2 Samuel 17:29
And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
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(29) Cheese of kine.—A word occurring only here, and of uncertain meaning. The English follows the Chald., Syr., and Rabbinic interpretation; the Vulg. has “fat calves,” and Theod. “sucking calves.”

17:22-29 Ahithophel hanged himself for vexation that his counsel was not followed. That will break a proud man's heart which will not break a humble man's sleep. He thought himself in danger, concluding, that, because his counsel was not followed, Absalom's cause would fail; and to prevent a possible public execution, he does justice upon himself. Thus the breath is stopped, and the head laid low, from which nothing could be expected but mischief. Absalom chased his father. But observe how God sometimes makes up to his people that comfort from strangers, which they are disappointed of in their own families. Our King needs not our help; but he assures us, that what we do for the least of his brethren, who are sick, poor, and destitute, shall be accepted and recompensed as if done to himselfCheese of kine - Or, as others, "milch cows," which is more in accordance with the context, being coupled with "sheep," and is more or less borne out etymologically by the Arabic. God's care for David was evident in the kindness of these people. 29. in the wilderness—spread out beyond the cultivated tablelands into the steppes of Hauran. i.e. Having been

in the wilderness; which is an easy and common ellipsis. Or, because of (so the Hebrew particle beth is oft used) the wilderness, which they have passed through, in which provisions are very scarce.

And honey and butter,.... Honey was much in use with the ancients; Homer (b) speaks of it as a part of the provisions at a feast, and as food with which persons were nourished and brought up; and the ancient Scythians lived on milk and honey (c); and this and butter were pretty much the food of the people in Judea; see Isaiah 7:15,

and sheep; with which and goats the land of Gilead abounded; see Sol 4:1,

and cheese of kine: made of the milk of cows, as it commonly is:

for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat; and no doubt they brought wine with them for them to drink; the men that brought these, some brought one sort, and some another, or however different parcels of the same, and did not join in one present; for they came from different parts:

for they said, the people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness; where they had been some time, and out of which they had just come, and so weary with travelling, and therefore brought beds to lie down and rest upon; and being hungry and thirsty, through want of bread and water in the wilderness, they brought them both eatables and drinkables; for though the latter is not expressed, it is to be understood, as the word "thirsty" supposes.

(b) Iliad. 11. ver. 630. Odyss. 10. ver. 245. & Odyss. 20. ver. 72. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 3. c. 11. Sueton. Vita Nero. c. 27. (c) Justin e Trogo, l. 2. c. 2.

And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
29. butter] Curdled milk is probably meant, called leben by the modern Arabs, and greatly esteemed as a refreshing drink. Cp. Jdg 5:25.

cheese of kine] So the Targum explains a word which occurs here only. The Vulg. gives fat calves, which agrees better with the position of the word after sheep.

The people is hungry] The people hath got hungry, &c., in their passage through the wilderness.

Verse 29. - Sheep. This is the only kind of flesh food mentioned. The change in the meaning of the word "meat," which still in America is used simply for "food," as in the Authorized Version, bears witness to the great change in our diet which has taken place in recent times. Cheese of kine. The word occurs only here, but the Syriac and the Targum both support the rendering of the Authorized Version. The Bedaween, after removing the butter, make a kind of cheese from the remaining milk. It is as hard as the cheese made from skimmed milk in Dorsetshire, but wholesome. It must, however, be soaked before eating, or softened with butter. Generally in the East, cow's milk is regarded as coarse, and camel's milk is used for drinking, while that of sheep and goats, and cheese made from it, holds the next place in general estimation. It is curious that "butter" literally means "cheese of kine."

2 Samuel 17:29When David came to Mahanaim, some of the wealthier citizens of the land to the east of the Jordan supplied the men who were with him with provisions. This is mentioned as the first sign that the people had not all fallen away from David, but that some of the more distinguished men were still firm in their adherence. Shobi, the son of Nahash or Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites (see 2 Samuel 11:1), was possibly a son of Nahash the deceased king of the Ammonites, and brother of Hanun, who was defeated by David (2 Samuel 10:1-2), and one of those to whom David had shown favour and kindness when Rabbah was taken. At the same time, it is also quite possible that Shobi may have been an Israelite, who was merely living in the capital of the Ammonites, which had been incorporated into the kingdom of David, as it is evident from 2 Samuel 17:25 that Nahash was not an uncommon name among the Israelites. Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar (see at 2 Samuel 9:4), and Barsillai of Roglim the Gileadite. Roglim was a town in Gilead, which is only mentioned once again, viz., in 2 Samuel 19:32, and of which nothing further is known. They brought "bedding, basins, earthenware, and wheat, barley, meal, and parched grains, beans, lentils and parched." The position of the verb, which is not placed between the subject and the object of the sentence, but only at the close of the whole series of objects, is certainly unusual; but this does not warrant any alteration of the text. For if we were to supply a verb before משׁכּב, as having fallen out of the text, it would be necessary, since הגּישׁוּ follows without a copula, to divide the things enumerated into two classes, so as to connect one portion of the objects with הגּישׁוּ, which is obviously unnatural. The early translators who interpolate a verb before the objects have therefore also supplied the copula w before הגּישׁוּ. There is still less ground for supplying the number 10, as having dropped out before משׁכּב and ספּות, as the lxx have done, since none of the translators of the other ancient versions had any such reading. משׁכּב, couch or bed, is used here for bedding. ספּות, basins, probably field-kettles. The repetition of וקלי is very striking; nevertheless the second must not be struck out without further ground as a supposed copyist's error. As they not only ate parched ears or grains of wheat (see at Leviticus 2:14), but were also in the habit of drying pulse, pease, and lentils before eating them (vid., Harmar, Beobachtungen, i. pp. 255-6), the second קלי may be understood as referring to parched pulse. The ἁπ. λεγ. בּקר שׁפות signifies, according to the Chaldee and the Rabbins, cheese of oxen (i.e., of cows), and according to the conjecture of Roediger (Ges. Thes. p. 1462), a peculiar kind of cheese, such as the Aeneze in the province of Nedjid still make,

(Note: According to Burckhardt's account (Die Beduinen, p. 48), "after they have taken the butter from the butter-milk, they beat the latter again till it coagulates, and then dry it till it is quite hard. It is then rubbed to pieces, and in the spring every family stores up two or three lasts of it, which they eat mixed with butter.")

and for which the term σαφὼθ βοῶν retained by the lxx was probably the technical name. Theodotus, on the other hand, has γαλαθηνὰ μοσχάρια, milch-calves; and the Vulgate pingues vitulos, - both of them renderings which can certainly be sustained from the Arabic usage of speech, and would be more in accordance with the situation of the words, viz., after צאן. אמרוּ כּי, "for they said (or thought) the people have become hungry and faint and thirty in the desert," i.e., in their flight to Mahanaim.

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