Husbandry (in Heb. by circumlocution , אֲדָמָה, the ground; Gr. prop. γεωργία, 2 Macc. 12:2; also γεώργιον, a plot of tilled ground, 1Co 3:9). The culture of the soil, although coeval with the history of the human race (Ge 2:15; Ge 4:2; Ge 9:20), was held of secondary account by the nomad Hebrews of the early period (Ge 26:12,14; Ge 37:7; see Job 1:3; comp. Harmer, 1, 88 sq.; Volney, Travels, 1, 291; Burckhardt, Beduin. p. 17; see Michaelis, De antiquitatibus aecon. patriarch. 1, Halle, 1728, and in Ugolini Thesaurus, 24 etc.), but by the Jewish lawgiver it was elevated to the rank of a fundamental institution of national economy (Michaelis, Mos. Recht, i, 249 sq.), and hence became assiduously and skillfully practiced in Palestine (comp. 1Sa 11:5; 1Ki 19:19; 2Ch 26:10; Pr 31:16; Ecclus. 7:15; also Isa 27:13, and Gesenius, ad loc.), as it continues in a good degree to be at the present day in the East. Upon the fields, which were divided (if at all) according to a vague land-measure termed a yoke (צֶמֶד, 1Sa 14:14), and occasionally fenced in (see Knobel, Zu Jesaias, p. 207), were mostly raised wheat, barley, flax, lentils (2Sa 23:11), garlic, and sometimes spelt, beans, a kind of durra or holcus (דֹּחִן), cummin, fennel, cucumbers, etc. (Isa 28:25). See these and other vegetables in their alphabetical place; for the later periods, compare the Mishna, Chilaim, 1. The fertility of Palestine (q.v.), especially in many parts, made the cultivation tolerably easy, and it was gradually increased by the clearing away of forests (Jer 4:3), thus enlarging the arable plains (נַיר, novale; comp. Pr 13:23); the hills (2Ch 26:10; Eze 38:6,9) being formed into terraces (compare Niebuhr, Beschreib. 156; Burckhardt, Trav. 1, 64), upon which the earth was kept by a facing of stones, while the low grounds and flats along streams were intersected by ditches (פִּלגֵּי מִיַם, Pr 21:1; comp. Ps 1; Ps 13) for drainage (comp. Mishna, Maoed Katon, 1, 1; Niebuhr, Beschr. 156; Trav. 1, 356, 437; Harmer, 2, 331 sq.), or, more usually, irrigation by means of water wheels (Mishna, Peah, 5, 3). The soil was manured (דָּמִן) sometimes with dung (compare Jer 9:22; 2Ki 9:37), sometimes by the ashes of burnt straw or stubble (Isa 5:24; Isa 47:14; Joe 2:5). Moreover, the keeping of cattle on the fields (Pliny, 18:53), and the leaving of the chaff in threshing (Korte, Reisen, p. 433), contributed greatly to fertilization. For breaking up the surface of the ground (חָרִשׁ, also יָגִב), ploughs (מִהֲרֶשֶׁת ?), probably of various construction, were used ("Syria tenui sulco arat:" Pliny, 18:47; comp. Theophrast. Caussae plant. 3, 25; on אַתַּים Joel 4:10, see Credner, ad loc.). The latter, like the harrows, which were early used for covering the seed (Pliny, 18:19, 3; see Harduinm, ad loc.), were drawn by oxen (1Ki 19:19 sq.; Job 1:14; Am 6:12) or cows (Jg 14:18; Baba Mez. 6, 4), seldom by asses (Isa 30:24; Isa 32:20; Varro, 2, 6, 8, "Ubi levis est terra"), but never with a yoke of the two kinds of animals together (De 22:10), as is now customary in the East (Niebuhr, Beschreib. p. 156): the beasts were driven with a cudgel (מִלמָד, goad). (Delineations of Egyptian agriculture may be seen in Wilkinson, 2nd ser. 1, 48; Rosellini, Mon. civ. table 32, 33.) See each of the above agricultural implements in its alphabetical 1,.ce. The furrows (מִעֲנָה תֶּלֵם), among the Hebrews, probably ran usually lengthwise and crosswise (Pliny. 18:19; Niebuhr, Beschr. p. 155). The sowing occurred, for winter grain, in October and November; for summer fruit, in January or February; the harvest in April. The unexceptionable accounts of fifty-fold and hundred-fold crops (Ge 26:12 [on the reading here, see Tuch, ad loc]; Mt 13:8 sq.; compare Josephus, War, 4, 8, 3; Herod. 1, 193; Pliny, 18, 47; Strabo, 15, 731; 16, 742; Heliod. Eth. 10, 5, p. 395; Sonnini. Trav. 2, 306; Shaw, Trav. p. 123; Burckhardt, 1, 463; yet see Ruppel, — Abyss. 1, 92; Niebuhr, Beschreib. p. 151 sq.) seem to show that the ancients sowed (planted, i.e. deposited the grain, שׂוּם, Isa 28:25) in drills, and with wide spaces between (Niebuhr, Beschreib. p. 157; Brown's Travels in Africa, p. 457), as Strabo (15, 731) expressly says was the case among the Babylonians. (See further under the above terms respectively; and comp. generally Ugolini, Comment. de re rustica yet. Heb., in his Thesaur. 29; H. G. Paulsen, Nachrichten vom Ackerbau der Morgenländer, Helmstadt, 1748; id. Ackerbau d. Morgenländer, Helmstidt, 1748; Norbery, De agricultura orient., in his Opusc. Acad. ii, 474 sqq.; P. G. Purmann, 5 progr. de re rustica yet. Hebr. Franckf. 1787; also the Calendar. Palcest. aeconom. by Buhle and Walch, Gotting. 1784; Reynier, L'Economie rurale des Arabes; Wilkinson, Anc. Egyptians; Layard's Nineveh, 1849; his Nineveh and Babylon, 1853; Kitto's Physical Hist. of Palest. 1843.) SEE AGRICULTURE.

