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    September 29    Scripture

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    Baking Bread and Ovens Baking of bread. The most primitive method of baking bread was the laying of cakes of dough on heated stones.11 A Scriptural example of this is from the experience of Elijah. (I Kings 19:6): "And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head." Another simple method of baking is the digging in the ground of a hole four or five feet deep, and three feet in diameter, and after this oven is heated, the dough is rolled out until it is no thicker than a person's finger, and then it is struck against the oven's sides where it instantly bakes. Sometimes a great stone pitcher is used as an oven. In the bottom of it a fire is made among small flints that retain the heat. The dough is placed on these and is quickly baked. Sometimes the dough is rolled out quite thin and is stuck on the outside of the hot pitcher where it bakes. Some have thought that it was this pitcher-oven that was meant in Leviticus 2:4, where two types of unleavened bread were to be baked. The cakes of fine flour would be baked inside the pitcher-oven, and the wafers would be baked on the outside of it. Another type of simple oven is a large earthenware jar, into which the fuel is placed, and when the jar is hot enough the thin cakes are laid on the outside to cook.14 When bread was baked individually by each family in Bible days, some such method as has been described was probably used by the ordinary homes. But often today, as in the days of Sacred Writ, bread was and is baked in either a semipublic oven, or in the oven of a public baker. Sometimes each town might have several of these ovens. One type of such an oven consists of a big earthen tube, some three feet in diameter, and about five feet long. It is sunk in the ground inside a hut. The women take their turn in baking their bread. The fuel is thrown into the tube, and when the fire gets hot, and billows of smoke and tongues of flame come from the deep hole, the hut, without any chimney in it, begins to resemble an active crater. Malachi must have seen such an oven when he wrote the words, "For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble" (Malachi 4:1).15 Another type of Oriental oven "is a long, low, stonebuilt vault, like half a railway-engine's boiler, with a stone pavement down the middle, and a long narrow strip at each side for the firewood."16 Each night the ashes are taken out, and often the children of poor families will bring a piece of tin, or of a broken water jar, and carry home on this some of the embers of the fire with which to start the fire at home for the evening meal. Hosea makes mention of "an oven heated by the baker" (Hosea 7:4). This would indicate that some of the people brought their bread to a baker to do the baking. The city of Jerusalem had its Baker's Street in the time of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37:21). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Baking the Pottery Baking the pottery. After the potter is through working with the vessel on the wheel, he places it on a shelf where there are rows of other vessels, and where they are kept from the direct rays of the sun, and yet where they are exposed to the wind from all directions. The brickkiln where they are baked is a shallow well of stone or brick around four feet deep and eight to ten feet in diameter, which has a small brick oven at its base. The vessels are piled up over this oven in cone-shape, sometimes to a height of twelve feet. It is then covered thickly with brushwood in order that the heat may be kept in and that there may come no sudden chilling. The fire is made to burn until the pottery is hardened sufficiently.5 The prophet Nahum refers to the preparation for baking pottery when he says: "Make strong the brickkiln" (Nahum 3:14). Sometimes inferior products are made by insufficient burning of vessels. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Broken Pieces of Pottery Use of broken fragments of pottery. Broken pieces of earthen vessels are to be seen about a potter's place, and also in many other places in the East. Some of these pieces which happen to be of suitable size and shape are of practicable use for the peasants. Isaiah gives two uses for them: "And he shall break it as the breaking of the potter's vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit" (Isaiah 30:14). In the evening time it is a common sight to see children coming to the public ovens with sherds of pottery in their hands, and go away with a small amount of hot coals or hot embers, which the baker has placed on each child's sherd, in order that the homes represented might be able to warm up their evening meal. Then at the spring, well, or cistern, sherds that are of the right size and shape to hold water are often left there that they might be used as ladles for filling the container, or as drinking cups. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Fuel for Fires The fuel used. The peasant often uses dried dung as fuel for his fire. Some of the poorer classes use this themselves, and sell the sticks they find to those who can afford to buy them.28 A reference in the prophecy of Ezekiel indicates this use of fuel was common in Bible times (see Ezekiel 4:15). In the Orient fuel is usually so scarce that dried grass and withered flowers are apt to be carefully gathered into bundles and used for making a fire.29 There are Bible indications that this was often done in those days of old. JESUS said: "The grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven" (Matthew 6:30; Luke 12:28). Another popular fuel for fires in Israel is thorns. There are many kinds of thorny shrubs that grow there, and the people gather them and make good use of them. Bible passages indicating such use of them are numerous (II Samuel 23:6, 7; Psalm 118:12; Ecclesiastes 7:6; Isaiah 9:18; Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 33:12; Nahum 1:10). The widow of Zarephath was gathering sticks to build a fire (I Kings 17:10), but the fire built in the courtyard of the high priest's house, where Simon Peter warmed himself, was built of charcoal (John 18:18). JESUS cooked breakfast for His disciples on a charcoal fire (John 21:9). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Oven in Easton's Bible Dictionary Heb. tannur, (Hos. 7:4). In towns there appear to have been public ovens. There was a street in Jerusalem (Jer. 37:21) called "bakers' street" (the only case in which the name of a street in Jerusalem is preserved). The words "tower of the furnaces" (Neh. 3:11; 12:38) is more properly "tower of the ovens" (Heb. tannurim). These resemble the ovens in use among ourselves. There were other private ovens of different kinds. Some were like large jars made of earthenware or copper, which were heated inside with wood (1 Kings 17:12; Isa. 44:15; Jer. 7:18) or grass (Matt. 6:30), and when the fire had burned out, small pieces of dough were placed inside or spread in thin layers on the outside, and were thus baked. (See FURNACE -T0001398.) Pits were also formed for the same purposes, and lined with cement. These were used after the same manner. Heated stones, or sand heated by a fire heaped over it, and also flat irons pans, all served as ovens for the preparation of bread. (See Gen. 18:6; 1 Kings 19:6.)

