In relation to the following question If Jews don't eat cheeseburgers, why did Abraham serve a calf with milk?

I wondered how one should interpret the verse of 2 Samuel 17:29 which states that David and his people were given a meal which included milk products and meat of which they ate.

For now, as an example, it was clearly Jewish human beings, so some points made in the case of Avraham don't apply in this specific case.

I would like to know how the kashrut applies to this case, and how the verse should be understood.

  • 1
    It does not say that they ate milk and meat together, but that the food supplies were given to them. Once they had the supplies, they ate. Commented May 4, 2017 at 9:30
  • 2
    @sabba moreover it doesn't​say they cooked them together. We don't know that they would have considered eating them together problematic as that could have been a later enactment
    – Double AA
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 11:26
  • David HaMelech followed the halacha midoraysa. He was not obligated to follow the halachos miderabbanan.
    – ezra
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


I assume you're referring to this verse:

וּדְבַ֣שׁ וְחֶמְאָ֗ה וְצֹאן֙ וּשְׁפ֣וֹת בָּקָ֔ר הִגִּ֧ישׁוּ לְדָוִ֛ד וְלָעָ֥ם אֲשֶׁר-אִתּ֖וֹ לֶאֱכ֑וֹל כִּ֣י אָמְר֔וּ הָעָ֗ם רָעֵ֛ב וְעָיֵ֥ף וְצָמֵ֖א בַּמִּדְבָּֽר: ‏

And honey and butter and sheep and cheese were served to David and the people with him, for they said that the people are hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert.

This (and the verse preceding it) are lists of items that they brought King David's army.

As the Ralbag points out, the first items on the list were nosh that could be eaten immediately.

מִשְׁכָּב וְסַפּוֹת וּכְלִי יוֹצֵר וְחִטִּים וּשְׂעֹרִים וְקֶמַח וְקָלִי וּפוֹל וַעֲדָשִׁים וְקָלִי

[And they brought them] Beds and couches and utensils and [roated] wheat, barley and roasted flour and beans and lentils and roasted [other things]

רלב"ג והנה זכר כי בבא דוד מחנימה הגישו לו שובי בן נחש ומכי' בן עמיאל וברזלי הגלעדי המצטרך לו מכל משכב וספות והם כלי בית קבול ממתכת וכלי יוצר להשתמש בהם בכל צרכיהם והביאו להם למזון חטים ושעורים וקמח וקלי מהחטים ומן השעורים כדי שיוכלו לאכול תכף מהקלי והביאו להם ממיני קטניות פול ועדשים וגם הביאו להם מהם קלי לאכלו תכף והביאו להם עוד דבש וחמאה ללפת בו את הפת ולשתות וצאן לאכל וחריצין חלב בקר לאכל לפי שהם יותר חשובים משאר החריצים והנה הסכימו אלו השלשה ממקומותיהם לשלח זאת המנחה לדוד‏

The next items were condiments that they could eat with bread.

Presumably, the sheep were eaten last, as slaughtering, salting and cooking/roasting them take the longest amount of time.

So we can assume that they didn't eat the meat until after they were done with the milk snacks/hors d'oeuvres.

The Ralbag then says that since the order of the foods is increasing in importance, which is why the cheese is mentioned last, as it's the most important (i.e. exotic/expensive) item.

It doesn't say they ate all this - and definitely not that they ate it together. As the Ralbag ends: This is the delivery list of items they decided to send. (Not the menu.)

  • 7
    Note eating meat and milk together isn't even a biblical prohibition. There's no need to expect David to have kept it.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 12:06
  • 2
    Also note that it doesn't say that anyone ate everything on the list.
    – msh210
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 9:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .