Eating faeces and drinking urine are considered distasteful by most people yet they both have a long history. Coprophagia is usually practiced by sexual deviants or as a form of bodily mortification. Imbibing urine, on the other hand, is regarded by some as a legitimate medical practice... although not always.
In 701 BCE, for example, Sennacherib, King of Assyria, was poised to capture Jerusalem. Rab-shakeh, Sennacherib’s emissary, threatened the Israelites on his master’s behalf.
But Rab-shakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
(2 Kings 18:27)
Proverbs, on the other hand, appears to be giving advice rather than trying to intimidate.
Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.
Pondering this, John Armstrong, a consumptive living in Britain in the 1920s, wondered whether this really was a reference to the body's own water. Ignoring the prevailing medical opinion of the day, Armstrong began drinking his urine, cured himself of consumption and eventually wrote a best-seller on the subject, The Water of Life (1944). However, this practice has been going on in India for centuries.
The prophet Ezekiel, on the other hand, was ordered by God to cook some rather strange bread.
And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.
It’s debatable as to whether this means that the faeces should be mixed in with the barley cakes or whether it should be used as fuel but, in either case, Ezekiel balks at this part of the recipe. Quite reasonably, he points out that his soul is not polluted and he has no intention of putting something so abominable in his mouth. God duly allows Ezekiel to use cow’s dung instead.