(טָחִן, tachan', to crush small, Ex 32:20; De 9:21; specially with a hand-mill, Jg 16:21; Nu 11:8; also tropically, to oppress the poor by exaction, Isa 3:15. In the expression '"let my wife grind for another," Job 21:10, it is put as the picture of abject poverty and degradation, i.e. let her become his mill- wench or menial; comp. Ex 11:5; Isa 47:2). SEE GRITS. In the earliest ages men took the pains to roast the kernels of grain (Serv. ad AEn. i, 184), and to pound them (Pliny, 18:23) in a mortar (מדכָה מִכתֵּשׁ) with a pestle (comp. Nu 11:8), and this method of preparing it is still common (in small encampments) among the modern Arabs (Burckhardt, Wahaby, p. 36). Yet the hand-mill (טִחֲנָח, טַחוֹן, χειρομύλη) is an ancient invention (see Virgil. Morel. 19), for it was early employed by the Hebrews (Nu 11:8), and continued in use by them to the latest age (being often alluded to in the Talmud under the name רחִיִם שֶׁל יָד, or רחִיִם דּיָדָא) and is still in common use (in villages) among the Orientals (Niebuhr, Beschr. p. 51; Trav. i, 150; comp. Labordei, Commentaire, p. 58). It consisted of two millstones (Plaut. Asinar. ii, 1, 16); the upper one (רֶכֶכ, the rider, De 24:6; 2Sa 11:21; or, fully, פֶּלִח רֶכֶכ, the rider. piece, Jg 9:53; in Greek, ὄνος or ἐπιμύλιον, Lat. catillus) was movable and slightly concave, so as to fit the surface of the stationary lower one (פֶּלִח תִּחתּית, Job 41:16; Gr. μύλη, Lat. meta). It was (in poor families) worked by the women (Shaw, Trav. p. 202; Jollife, Trav. p. 377 Burckhardt, Arab. p. 187; Robinson, ii, 405,650; Wellsted, Trav. i, 249; Thomson, Land and Book, ii, 295; see Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt. ii, 223; comp. Mishna, Tohor. 7:4), but in large households, where it was severe toil (Artemid. ii, 42), by slaves (Arvieux, Voy. iii, 204; Burckhardt, Arab. p. 187), as a female employment (Mt 24:41; Lu 17:35), and that of the most menial kind (Ex 11:5; Isa 47:2; Job 31:10; comp. Ec 12:3; see Odys. 7:103 sq.; Simonid. Iamb. 85 sq.; Plaut. Merc. ii, 3, 62; Theophr. Char. 5; Aristoph. Nub. 1358; Callimach. in Del. 242), but also as a male task, especially in punishment (Jg 16:21; La 5:13; compare Terent. Andr. i, 2, 29; Plant. Paen. v, 3, 33; Asinar. i, 1, 16; Epidic. i, 2, 42; Mostell. i, i, 16; Polluc. Onom. iii, 8;
Cic. Quint. i, 2, 4; see Cod. Theodos. 14:3, 7), such culprits being closely fettered (Terent. Phorm. ii, 3, 19; Plaut. Pers. i, 1, 21 sq.), and even blinded (Jg 16:21), by which means the giddiness arising from per(see Herod. 4:2, and compare the tradition that king Zedekiah was thus treated, Ewald, Isr. Gesch. iii, 445). An allusion to the noise of these mills, as being somewhat pleasing to the domestic ear (like that of a modern coffee-mill, which conveys an intimation of home comforts), seems to be contained in Jer 25:10; Ec 12:4; Re 18:22; others, however, consider these passages to refer to the singing, or rather screaming, of the females employed, as a means of diversion during their toil, or to drown the grating of the millstones (Hackett, Illustra. of Script. p. 80). It was not lawful to distrain the family hand-mill for debt (Deut, 24:6). In later times large mills, worked by asses, were used (רחִיִם שֶׁל חֲמוֹרBuxtorf, Lexicon Chald. 2252), as by the-Greeks (μύλος ὀνικός, Mt 18:6) and Romans (asini molarii, Varro, R. R. i, 19, 5; Colum. 7:1; Cato, R. R.x, 4; Ovid, Fast. 6:3187 Lucian. Asin. 38:42; Apulej. Metam. 7:p. 153, Bip.; Digest. 33:7, 18), and as are still found in the East (Burckhardt, Spruchv. p. 41; Robinson, i. 161; Russel, Aleppo, i, 100). (On the subject generally, see F. L. Goetze, De pistrinis vet. Cygn. 1730; also in Ugolini Thesaur. xxix; Hoheisel, De molis mannalibus vet. Gedani, 1728; also in Ugolini, lb.; Beckmann, Erfind. ii, I sq.; Mongoz, in the Memoires de l'Institut Roy-ale, class, d'hist, iii, 441 sq.). SEE MILL.
The GRINDERS (תֹחֲנוֹת, tochanoth', fem. ones grinding, by allusion to females so employed) of Eccles. 13:3, are evidently the teeth, whose decay is an evidence of old age (comp. טִחֲנָה tachanah', mill "grinding," ver. 4). SEE CAPER-PLANT.