(דֹּחִן, do'chan, so called from the dark-green or smoky color of the leaf; Sept. κέγχρος,Vulg. nzilium) occurs in Scripture only in Eze 4:9, where the prophet is directed to take unto him wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and to put them into one vessel, and to make bread thereof for himself. All the grains enumerated in this verse continue to form the chief articles of diet in the East at the present day, as they appear to have done in ancient times. The Hebrew word dochan is identical with the Arabic dukhun, which is applied in the present day by the Arabs to a small grain cultivated from the middle of Europe to the most southern part of India. This is the common millet, Panicum miliaceum of botanists, which is sometimes cultivated in England on account of the seeds being used for feeding birds and poultry. But the grain is usually imported from the Mediterranean. In India it is cultivated in the cold weather, that is, in the same season with wheat and barley, and is an article of diet with the inhabitants. The culms are erect, from two to four feet high, the whole plant being very hairy; leaves large, with long sheaths, which involve most part of the culm; panicle oblong, much branched, bending down with the weight of the grain: glumes cuspidate; corol three- valved, adventitious valve emarginate; seed oval and smooth, colored longitudinally with five streaks. The name, miliaceua, is said to have been applied to this plant from its producing such a quantity of grain, as if one stalk bore a thousand seeds. Tournefort says (Voyage, 2:95) that in the isle of Samos the inhabitants, in preparing their bread, knead together one half wheat and the other half barley and millet mixed together. It is also an article of diet both in Persia and India. Forskal applies the name dukhun to another corn-grass, which he first found in a garden at Rosetta, cultivated on account of its seed being given as food to birds. Afterwards he found it commonly cultivated in Arabia. It grows to a great size, being about five cubits in height, with seeds of the size of rice. To it he has given the name of Holcus dochna, but the plant is as yet unknown to botanists. The Biblical "millet" is confounded by many writers with the broom-corn varieties, which belong to the genus Sorghum, a species of which is the modern Egyptian durra. It is possible that the Heb. dochan includes the common species, Sorhum vuggare. There is, however, little doubt that the true dukhun of Arab authors is the above-described Panicum miliaceum. This is so universally cultivated in the East as one of their smaller corn- grasses that it is most likely to be the kind chiefly alluded to in the passage of Ezekiel. Two cultivated species of Panicunz are named as occurring in Palestine, viz. P. miliaceum and P. italicum (Strand's Flor. Palest. Nos. 35, 37). The genera Sorghumn and Panicum belong to the natural order Graminee, perhaps the most important order in the vegetable kingdom. See Celsii Hierobot. 1:453 sq.; Oedmann, Verm. Sanml. 5:92 sq.; Niebuhr, Arabia, page 295; Trav. 1:158; Forskal, Flora AEgypt. page 174; Wellsted, Tray. 1:295; Gesenius, Thes. Heb. page 333; Penny Cyclopaedia, s.v. Panicum.

Bible concordance for MILLET.

Definition of millet

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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