from time to time

occasionally
—I think that eating ice cream is bad for my health, but I do enjoy eating a small bowl of it from time to time.

One of the Israelites taken captive by the Babylonian army when it conquered Judah was the prophet Ezekiel. While in Babylon, God told him to draw a picture of Jerusalem on a clay brick and then act as if he were an enemy surrounding and attacking the city. This was to represent the coming destruction of Jerusalem. God then instructed him to lie on his left side, tied down, for 390 days, symbolically “bearing” Israel’s 390 years of sin. After that, he was to lie on his right side for 40 days, because of Judah’s 40 sinful years. And since there would be a famine during the siege, God commanded him to show this by eating only a small amount of food each day he lay on his side:

As for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt, put them in a single container, and make food from them for yourself. For the same number of days that you lie on your side—390 days—you will eat it. The food you eat will be eight ounces a day by weight; you must eat it at fixed times [from time to time]. And you must drink water by measure, a pint and a half; you must drink it at fixed times. (Ezekiel 4:9-11)

Here, from time to time means “at scheduled times,” while today it means “occasionally.”

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