2 Kings 6:25
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.

New Living Translation
As a result, there was a great famine in the city. The siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty pieces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver.

English Standard Version
And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.

Berean Study Bible
So there was a great famine in Samaria. Indeed, they besieged the city so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter cab of dove’s dung sold for five shekels of silver.

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.

New King James Version
And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver.

New American Standard Bible
So there was a severe famine in Samaria; and behold, they kept besieging it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.

NASB 1995
There was a great famine in Samaria; and behold, they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a kab of dove's dung for five shekels of silver.

NASB 1977
And there was a great famine in Samaria; and behold, they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.

Amplified Bible
Now there was a great famine in Samaria; and they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.

Christian Standard Bible
So there was a severe famine in Samaria, and they continued the siege against it until a donkey’s head sold for thirty-four ounces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for two ounces of silver.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So there was a great famine in Samaria, and they continued the siege against it until a donkey's head sold for 80 silver shekels, and a cup of dove's dung sold for five silver shekels.

American Standard Version
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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And there was a great famine in Samaria when those were encamping against it, until the head of a donkey was sold for eighty pieces of silver and a fourth of a qab of the dung of doves for five pieces of silver.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was valued at fifty pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung at five pieces of silver.

Contemporary English Version
They kept up the attack until there was nothing to eat in the city. In fact, a donkey's head cost 80 pieces of silver, and a small bowl of pigeon droppings cost 5 pieces of silver.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And there was a great famine in Samaria: and so long did the siege continue, till the head of an ass was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cabe of pigeon's dung, for five pieces of silver.

English Revised Version
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.

Good News Translation
As a result of the siege the food shortage in the city was so severe that a donkey's head cost eighty pieces of silver, and half a pound of dove's dung cost five pieces of silver.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The shortages caused by the blockade of Samaria became so severe that a donkey's head sold for two pounds of silver and a half-pint of dove manure for two ounces of silver.

International Standard Version
until there was a great famine throughout Samaria. The siege lasted until a donkey's head cost 80 silver coins and one quarter of a unit of dove's dung cost five silver coins.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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.

Literal Standard Version
and there is a great famine in Samaria, and behold, they are laying siege to it, until the head of a donkey is at eighty pieces of silver, and a forth of the cab of dove’s dung at five pieces of silver.

NET Bible
Samaria's food supply ran out. They laid siege to it so long that a donkey's head was selling for eighty shekels of silver and a quarter of a kab of dove's droppings for five shekels of silver.

New Heart English Bible
There was a great famine in Samaria. Look, 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.

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.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Siege and Famine of Samaria
24Some time later, Ben-hadad king of Aram assembled his entire army and marched up to besiege Samaria. 25So there was a great famine in Samaria. Indeed, they besieged the city so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter cab of dove’s dung sold for five shekels of silver. 26As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”…

Cross References
Leviticus 26:26
When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will bake your bread in a single oven and dole out your bread by weight, so that you will eat but not be satisfied.

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

2 Kings 7:12
So the king got up in the night and said to his servants, "Let me tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving, so they have left the camp to hide in the field, thinking, 'When they come out of the city, we will take them alive and enter the city.'"

2 Kings 25:3
By the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine in the city was so severe that the people of the land had no food.


Treasury of Scripture

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.

a great famine

2 Kings 6:28,29
And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow…

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. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

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.

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









(25) And there was.--There arose. In consequence of the siege.

Besieged.--Were besieging.

Fourscore pieces.--Eighty shekels--i.e., about 10. Ass's flesh would not ordinarily be eaten at all, and the head of any animal would be the cheapest part. Plutarch mentions that during a famine among the Cadusians an ass's head could hardly be got for sixty drachms (about 2. 10s.), though ordinarily the entire animal could be bought for about half that sum. And Pliny relates that when Hannibal was besieging Casalinum, a mouse was sold for 200 denarii (6 5s.).

