Hewing (חָצִב) OF WOOD, a laborious service, chiefly of slaves and aliens, to which the Gibeonites were condemned for the supply (of the sanctuary by Joshua (Jos 9:23). Some of the Rabbins understood, however, that while the Hebrews remained in camp, and before the land was divided, the Gibeonites performed this service for the whole body of the people; but even they admit that afterwards their service were limited to the sanctuary. This service must have been sufficiently laborious at the great festivals, but not generally so, as they probably undertook the duty by turns. They were not reduced to a condition of absolute slavery, but seem to have been rather domestic tributaries than slaves, their tribute being the required personal service. SEE GIBEONITE. In 1Ki 5:15, we read that Solomon "had fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains." The forests of Lebanon only were sufficient to supply the timber required for building the Temple. Such of these forests as lay nearest the sea were in the possession of the Phoenicians, among whom timber was in such constant demand that they had acquired great skill in the felling and transport of it. SEE LEBANON. It was therefore of much importance that Hiram consented to employ large bodies of men in Lebanon to hew timber, as well as others to bring it down to the sea-side, whence it was to be taken along the coast in floats to Joppa. The forests of Lebanon have now in a great measure disappeared, but Akma Dagh and Jaewur Dagh (the ancient Amanus and Rhosus), in the north of Syria, still furnish an abundance of valuable timber, though vast quantities have been felled of late years by the Egyptian government. SEE AXE; SEE WOOD.

Definition of hewing

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