a. The legal regulations for the security and promotion of agriculture among the Israelites (compare Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 23 sq.) were the following: a. Every hereditary or family estate was inalienable (Le 25:23); it could indeed be sold for debt, but the purchaser held only the usufruct of the ground; hence the land itself reverted without redemption at the year of jubilee to its appropriate owner (Le 25:28), whether the original possessor or his heirs-at-law; and at any time during the interval before that period it might be redeemed by such person on repayment of the purchase-money (Le 25:24). SEE LAND; SEE JUBILEE.

b. The removal of field-lines marked by boundary-stones ('termini") was strongly interdicted (De 19:14; compare 27:17; Pr 22:28; Ho 5:10), as in all ancient nations (comp. Plato, Leg. 8 p. 843 sq.; Dougtsei, Annalect. 1, 110; since these metes were established with religious ceremonies, see Pliny, 18:2; compare Ovid, Fasti, 2, 639 sq.); yet no special penalty is denounced in law against offenders. For any damage done to a field or its growth, whether by the overrunning of cattle or the spreading of fire (Ex 22:5 sq.), full satisfaction was exacted (Philo, Opp. 2, 339 sq.). But it was not accounted a trespass for a person to pluck ears of grain from a stranger's field with the naked hand (De 23:25; Mt 12:1; Lu 6:1). This last prescription, which prevails likewise among the Arabs in Palestine (Robinson's Researches, 2, 419, 430), was also extended to the gleanings (לֶקֶט, comp. Robinson's Res. 3:9) and to the corners, of the field (see Mishna, Peak, 1, 2, where these are computed at a sixtieth part of the field), which were left for the poor, who were in like manner to share in the remnants of the produce of vineyards and fruit trees. SEE GLEANING.

Bible concordance for HUSBANDRY.

c. Every seventh year it was ordained that all the fields throughout the entire land should lie fallow, and whatever grew spontaneously belonged to the poor (Le 25:4 sq.). SEE SABBATICAL YEAR.

d. Various seeds were not allowed to be planted in the same field (Le 19:19; De 22:9). These beneficent statutes, however, were not uniformly observed by the Israelites (before the Exile). Covetous farmers not only suffered themselves to remove their neighbor's land-mark (Ho 5:10; comp. Job 24:2) but even kings bought large tracts of land (latifundia) together (Isa 5:8; Mic 2:2), so that the entailment and right of redemption of the original possessor appear to have fallen into disuse; neither was the Sabbatical year regularly observed (Jer 34:8 sq.). (For further agricultural details, see Jahn's Bibl. Archaeol. chap. 4.) SEE FARM.

Definition of husbandry

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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