The fourth part of a cab of dove's dung.--The cab was the smallest Hebrew dry measure. It held, according to the Rabbis, one-sixth of a seah (2Kings 7:1), or a little over a quart (??????.--Josephus, Antt. ix. 4, ? 4). The term dove's dung, in all probability, denotes some kind of common vegetable produce, perhaps a sort of pulse or pease, which was ordinarily very cheap. Such a designation is not unparalleled. The Arabs call the herb kali "sparrow's dung;" and Assaf?tida is in German "devil's dung." In some places in England a species of wild hyacinth is called "dead man's hands," from the livid markings on the flower. The shape and colour of the species of pulse mentioned in the text may similarly account for its name. It naturally occurs that so long as there were any "doves" left in the city it would not be necessary to eat their dung. When Josephus wrote that dung was eaten in the siege of Jerusalem, he probably had the present passage in his mind.

Five pieces of silver.--Five (shekels in) silver; about 12s. 6d.

Verse 25. - And there was a great famine in Samaria. It was Benhadad's design to capture the place, not by battering down its walls with military engines, but by blockading it, and cutting off all its supplies, as Josephus tells us (l.s.c.). 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. The ass, being an unclean animal (Leviticus 11:4), would not be eaten at all except in the last extremity, and the head was the worst and so the cheapest part; yet it sold for "eighty pieces" (rather, shekels) of silver, or about £5 of our money; as in the Cadusian famine mentioned by Plutarch ('Wit. Artaxerx.,' § 24), where an ass's head was sold for sixty drachmas (about forty shillings). "Dove's dung" is thought by some to be the name of a plant; but it is better to understand the term literally. Both animal and human excrement have been eaten in sieges (Josephus, ' Bell. Jud.,' 5:13. § 7; Cels., 'Hierobot.,' 2. p. 233), when a city was in the last extremity.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
So there was
וַיְהִ֨י (way·hî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

a great
גָּדוֹל֙ (gā·ḏō·wl)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 1419: Great, older, insolent

famine
רָעָ֤ב (rā·‘āḇ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7458: Famine, hunger

in Samaria.
בְּשֹׁ֣מְר֔וֹן (bə·šō·mə·rō·wn)
Preposition-b | Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 8111: Samaria -- capital of northern kingdom of Israel

Indeed,
וְהִנֵּ֖ה (wə·hin·nêh)
Conjunctive waw | Interjection
Strong's 2009: Lo! behold!

they besieged
צָרִ֣ים (ṣā·rîm)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 6696: To confine, bind, besiege

[the city]
עָלֶ֑יהָ (‘ā·le·hā)
Preposition | third person feminine singular
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

so long that
עַ֣ד (‘aḏ)
Preposition
Strong's 5704: As far as, even to, up to, until, while

a donkey’s
חֲמוֹר֙ (ḥă·mō·wr)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 2543: A male ass

head
רֹאשׁ־ (rōš-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 7218: The head

sold
הֱי֤וֹת (hĕ·yō·wṯ)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

for eighty [shekels]
בִּשְׁמֹנִ֣ים (biš·mō·nîm)
Preposition-b | Number - common plural
Strong's 8084: Eighty, eightieth

of silver,
כֶּ֔סֶף (ke·sep̄)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3701: Silver, money

and a quarter
וְרֹ֛בַע (wə·rō·ḇa‘)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 7255: Fourth part

cab
הַקַּ֥ב (haq·qaḇ)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6894: A hollow, vessel, a, measure

of dove’s dung
דִּבְיוֹנִ֖ים‪‬ (diḇ·yō·w·nîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 2755: Excrements of doves, a vegetable

sold for five [shekels]
בַּחֲמִשָּׁה־ (ba·ḥă·miš·šāh-)
Preposition-b, Article | Number - masculine singular
Strong's 2568: Five

of silver.
כָֽסֶף׃ (ḵā·sep̄)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3701: Silver, money


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OT History: 2 Kings 6:25 There was a great famine in Samaria: (2Ki iiKi ii ki 2 kg 2kg)
2 Kings 6:24
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