And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket on my head.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
16. I had three white baskets—The circumstances mentioned exactly describe his duties, which, notwithstanding numerous assistants, he performed with his own hands.
white—literally, "full of holes"; that is, wicker baskets. The meats were carried to table upon the head in three baskets, one piled upon the other; and in the uppermost, the bakemeats. And in crossing the open courts, from the kitchen to the dining rooms, the removal of the viands by a vulture, eagle, ibis, or other rapacious bird, was a frequent occurrence in the palaces of Egypt, as it is an everyday incident in the hot countries of the East still. The risk from these carnivorous birds was the greater in the cities of Egypt, where being held sacred, it was unlawful to destroy them; and they swarmed in such numbers as to be a great annoyance to the people.
and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head; all the three baskets were upon his head, but this seems to be the uppermost, which the birds could more easily come at; though if the baskets were full of holes, they might through them peck the bread with their bills.And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. bakemeats] LXX ἔργον σιτοποιοῦ, Lat. cibos qui fiunt arte pistoria: as we say, “all kinds of confectionery.” The bakemeats are only in the top basket. If the birds took them, he had nothing in the other baskets to bring to Pharaoh’s table.
the birds] The birds, darting down upon the food and carrying it off, doubtless seemed of evil augury; cf. the appearance of the birds in Genesis 15:11. It was like a nightmare! The baker found himself powerless to frighten the birds away. The great kites in Egypt, the bird scavengers of the land, are always wheeling in the air, ready to pounce down upon choice morsels, if they see the slightest chance of carrying them off.
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