    Oven in Fausset's Bible Dictionary tanur. Fixed or portable. The fixed ovens were inside towns. The portable ovens consisted of a large clay jar, three feet high, widening toward the bottom, with a hole to extract the ashes. Sometimes there was an erection of clay in the form of a jar, built on the house floor. Every house had one (Exodus viii. 3 ); only in a famine (lid one suffice for several faro-flies (Leviticus xxvi. 26). Tile heating fuel was dry grass and twigs (Blurt. vt. 30: "grass, which to-day is, to-morrow is cast into the oven"). The loaves were placed inside, and thin cakes outside of it. Image of consuming vengeance (Malachi 4:1). Psalm 21:9; "Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of Thine anger... burning with Thy hot, wrath in the day of the Lord." Hosea 7:4, 7: "they are all adulterers, as an oven heated by (burning from) the baker," i.e. the fire burns of itself, even after tlle baker has ceased to feed it with fuel. "Who teaseth from raising (rather from heating it meeir) after he hath kneaded the dough until it be leavened:" he omits to feed it only during the short time of the fermentation of the bread. So their lusts were on fire even in the short respite that Satan gives, till his leaven has worked. 2 Peter 2:14, "cannot cease from sin."

    Oven in Naves Topical Bible For baking Ex 8:3; Le 2:4; 7:9; 11:35; 26:26 -See BREAD -FIGURATIVE Ps 21:9; Ho 7:4,6,7; Mal 4:1; Mt 6:30; Lu 12:28

    Oven in Smiths Bible Dictionary The eastern oven is of two kinds --fixed and portable. The former is found only in towns, where regular bakers are employed. Ho 7:4 The latter ia adapted to the nomad state, it consists of a large jar made of clay, about three feet high and widening toward the bottom, with a hole for the extraction of the ashes. Each household possessed such an article, Ex 8:3 and it was only in times of extreme dearth that the same oven sufficed for several families. Le 26:26 It was heated with dry twigs and grass, Mt 6:30 and the loaves were placed both inside and outside of it.

    Oven in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE uv'-'-n.

    Oven Scripture - Hosea 7:4 They [are] all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, [who] ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.

    Oven Scripture - Hosea 7:6 For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.

    Oven Scripture - Hosea 7:7 They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: [there is] none among them that calleth unto me.

    Oven Scripture - Lamentations 5:10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.

    Oven Scripture - Leviticus 11:35 And every [thing] whereupon [any part] of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; [whether it be] oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: [for] they [are] unclean, and shall be unclean unto you.

    Oven Scripture - Leviticus 26:26 [And] when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver [you] your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.

    Oven Scripture - Leviticus 2:4 And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the oven, [it shall be] unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.

    Oven Scripture - Leviticus 7:9 And all the meat offering that is baken in the oven, and all that is dressed in the fryingpan, and in the pan, shall be the priest's that offereth it.

    Oven Scripture - Luke 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more [will he clothe] you, O ye of little faith?

    Oven Scripture - Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

    Oven Scripture - Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?

    Oven Scripture - Psalms 21:9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

    Stoves and Fireplaces The stove or fireplace. Like the Nomads who live in tents, the peasants who live in one-room houses, carry on as much of their meal-cooking outside as the weather will permit. These operations are transferred inside only when the cold winter weather makes it desirable. The Occidental would hardly call what they use in cooking their meals either a stove or a fireplace, but it serves the purpose. Often the place for the fire is on the floor in the middle of the room. A small open clay-baked box, or else a thick jar with holes at the sides, is what usually serves as a stove. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    The Chimney The chimney. The Fellabin Arabs have various ways of taking care of smoke from the interior fires. Sometimes they have an opening in the ceiling that serves as a chimney, or an aperture in the side of the house will serve the purpose. Often, when the fireplace is in the corner of the room, there is a hood over it with an outlet for the smoke. Frequently, charcoal fires are started in a brazier outdoors, and when most of the smoking is over, and the coals are red hot, then it is taken indoors.30 The prophet Hosea refers to "smoke out of the chimney" (Hosea 13:3). A high latticed opening in the wall of the house would serve both as window and chimney in certain of the peasant homes. But no doubt, most of the chimney arrangements used by the Arabs as mentioned above, were also in use in Bible times. The Psalmist's comparison of himself with "a bottle in the smoke" (Psalm 119:83), could be an indoor figure; other scriptural references to smoke, that are often spoken of as being indoors, could just as well be outdoors (Proverbs 10:26; Isaiah 65:5, etc.). It can safely be assumed that Bible houses were not always as full of smoke as many have assumed to be the case. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]