And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry…
The Ancient Egyptians, and still more, the Persians, practised a mode of divination from goblets. Small pieces of gold or silver, together with precious stones, marked with strange figures and signs, were thrown into the vessel; after which, certain incantations were pronounced, and the evil demon was invoked; the latter was then supposed to give the answer, either by intelligible words, or by pointing to some of the characters on the precious stones, or in some other more mysterious manner. Sometimes the goblet was filled with pure water, upon which the sun was allowed to play; and the figures which were thus formed, or which a lively imagination fancied it saw, were interpreted as the desired omen — a method of taking auguries still employed in Egypt and Nubia. The goblets were usually of a spherical form; and for this reason, as well as because they were believed to teach men all natural and many supernatural things, they were called "celestial globes." Most celebrated was the magnificent vase of turquoise of the wife Jemsheed, the Solomon among the ancient Persian kings, the founder of Persepolis; and Alexander the Great, so eager to imitate Eastern manners, is said to have adopted the sacred goblets also.
(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.