5 occurrences in 5 dictionaries

Reference: Dung


Among the Israelites, the dung of animals was used only for manure, but, when dried, for fuel. In districts where wood is scarce, the inhabitants are very careful in collecting the dung of camels and asses; it is mixed with chopped straw, and dried. It is not unusual to see a whole village with portions of this material adhering to the walls of the cottages to dry; and towards the end of autumn it is piled in conical heaps or stacks on the roof. It is employed in heating ovens, and for other similar purposes, Eze 4:12-16. The use of dung for manure is intimated in Isa 25:10.

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(1.) Used as manure (Lu 13:8); collected outside the city walls (Ne 2:13). Of sacrifices, burned outside the camp (Ex 29:14; Le 4:11; 8:17; Nu 19:5). To be "cast out as dung," a figurative expression (1Ki 14:10; 2Ki 9:37; Jer 8:2; Ps 18:42), meaning to be rejected as unprofitable.

(2.) Used as fuel, a substitute for firewood, which was with difficulty procured in Syria, Arabia, and Egypt (Eze 4:12-15), where cows' and camels' dung is used to the present day for this purpose.

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Used as manure and fuel. Straw was trodden in the water of the dungheap to make it manure (compare Ps 83:10). Isa 25:10, "Moab shall be trodden down ... as straw is trodden down for the dunghill"; also Isa 5:25, margin The dung sweepings of the streets were collected in heaps at fixed places outside the walls, e.g. "the dung gate" at Jerusalem (Ne 2:13), and thence removed to the fields. The dunghill is the image of the deepest degradation (Ps 113:7; La 4:5; 1Sa 2:8). Manure is inserted in holes dug about the roots of fruit trees to the present day in S. Italy (Lu 13:8). The dung of sacrifices was burnt outside the camp (Ex 29:14). In Mal 2:3, "I will spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts," the point is, the maw was the priests' prequisite (De 18:3); you shall get the dung in the maw, instead of the maw.

The sanctity of the Israelites' camp through Jehovah's presence is made the ground for rules of cleanliness such as in De 23:12. The removal to separate receptacles, and exposure of human and other ordure, gives the force to the threats, Da 2:5; 3:29; Ezr 6:11; 2Ki 10:27; "a draught house," 2Ki 9:37; 1Ki 14:10; Jer 8:2. In Isa 36:12 the sense is, "Is it to thy master and thee I am sent? Nay, it is to the men off the wall, to let them know that (so far am I from wishing them not to hear), if they do not surrender they shall be reduced to eating their own excrement." (2Ch 32:11). Scarcity of fuel necessitated the use of cows' dung and camels' dung, formed in cakes with straw added, for heating ovens as at this day; but to use human dung implied cruel necessity (Eze 4:12). In Php 3:8, "I do count them dung," skubala means "refuse cast to the dogs."

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1. Used in the East as manure (Lu 13:8) and for fuel; especially that of cattle, where wood and charcoal are scarce or unattainable. Directions for personal cleanliness are given in De 23:10-14; and in the case of sacrifices the dung of the animals was burnt outside the camp (Ex 29:14; Le 4:11-12; 8:17; Nu 19:5). 2. The word is used (a) to express contempt and abhorrence, as in the case of the carcase of Jezebel (2Ki 9:37); and in that of the Jews (Jer 9:22; Zep 1:17). (b) To spread dung upon the face was a sign of humiliation (Mal 2:3). (c) As representing worthlessness, Paul counted all things but dung that he might win Christ (Php 3:8).

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The uses of dung were two-fold --as manure and as fuel. The manure consisted either of straw steeped in liquid manure,

Isa 25:10

or the sweepings,

Isa 5:25

of the streets and roads, which were carefully removed from about the houses, and collected in heaps outside the walls of the towns at fixed spots --hence the dung-gate at Jerusalem --and thence removed in due course to the fields. The difficulty of procuring fuel in Syria, Arabia and Egypt has made dung in all ages valuable as a substitute. It was probably used for heating ovens and for baking cakes,

Ezr 4:12,15

the equable heat which it produced adapting it pecularily for the latter operation. Cow's and camels dung is still used for a similar purpose by the Bedouins.

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