1 Kings 4:23
Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl.
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(23) On this side the river.—This translation, although it expresses the true reference, viz., to the country west of the Euphrates, is literally incorrect. The words mean, “on the further side of the river,” considered from the point of view of Babylon (see the use in the later books, or in Ezra 4:6; Ezra 6:6, &c.); and accordingly indicate composition at the time of the Exile, or, at any rate, at a period when the Babylonish empire was so established in supreme sovereignty as to determine the geographical nomenclature of the East.

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.Harts ... - The exact sorts of wild land animals here intended are very uncertain. Perhaps it would be best to translate "wild-goats, gazelles, and wild oxen," which abounded in the wilder parts of Syria, from where Solomon would be supplied. (See 1 Kings 4:24.) (Yahmur, or the "roebuck," gives its name to a valley in a wooded district, south of Carmel (Conder).) The use of game at the royal banquets of Assyria appears in the sculptures. 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. Ten fat oxen, fitted in stalls.

Out of the pastures; well fleshed, tender, and good, though not so fat as the former.

Ten fat oxen,.... Such as were kept up in the stall and fatted:

and twenty oxen out of the pastures; which were killed as they were taken from thence, and not put up to be fed:

and an hundred sheep; out of the folds:

beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow deer; which were clean creatures, according to the Levitical law, Deuteronomy 14:5; these were hunted in fields, or taken out of the park, or were presents from other countries; so that here was plenty of beef, mutton, and venison: for the spiritual application of this to the antitypical Solomon, and his provisions, see Matthew 22:4;

and fatted fowl; such as we call capons (a); some Jewish writers (b), because of the likeness of sound in the word here used, take them to be Barbary fowls, or such as were brought from that country: there is a sort of birds called which were without a voice, that neither heard men, nor knew their voice (c).

(a) So David de Pomis, Tzemach David, fol. 12. 3. and some in Kimchi in loc. (b) Baal Aruch & R. Elias Levit. Tishbi, in voce (c) Scholia in Aristoph. Aves, p. 550.

Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl.
23. roebucks] The Hebrew word (צבי) is rendered δορκὰς by the LXX. i.e. a gazelle. It is akin to the proper name Tabitha, i.e. Δορκὰς (Acts 9:36). The rendering roebuck is better suited to the description of the next kind of animals mentioned and which A. V. translates fallow deer.

fatted fowl] The word rendered ‘fowl,’ is found only in this passage. The Chaldee paraphrase, as well as the Syriac and the Vulgate interpret it thus, so that we have full support from Jewish tradition. Kimchi thinks common fowls are meant. Gesenius, connecting the word with a root signifying pure, thinks geese or swans may be intended.

Verse 23. - Ten fat [Heb. fatted, i.e., for table] oxen, and twenty fat oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts and roebucks [or gazelles] and fallowdeer [Roebucks. The name Yahmur is still current in Palestine in this sense (Conder, p. 91)], and fatted fowl [This word (בַּרְבֻּדִים) occurs nowhere else. The meaning most in favour is geese.] 1 Kings 4:23The 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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