2 Kings 6:25
Parallel Verses
New International Version
There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey's head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And there was a great famine in Samaria; and behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was worth eighty silver-pieces, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung five silver-pieces.

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.

Young's Literal Translation
and there is a great famine in Samaria, and lo, they are laying siege to it, till the head of an ass is at eighty silverlings, and a forth of the cab of dovesdung at five silverlings.

2 Kings 6:25 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

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.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a great famine

2 Kings 6:28,29 And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, This woman said to me, Give your son, that we may eat him to day...

2 Kings 7:4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also...

2 Kings 25:3 And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.

1 Kings 18:2 And Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.

Jeremiah 14:13-15,18 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say to them, You shall not see the sword, neither shall you have famine...

Jeremiah 32:24 Behold the mounts, they are come to the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it...

Jeremiah 52:6 And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city...

an ass's head If the {pieces} of silver were {dracms}, the whole would amount


9s.; which was a great price for so {mean} a part of this {unclean} animal.

Ezekiel 4:13-16 And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them...

dove's dung This probably denotes, as Bochart, Scheuchzer, and others suppose, a kind of {pulse}, or {vetches}, which the Arabs still call {pigeon's dung}. `They never,' says Dr. Sahw, `constitute a dish by themselves, but are strewed singly as a garnish over {cuscasowe, pillowe}, and other dishes. They are besides in the greatest repute after they are parched in pans and ovens; then assuming the name {leb-lebby;} ' and he thinks they were so called from being pointed at one end, and acquiring an ash colour in parching.

Young Man! a Prayer for You
THIS YOUNG MAN waited upon a prophet: he could not have had a more instructive occupation; yet his eyes needed to be opened. He was well disposed towards good things, for the tone of his language to his master shows that he was heartily at one with him; but his eyes were not yet half opened. Being in great alarm for his master's safety, he ran to him to warn him: good servants should be their master's best friends. In return, his believing master prays for him. If we desire the good of our servants,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Absolute Godhood of God is Seen in Administration
God not only created everything, but everything which He created is subject to His immediate control. God rules over the works of His hands. God governs the creatures He has made. God reigns with universal dominion. When He pleased, the sun and moon stood still (Josh. 10:12, 13); and at a word from Him the sun went backward ten degrees on the dial of Ahaz (Is. 38:8). At His command the Red Sea ceased to flow, and at His command it resumed its normal course (Ex. 14). In response to the prayer of Elisha,
Arthur W. Pink—The Godhood of God

Meditations for the Morning.
1. Almighty God can, in the resurrection, as easily raise up thy body out of the grave, from the sleep of death, as he hath this morning wakened thee in thy bed, out of the sleep of nature. At the dawning of which resurrection day, Christ shall come to be glorified in his saints; and every one of the bodies of the thousands of his saints, being fashioned like unto his glorious body, shall shine as bright as the sun (2 Thess. i. 10; Jude, ver. 14; Phil. iii. 21; Luke ix. 31;) all the angels shining
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Letter xix (A. D. 1127) to Suger, Abbot of S. Denis
To Suger, Abbot of S. Denis He praises Suger, who had unexpectedly renounced the pride and luxury of the world to give himself to the modest habits of the religious life. He blames severely the clerk who devotes himself rather to the service of princes than that of God. 1. A piece of good news has reached our district; it cannot fail to do great good to whomsoever it shall have come. For who that fear God, hearing what great things He has done for your soul, do not rejoice and wonder at the great
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Cross References
Leviticus 26:26
When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.

2 Kings 6:26
As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, "Help me, my lord the king!"

2 Kings 7:12
The king got up in the night and said to his officers, "I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, 'They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.'"

2 Kings 25:3
By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat.

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