The uses of dung were two-fold--as manure and as fuel. The manure consisted either of straw steeped in liquid manure, (Isaiah 25:10) or the sweepings, (Isaiah 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, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. 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, (Ezra 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.
* See also: Dove's Dung.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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