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November 18    Scripture

Manners & Customs: Grain
Grain in ancient Bible times

Allowing Neighbors to Eat Grain THE FARMER'S LAW OF HOSPITALITY Eating grain in the field. When the grain in the wheatfield has passed the "milk-stage," and has begun to harden, it is then called "fereek" and is considered to be delicious to eat raw. Natives of the land will pluck the heads, and then rub them in their hand and eat them. For centuries the unwritten law of hospitality has been that wayfarers may eat of the wheat as they pass by or through a field, but they must not carry any away with them.29 The law of GOD allowed this same privilege. "When thou comest unto the standing corn (i.e. grain) of thy neighbor, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbor's standing corn" (Deuteronomy 23:25). When the Pharisees criticized the disciples, it was not for eating wheat as they passed through a wheat field, but rather for doing it on the sabbath day (Luke 6:1,2). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Binding Sheaves Binding the grain into sheaves. The cut grain is gathered on the arms and bound into sheaves. The Psalmist makes a reference to the mower filling his hand, and the binder of sheaves filling his bosom (Psalm 129:7). And the Song of Solomon speaks of an heap of wheat (Song of Solomon 7:2), and Joseph in his dream saw "binding sheaves in the field" (Genesis 37:7). Thus the cut grain was gathered in the arms and bound into sheaves. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Donkeys for Grinding Grain The donkey sometimes used for grinding grain. Here again, the usual method of grinding the grain is for the women to use smaller stones for their mills. The larger mill is elevated so that a singletree becomes suitable for the work. A camel may be used in place of a donkey. It was this type of a mill that the Philistines required Samson to pull (Judges 16:21). JESUS referred to this larger type of millstone when he said: "But whoso shall offend [cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble], . . . it were better for him that a millstone [turned by an ass] were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6). The size and weight of this stone made its illustrative use by JESUS very forceful. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=DKv9MD4nWhA%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Grain in Easton's Bible Dictionary used, in Amos 9:9, of a small stone or kernel; in Matt. 13:31, of an individual seed of mustard; in John 12:24, 1 Cor. 15:37, of wheat. The Hebrews sowed only wheat, barley, and spelt; rye and oats are not mentioned in Scripture.
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/G/Grain/


Grain Scripture - 1 Corinthians 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]:
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Corinthians/15/


Grain Scripture - Amos 9:9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as [corn] is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Amos/9/


Grain Scripture - Luke 13:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Luke/13/


Grain Scripture - Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Luke/17/


Grain Scripture - Mark 4:31 [It is] like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Mark/4/


Grain Scripture - Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Matthew/13/


Grain Scripture - Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Matthew/17/


Kinds of Grain SOWING THE SEED Kinds of grain sown. There are various kinds of grain used in the Orient. The word "corn" as used in English translations of the Bible, is actually the family name for cereal grains, because the "maize" or "indian corn" of modern days was doubtless unknown to Bible writers. The two principal grains cultivated in ancient Israel were wheat and barley. There is one mention in the Old Testament of the use of millet (Ezekiel 4:9). The Revisers in the American Revised Version have changed the word "rye" in Exodus 9:32 and Isaiah 28:25 to mean "spelt." In modern times, both. rice and maize or Indian corn are used in Israel, although the former is largely imported. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Leaving Grain for the Poor Grain left for the poor. The Mosaic Law also had a provision in it to help take care of the poor, in connection with the grain harvest. "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger" (Leviticus 23:22). Ruth the Moabitess made use of this provision as a stranger in the land, and so gleaned in the field of Boaz (Ruth, Chapter 2). The Arab farmers of today still carry out this ancient custom, although they may not be acquainted with the Biblical precept concerning it. They would not think of touching the corner of their field when harvesting. It is left for the poor and stranger. It may be collected later into a great heap, but it is then given to the poor, or used to maintain a guest chamber. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Sifting Grain SIFTING THE GRAIN When the winnowing process is over, then comes the sifting of the grain. The wheat or barley will still be more or less mixed with certain amounts of chaff, little stones, and perhaps some tares. Sifting is therefore necessary before the grain can be ground into meal. This is the task of the women. The sifter seats herself on the floor, and shakes the sieve which contains the grain, until the chaff begins to appear on the top, and this is blown away by lung power. The stones are removed as are also the tares. The LORD JESUS made reference to the "sifting" of Simon Peter. He said: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:31). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Sowing Seed How and when the seed is sown. The farmer usually carries his seed to his field in a large sack on the back of his donkey. and then the leather bag which he carries under his arm is replenished with seed from the sack.13 As a rule, the seed is scattered broadcast on the ground, and then it is covered over by the ploughing. Often the sower walks along, scattering his seed, and then one of his family, or a servant if he has one, follows directly with the plough. The Biblical word "to sow" as used in the Pentateuch (Genesis 26:12; Leviticus 25:3, etc.), means "to scatter seed." [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Storing Grain STORING THE GRAIN Smaller quantities of grain are often stored away for future use by the family, in "barrels" made of a combination of clay and wickerwork. If there is a larger quantity of grain it is sometimes placed in a dry cistern under the ground, and the location of the place is kept a secret by covering over the opening. Actually there were no flour barrels in the homes of Old Testament characters. The word "barrel" speaks of a "jar." Earthenware jars were used to store grain or flour (see I Kings 17:12, 14, 16; 18:33). Both underground storage places for grain and buildings above ground have been in use in modern times. In the Bible, three words are used for grain storage places: the storehouse, the garner, and the barn (Deuteronomy 28:8; Matthew 3:12; Proverbs 3:10). These places were often located below the surface of the ground, but were sometimes above ground. The barns of the rich fool CHRIST told about, must have been of the latter type, because he said: "I will pull down my barns and build greater" (Luke 12:18). When excavators uncovered the city of Gezer, they discovered that granaries had been important buildings in ancient times. Some of them were connected with private homes, while others were evidently public storehouses. Most of them were circular in shape, like some that have been in use on the maritime plain of Israel in recent years. Their size varied greatly. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


