Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they to the place where the officers were, every man according to his charge.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Dromedaries—properly (see Margin), swift beasts; probably the horses of the royal messengers, as distinguished from the war horses.
Dromedaries - Coursers. The animal intended is neither a camel nor a mule, but a swift horse.
dromedaries—one-humped camels, distinguished for their great fleetness.Dromedaries, or mules, by comparing this with 2 Chronicles 9:24; or post horses, which are particularly mentioned and distinguished from the other horses, because they took a more exact and particular care about them. Howsoever, it is agreed that these were swift beasts, which is evident from Esther 8:10,14 Mic 1:13. 2 Chronicles 9:24; the particular kind of creatures meant is not agreed on; though all take them to be a swifter sort of creatures than horses; or the swifter of horses, as race horses or posts horses: barley was for their provender, that being the common food of horses in those times and countries, and in others, as Bochart (h) has shown from various writers; and in the Misnah (i) it is called the food of beasts; and Solomon is said to have every day his own horses two hundred thousand Neapolitan measures of called "tomboli" (k); so the Roman soldiers, the horse were allowed a certain quantity of barley for their horses every morning, and sometimes they had money instead of it, which they therefore called "hordiarium" (l) and the "straw" was for the litter of them: these
brought they unto the place; where the officers were; not where the king was, as the Vulgate Latin version; where Solomon was, as the Arabic version, that is, in Jerusalem; nor
where the officers were; in their respective jurisdictions, as our version supplies it, which would be bringing them to themselves; but to the place where the beasts were, whether in Jerusalem, or in any, other parts of the kingdom:
every man according to his charge: which he was monthly to perform.
(h) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 9. col. 158, 159. Vid. Homer. Iliad. 4. ver. 196. and Iliad. 8. ver. 560. (i) Sotah, c. 2. sect. 1.((k) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 10. 2.((l) Vid. Valtrinum de re Militar. Roman. l. 3. c. 15. p. 236.Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where the officers were, every man according to his charge.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)28. unto the place where the officers were] As shewn by the italics of A. V. there is no word in the original for ‘the officers.’ The verb moreover is in the singular. It is better therefore to render with the margin of R.V. ‘where he (i.e. the king) was’ or ‘where it should be.’Verse 28. - Barley also [the food of horses at the present day in the East, where oats are not grown. (Cf. Hom. II. 5:196)] and straw for the horses and dromedaries [marg. mules or swift beasts. Coursers, or fleet horses of superior breed are intended. רֶכֶשׁ = Germ. Renner. These coursers were for the use of the king's messengers or posts. See Esther 8:10, 14] brought they unto the place where the officers were ["officers" is not in the Hebrew. The LXX. and Vulg. supply "king "(the verb is singular, "was"). But the true meaning is to be gathered from chap. 10:26. There we learn that the horses were distributed in different towns throughout the land. To these different depots, therefore, the purveyors must forward the provender, "unto the place where it should be" (יִהְיֶה), not, as Rawlinson, "where the horses were."] every man according to his charge. 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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