Various explanations have been given of the passage in (2 Kings 6:25) Bochart has labored to show that it denotes a species of cicer, “chick-pea,” which he says the Arabs call usnan, and sometimes
improperly “dove’s” or “sparrow’s dung.” Great quantities of these are sold in Cairo to the pilgrims going to Mecca. Later
authorities incline to think it the bulbous root of the Star of Bethlehem (ornithogalum, i.e. bird-milk), a common root in
Palestine, and sometimes eaten.—ED. It can scarcely be believed that even in the worst horrors of a siege a substance so vile
as is implied by the literal rendering should have been used for food.