Butter in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

cheme'ah, from an Arabic root meaning "coagulated." Curdled milk, curds, butter, and cheese (Judges 5:25; 2 Samuel 17:29). But the butter in the East is more fluid and less solid than ours. The milk is put in a whole goatskin bag, sewed up, and hung on a frame so as to swing to and fro. The fluidity explains Job 20:17, "brooks of honey and butter"; Job 29:6, "I washed my steps with butter." Isaiah 7:15; Isaiah 7:22, "butter and honey shall he eat": besides these being the usual food for children, and so in the case of the prophetess' child typifying the reality of Christ's humanity, which stooped to the ordinary food of infants, a state of distress over the land is implied, when through the invaders milk and honey, things produced spontaneously, should be the only abundant food. In Psalm 55:21 the present reading is properly "smooth are the butter-masses (i.e. sweetness) of his mouth." The Chaldee version translated as KJV Gesenius explains Proverbs 30:33, "the pressure (not 'churning') of milk bringeth forth cheese."

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