Eating the Bible: Gifts of Contrition?

Rena created beautiful chicken packages filled with pistachio and almonds to complement Genesis 43:11.

“And Israel their father said to them: If it be so, then do this: take from the best of the land in your vessels and bring the man a gift: a little balsam, a little honey, some gum and resin, pistachios and almonds.”

The definition of contrition is sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation.  The gifts given to Joseph from his brother were not gifts fit for a king, but rather a care package from home. The foods native to Israel are considered to be a symbol reminding Joseph of his betrayal; an effort to make him feel guilt.

Contrition is not a concept I agree with. And a God to be fearful of is not one I want to believe in. I can understand that religion and God is often used to impart “right” and “wrong”, especially on children, but I do not believe in using fear as a way to teach morality.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” by C.S. Lewis. And that philosophy is how I view God. I don’t make my decisions based on fear of God, I don’t do what I think it right because God would want it to be that way. I’d like to think that God is judging me on who I am, not who I am because of a fear. I think genuine actions are the most important.

Pistachio Almond Chicken Parcels


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 C ground toasted shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 C ground toasted almonds
  • 1/2 C plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 C honey, plus more for drizzling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut chicken breasts in half to create 6 thinner breasts.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients.
  4. Spread 1-2 tbsp of nut mixture on each chicken breast. Roll chicken and place in a greased baking dish. Top with any remaining nut mixture and drizzle with honey. Bake 30-35 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Eating the Bible by Rena Rossner*


The nut mixture would be great placed in crescent rolls too!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

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