1 Kings 4:22
And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,
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(22) Measures.—The “measure” (cor) is variously estimated (from 86 to 42 gallons). In any case the quantity is very large, and, like the other notices of provisions supplied, indicates a vast number, probably several thousands, belonging to the royal household, court, and body-guard. The “harts, roebucks, &c.,” whatever the exact meaning of each word may be, evidently denote the wild game, as distinct from the herds and flocks; the “fatted fowl” apparently signifies “dainty food” generally, as distinct from the staple of ordinary meat.

1 Kings 4:22-23. Thirty measures of fine flour — Hebrew, cors; each of which contained ten ephahs. So this provision was sufficient for near three thousand persons. Meal — Of a coarser sort for common use. Ten fat oxen — Fatted in stalls. Out of pastures — Well fleshed, tender, and good, though not so fat as the former.

4:20-28 Never did the crown of Israel shine so bright, as when Solomon wore it. He had peace on all sides. Herein, his kingdom was a type of the Messiah's; for to Him it is promised that he shall have the heathen for his inheritance, and that princes shall worship him. The spiritual peace, and joy, and holy security, of all the faithful subjects of the Lord Jesus, were typified by that of Israel. The kingdom of God is not, as Solomon's was, meat and drink, but, what is infinitely better, righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The vast number of his attendants, and the great resort to him, are shown by the provision daily made. Herein Christ far outdoes Solomon, that he feeds all his subjects, not with the bread that perishes, but with that which endures to eternal life.Thirty measures - (margin, cors) The cor, which was the same measure as the homer, is computed, on the authority of Josephus, at 86 English gallons, on the authority of the rabbinical writers at 44. Thirty cors, even at the lower estimate, would equal 1,320 gallons, or 33 of our "sacks;" and the 90 cors of fine and coarse flour would altogether equal 99 sacks. From the quantity of flour consumed, it has been conjectured that the number of those who fed at the royal board was 14,000. 22, 23. Solomon's provision for one day—not for the king's table only, but for all connected with the court, including, besides the royal establishment, those of his royal consorts, his principal officers, his bodyguards, his foreign visitors, &c. The quantity of fine floor used is estimated at two hundred forty bushels; that of meal or common flour at four hundred eighty. The number of cattle required for consumption, besides poultry and several kinds of game (which were abundant on the mountains) did not exceed in proportion what is needed in other courts of the East. Thirty measures, Heb. cors; each of which contained ten ephahs, Exodus 16:36. So this provision was sufficient for near three thousand persons.

Meal, of a coarser sort, for common use, and for the inferior sort.

And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour,.... The measure here used was the "corus", or "cor", the same with the homer, which was equal to ten ephahs, and, according to Bishop Cumberland (w), held seventy five wine gallons and five pints, and somewhat more; by which may be known how many gallons of fine flour these thirty measures held, which were all consumed in one day:

and threescore measures of meal: sixty measures of a coarser sort, for the servants, not so finely dressed; the same measure is here used as before; and it is observed by some, that one cor is equivalent to six hundred forty eight Roman pounds, and allowing to one man two pounds a day for his food, there would be food enough for 29,160 men out of 90 times 648, or 58,320 pounds (x). Others exaggerate the account; Vilalpandus says it would have sufficed 48,600 persons; Seth Calvisius 54,000, and Salianus 70,000 (y); the Jews say (z) that he had 60,000 that ate at his table; that is, who were maintained at his court.

(w) Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 3. p. 86. (x) Vid. Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. p. 516. (y) Vid. Witsii Miscellan. tom. 2. exercit. 10. sect. 26. (z) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 8. 2.

And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,
22. measures] The Hebrew word is cor. It is of the same capacity as the homer, and is used both as a liquid and a dry measure (see 1 Kings 5:11). It contained 10 ephahs in dry, and 10 baths in liquid measure. According to the Rabbins the cor contained nearly 45 gallons, but Josephus gives a different value and makes it to be equal to nearly 87 gallons. According to one estimate Solomon’s dependants consumed about 1350 gallons of fine flour per day, according to the other about 2510 gallons, and twice as much meal. Bunsen (Bibelwerk) reckons 28000 lbs. of baked bread and concludes that the number of persons provided for was 15000.

Verse 22. - And Solomon's provision [marg. bread, but לֶחֶם, strictly signifies any kind of food] for one day was thirty measures [Heb. cots. The כֹּר was both a liquid and a dry measure (ch. 5:11) and was the equivalent to the homer (Ezekiel 45:14), but its precise capacity is doubtful. According to Josephus, it contained eighty-six gallons; according to the Rabbins, forty-four] of fine flour and threescore measures of meal. [Thenius calculates that this amount of flour would yield 28,000 lbs. of bread, which (allowing 2 lbs. to each person) would give 14,000 as the number of Solomon's retainers. This computation, however, could have but little value did not his calculations, based on the consumption of flesh, mentioned presently (allowing 1.5 lbs. per head), lead to the same result. 1 Kings 4:22The daily consumption of לחם (food or provisions) amounted to thirty cors of fine meal (סלת equals חטּים סלת, fine sifted meal, Exodus 29:2; for סלת see also Leviticus 2:2), and sixty cors of קמח, ordinary meal, ten fattened oxen, twenty pasture oxen, which were brought directly from the pasture and slaughtered, and a hundred sheep, beside different kinds of game. כּר, κορός, the later name for חמר, the largest dry and also liquid (1 Kings 5:11), measure of capacity, contained ten ephahs or baths, i.e., according to the calculation made by Thenius, 15,300 cubic inches (Dresden) equals about 1 7/8 scheffel;

(Note: The scheffel is about an English sack (vid., Flgel's Dict.). - Tr.)

so that ninety cors would amount to 171 scheffel, from which 28,000 lbs. of bread could be baked (Theol. Stud. und Krit. 1846, pp. 132,133). And "if we reckon 2 lbs. of bread to each person, there would be 14,000 persons in Solomon's court," The consumption of flesh would be quite in proportion to that of bread; for ten fattened oxen, twenty oxen from the pasture, and a hundred sheep, yield more than 21,000 lbs. of meat, that is to say, a pound and a half for each person, "assuming, according to the statements of those who are acquainted with the matter, that the edible meat of a fat ox amounts to 600 lbs., that of an ox from the pasture to 400 lbs., and that of a sheep to 70 lbs." (Thenius ut sup.). This daily consumption of Solomon's court will not appear too great, if, on the one hand, we compare it with the quantity consumed at other oriental courts both of ancient and modern times,

(Note: According to Athen. Deipnos. iv. 10, the kings of Persia required a thousand oxen a day; and according to Tavernier, in Rosenmller's A. u. N. Morgenland, iii. pp. 166,167, five hundred sheep and lambs were slaughtered daily for the Sultan's court.)

and if, on the other hand, we bear in mind that not only the numerous attendants upon the king and his harem, but also the royal adjutants and the large number of officers employed about the court, were supplied from the king's table, and that their families had also to be fed, inasmuch as the wages in oriental courts are all paid in kind. In addition to this, game was also supplied to the king's table: viz., איּל stags, צבי gazelles, יחמוּר fallow-deer, and אבוּסים בּרבּרים "fattened fowl." The meaning of אבוּסים is doubtful. The earlier translators render it birds or fowl. Kimchi adopts the rendering "capons;" Tanch. Hieroz. "geese," so called from their pure (בּרר) white feathers; and both Gesenius and Dietrich (Lex.) decide in favour of the latter. The word must denote some special kind of fowl, since edible birds in general were called צפּרים (Nehemiah 5:18).

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