Winnowing (2)


(זָרָה, lit. to scatter). Among the Hebrews, as still in Palestine, when the gram had been threshed, or, rather, crushed and trodden, in the open threshing-floor, it was thrown out, altogether, into the middle of the floor; it was then tossed up into the wind, which removed the broken straw and the chaff, while the grain, the unthreshed ears, and clods of earth, with grain adhering to them, fell in a separate heap. The earth and other impurities were then removed from the grain by means of a sieve; and the winnowed heap containing many ears that were broken, but not fully crushed out, was exposed again to the threshing operation. This was again thrown across the wind by a shovel (מַזרַה , mizreh, rendered "fan" in our version of Isa 30:24), when the pure grain fell to the ground and the light chaff was borne away by the wind, as the psalmist describes. The scattered straw, so far as required for the fodder of cattle and the making of bricks, was collected for use, but the light chaff of the second winnowing was left in the ground entangled with the stubble (the threshing-floor being in the harvest-field), with which it was burned on the ground to help to manure the soil. It therefore furnished a fit symbol of the destruction of the wicked. These winnowing processes are still followed in the East; and, as far as appears by their paintings, are much the same as were practiced by the ancient Egyptians. — Kitto, Pict. Bible, note on Ps 1:4. SEE AGRICULTURE.

Bible concordance for WINNOWING.

Definition of winnowing

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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