The excrement of man or beast. “Dung” translates several different Hebrew and Greek words. An ash heap or rubbish heap was used to convey the haunt of the destitute (1 Samuel 2:8;
The first mention of dung in the Bible was in connection with the sacrificial rites. The sacred law required that the dung, along with other parts of the animal, should not be burned on the altar but should be burned outside the camp (Exodus 29:14;
A major disgrace for a Jew was to have one's carcass treated as dung (2 Kings 9:37). Dung has been used as fertilizer for centuries. It is recorded in
Luke 13:8 and
Isaiah 25:10 that the people of Palestine used it for that purpose. Dry dung was and is often used as fuel (Ezekiel 4:12-15). Animal dung was used as fuel when it was mixed with straw and dried to a suitable state for heating the simple bread ovens.
The dung gate, one of the eleven gates of Jerusalem during Nehemiah's time (Nehemiah 3:14), was located in the southwest corner of the wall and was used for the disposal of rubbish, garbage, and dung. It led out to the Valley of Hinnom.
Paul used a powerful metaphor with the word dung when he made a comparison between his personal knowledge of Christ and those who did not know Christ (Philippians 3:8). The word is used also in Scripture to indicate symbolically the degradation to which a person or a nation might fall (2 Kings 9:37;