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2 Kings 6:25

    2 Kings 6:25 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And they became very short of food in Samaria; for they kept it shut in till the price of an ass's head was eighty shekels of silver, and a small measure of doves' droppings was five shekels of silver.

    Webster's Revision

    And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

    World English Bible

    There was a great famine in Samaria. Behold, they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

    Definitions for 2 Kings 6:25

    Fourscore - Eighty.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Kings 6:25

    And, behold, they besieged it - They had closed it in on every side, and reduced it to the greatest necessity.

    An ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver - I suppose we are to take the ass's head literally; and if the head sold for so much, what must other parts sell for which were much to be preferred? The famine must be great that could oblige them to eat any part of an animal that was proscribed by the law; and it must be still greater that could oblige them to purchase so mean a part of this unclean animal at so high a price. The piece of silver was probably the drachm, worth about seven pence three farthings of our money; the whole amounting to about two pounds nine shillings.

    And the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung - The cab was about a quart or three pints. Dove's dung, חריונים chiriyonim. Whether this means pigeon's dung literally, or a kind of pulse, has been variously disputed by learned men. After having written much upon the subject, illustrated with quotations from east, west, north, and south, I choose to spare my reader the trouble of wading through them, and shall content myself with asserting that it is probable a sort of pease are meant, which the Arabs to this day call by this name. "The garvancos, cicer, or chick pea," says Dr. Shaw, "has been taken for the pigeon's dung, mentioned in the siege of Samaria; and as the cicer is pointed at one end, and acquires an ash color in parching, the first of which circumstances answers to the figure, the second to the usual color of dove's dung, the supposition is by no means to be disregarded."

    I should not omit saying that dove's dung is of great value in the East, for its power in producing cucumbers, melons, etc., which has induced many learned men to take the words literally. Bochart has exhausted this subject, and concludes that a kind of pulse is meant. Most learned men are of his opinion.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Kings 6:25

    As the donkey was "unclean," it would not be eaten except in the last resort; and its head would be its worst and cheapest part.

    Cab - This measure is not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture. According to the rabbinical writers it was the smallest of all the dry measures in use among the Jews, being the sixth part of a seah, which was the third part of an ephah. If it was about equal to two of our quarts, the "fourth part of a cab" would be about a pint.

    Dove's dung - Most commentators understand by this expression a sort of pulse which is called "dove's dung," or "sparrow's dung" in Arabic. But it is possible that the actual excrement of pigeons is meant. The records of sieges show that both animal and human excrement have been used as food - under circumstances of extreme necessity.

    Wesley's Notes on 2 Kings 6:25

    6:25 Famine in Samaria - Probably the siege was so sudden, that they had no time to lay in provisions. Pieces - Supposed to be shekels; and the common shekel being valued at fifteen pence of English money, this amounts to five pounds. A vast price, especially for that which had on it so little meat, and that unwholesome and unclean. A kab - A measure containing twenty - four eggs. Dung - This Hebrew word is of a doubtful signification, and no where else used, probably it means a sort of pease, which in the Arabick language (near a - kin to the Hebrew) is called doves dung: for this was a food much in use amongst the poorer Israelites, and was a very coarse food, and therefore fit to be joined with the asses head: and a kab was the usual measure of all sorts of grains and fruits of that sort.