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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Used as manure and fuel. Straw was trodden in the water of the dungheap to make it manure (compare Psalms 83:10). Isaiah 25:10, "Moab shall be trodden down ... as straw is trodden down for the dunghill"; also Isaiah 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 (Nehemiah 2:13), and thence removed to the fields. The dunghill is the image of the deepest degradation (Psalms 113:7; Lamentations 4:5; 1 Samuel 2:8). Manure is inserted in holes dug about the roots of fruit trees to the present day in S. Italy (Luke 13:8). The dung of sacrifices was burnt outside the camp (Exodus 29:14). In Malachi 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 (Deuteronomy 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 Deuteronomy 23:12. The removal to separate receptacles, and exposure of human and other ordure, gives the force to the threats, Daniel 2:5; Daniel 3:29; Ezra 6:11; 2 Kings 10:27; "a draught house," 2 Kings 9:37; 1 Kings 14:10; Jeremiah 8:2. In Isaiah 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." (2 Chronicles 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 (Ezekiel 4:12). In Philippians 3:8, "I do count them dung," skubala means "refuse cast to the dogs."

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Dung'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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