What is a “cruse?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

This word is found nine times in a King James Bible:

  • 1 Samuel chapter 26: “[11] The LORD 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. [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…. [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 Kings 14:3: “And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels* [*see our study linked at the end of this article], and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.”
  • 1 Kings chapter 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…. [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…. [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 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.”
  • 2 Kings 2:20: “And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.”

A “cruse” is basically an earthenware pot, jug, or jar used to hold water, olive oil, honey, or even salt (as in the passages cited above). Apparently, the English is from the German “krause,” as in “pot with lid.”

Also see:
» What are “cracknels?”
» What are “dregs?”
» What are “old cast clouts?”
» What is a “bolster?”
» What are “phylacteries?”
» What are “swaddling clothes?”
» What is a “charger?”