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CUSHI (kū’shī). A member of the Cushite people. 1. The man sent by Joab to inform David that Absalom’s rebellion was quelled and that the time was ripe for him to return to his throne (2Sam.18.21-2Sam.18.32).

2. A contemporary of Jeremiah, the great-grandfather of Jehudi (Jer.36.14).

3. The father of the prophet Zephaniah (Zeph.1.1).

CUSHI koosh’ ī, CUSHITE koosh’ īte (כּוּשִׁי, H3934, LXX Χουσί, Cushite). Used as a proper name and as a designation of nationality. As a proper name: 1. The great-grandfather of Jehudi, a prince in the court of Jehoiakim (Jer 36:14); 2. The father of the prophet Zephaniah (Zeph 1:1). 3. Messenger sent by Joab to David (KJV, 2 Sam 18:21). The RSV tr. “the Cushite”—as a nationality. Details of the narrative indicate the man is a foreigner. Moses’ wife is called a Cushite (Num 12:1), and this seems to be racial discrimination, but see Cushan. Usually Cushi is tr. ETHIOPIAN in KJV and RSV.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

ku’-shi: This name represents kushi, (in the original Septuagint Chousei, Chousi), either with or without the article. With the article (so in 2Sa 18:21-32 seven out of eight times, all readings supported by the Septuagint) it simply indicate that the person so designated was of the Cushite people, as in Jer 38:7 ff. Its use without the article has doubtless developed out of the foregoing according to a familiar process. For the Cush of Ps 7, title read "Cushi" with Septuagint.

(1) The messenger (the Revised Version (British and American) "the Cushite") sent by Joab to acquaint David with the victory over Absalom. That this man was in fact a foreigner is indicated by his ignorance of a shorter path which Ahimaaz took, by his being unrecognized by the watchman who recognizes Ahimaaz, and by his ignorance, as compared with Ahimaaz, of the sentiments of David, whom he knows only as a king and not as a man. 2Sa 18:21 (twice, the second time without the article), 2Sa 18:22,23,11 (twice), 2Sa 18:32 (twice).

(2) The great-grandfather of Jehudi, a contemporary of Jeremiah (Jer 36:14). The name Jehudi itself ("a man of Judah") is sufficient refutation of the opinion that the use of Cushi as or in lieu of a proper name "seems to show that there were but few Cushites among the Israelites."

(3) The father of Zephaniah the prophet (Ze 1:1).

J. Oscar Boyd