The Sickle CUTTING AND TRANSPORTING THE RIPENED GRAIN Cutting the ripened grain. The ripe grain is cut with a sickle. In early times sickles were made of flint, which material was abundant and therefore cheap. In later periods there were some made of bronze or of iron, but the former were more prevalent in all periods. The flint was at first set in the jaw-bone of an animal, or in a curved piece of wood. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of "him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest" (Jeremiah 50:16). And the prophet Joel commands: "Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe" (Joel 3:13). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Threshing Purposes What the threshing process accomplishes. What happens has been described as follows: "As these heavy sledges are drawn over the layer of straw and ears, they rub out the grain. This by its form and weight, sinks immediately through the straw, and thus escapes being hurt. The straw, which by its lightness remains on the surface, is slowly broken and crushed into tiny pieces. Thus a double process goes on by means of this simple but effective treatment. Not only is the corn threshed out, but the straw is at the same time prepared for cattle and camel fodder. In this crushed state it is called "teben" and is used to mix with the barley with which all their animals are fed, just as we mix chopped hay with oats; but this crushing is far superior to our chopping as a means of preparing cattle food. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Transporting the Grain Transportation of grain to the threshing floor. The usual method of transporting the grain to the threshing floor is as follows: two large bundles of the grain are made secure by a network of rope and then placed a few feet apart. Then a camel is made to kneel in the space between them, and then the bundles are fastened to the animal's packsaddle. The driver gives his signal, and the camel rises and begins to march off to the threshing floor, which is usually located not far from the village. Here he kneels again and is relieved of his burden of grain, and goes back for another load. When a camel was to be had, this was the method of transportation that was doubtless used in Bible times. Otherwise the much-used donkey was utilized for the purpose. When sheaves of grain are loaded on the donkey, a sort of cradle is suspended to the flat saddle, and the cut grain is thrown over this and tied by a rope. The brothers of Joseph used asses to carry sacks of grain and also straw for them to eat (Genesis 42:26, 27). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Winnowing Grain WINNOWING THE GRAIN Winnowing was accomplished by the use of either a broad shovel or of a wooden fork which had bent prongs. With this instrument, the mass of chaff, straw, and grain was thrown against the wind. Because there was generally a breeze blowing in the evening, this was the time when it was normally done. So Naomi said to Ruth concerning Boaz: "Behold, he winnoweth barley tonight in the threshing floor" (Ruth 3:2). When the Bible speaks of the farmer's fan, it does not mean that some instrument was used to increase the wind. Rather, the fan was the shovel or wooden fork used when unseparated grain and straw was thrown against the wind. The prophet Jeremiah tells of GOD using a fan to winnow His people Israel: "And I will fan winnow them with a fan in the gates of the land" (Jeremiah 15:7). When the grain and straw, not as yet separated, are thrown into the air, the wind causes the mass of material to fall as follows: Since the grain is the heaviest, it naturally falls beneath the fan. The straw is blown to the side into a heap, and the lighter chaff and the dust are carried beyond into a flattened windrow. This gave to the Psalmist his figure: "The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away" (Psalm 1:4). The chaff is burned as Scripture often indicates. "And the flame consumeth the chaff" (Isaiah 5:24). John the Baptist was familiar with the winnowing process and the burning of the chaff. He said: "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17). Dr. Lambie reports seeing an additional process used by Bible land Arabs. After being thrown against the wind, the grain is placed on a rock and the farmer uses a mat about eighteen inches square with which to fan the grain, while a helper keeps turning it over, in order to get rid of any remaining chaff. There is no definite reference to such a practice in the Bible, but it is possible this method may have been used in olden times as an additional means of cleaning the grain, or perhaps it was employed when the winds were quiet. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jsZ5vlGvWyQ%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


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