Compare Ezekiel 4:9.) The plant itself serves well as a fodder for livestock.