The English word "cruse" originated from an ancient Icelandic and Danish word, krus (or kruus), which meant a pot, or a large mug. "Cruse" is used by the King James Version to translate three different words of the Holy Scriptures.
- the Hebrew word pronounced tsawp-pawkh-awth, which means a saucer (in the more ancient definition, not merely a small, flat dish, but a small pot in which a sauce could be prepared.
- the Hebrew word pronounced bawk-book, which meant a pouring bottle.
- the Hebrew word pronounced tsel-oh-kheeth, which meant a tall container.
"The barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD"
The "cruse" of the Holy Scriptures was a container for water, honey or oil. In this example during The Civil War, Saul had a cruse which served as a water container.
"26:11 The LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'] forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
26:12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.
26:13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them: 26:14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner?
Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king?
26:15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord. 26:16 This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster." (1 Samuel 26:11-16 KJV)
In this example, a cruse was used to hold honey.
"14:1 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam [see Jeroboam Of Israel] fell sick.
14:2 And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people. 14:3 And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child. 14:4 And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age." (1 Kings 14:1-4 KJV)
A cruse was also used to hold oil. In this example, the LORD, through the prophet Elijah (see The Prophets: Elijah), miraculously multiplied the widow's oil.
"17:12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
17:13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 17:14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
17:15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 17:16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah." (1 Kings 17:12-16 KJV)
When Elijah went from Israel (see The Northern Kingdom) to Judah (see The Southern Kingdom) during the wicked reign of Ahab and Jezebel (see Ahab Of Israel), an angel provided him with a cruse of water.
"19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
19:3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
19:5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 19:6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
19:7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. 19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights [see The Forty Day Fasts] unto Horeb the mount of God." (1 Kings 19:2-8 KJV)
After Elijah's later departure (see Where Did Elijah Go?), the prophet Elisha (see The Prophets: Elisha) used a cruse to miraculously purify water.
"2:19 And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is nought, and the ground barren.
2:20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.
2:21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. 2:22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake." (2 Kings 2:19-22 KJV)
Fact Finder: What do pottery containers and humans have in common?
See Treasure In Earthen Vessels