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good execution. In Rev. xviii. 21, we read that “ mighty angel took up a stone like a great milstone, and cast it into the sea. Whether this allusion is to a hand-mill is perhaps uncertain ; for in the New Testament age, larger stationary mills were in use,
turned by asses, as we may infer from our Saviour's words: “ Whoso shall offend one of these little ones, it were better for him that a milstone (literally a millstone turned by an ass, hence large and heavy), were hung about his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matt. xviii. 6). Sometimes a
mortar was used instead of a mill: the Israelites “ beat (the manna) in a mortar” (Num. xi. 8). The effects of the process of pounding made it an apt image of severe punishment :-“ Though thou shouldest bray (or pound) a fool in a mortar with a pestle, yet
will not his foolishness depart from him (Prov. xxvii. 22).
The descriptions of the eastern handmill are very
When Dr. Clark visited Nazareth, he writes :
Scarcely had we reached the apartments prepared for our reception, when looking from the window into the courtyard belonging to the house, we beheld two women grinding at the mill. ... They were preparing flour to make our bread ; . . . seated on the ground, opposite to each other, (they) held between them two round flat stones, such as are seen in Lapland, and such as in Scotland are called querns. . . . As the operation began one of the women with her right hand pushed this handle to the woman opposite, who again sent it to her companion -- thus communicating a rotatory and very rapid motion to the upper stone; their left hands being all the while employed in supplying fresh corn, as fast as the bran and flour escaped from the sides of the machine."
“In the ship in which we sailed from Jidda to Loheya, there was a sailor, whose task every afternoon was to prepare durra for next day's bread. He broke and bruised the grain between two stones, one of which was convex, the other concave.”—NIEBUHR’s Arabia, ii. 231—233.
“ Most families grind their wheat and barley at home, having two portable grindstones for that purpose; the uppermost whereof is turned round by a small handle of wood or iron, that is placed in the rim. When this stone is large, or expedition is required, then a second person is called in to assist.”. Shaw's Barbary, i. 416. “ From the large masses of the black porous stone
" the ruined towns of the Haurān, “ the people of the country make circular millstones, and
them from hence to the large towns on the west of the Jordan for sale. We saw here two camels em
ployed in the transport of these stones, each of them now loaded and on its way. The weight is so great that it requires a strong animal to carry even one of them : those that we saw were laid flat on the animal's back, on the very centre of the hump, thus resting on the high part of the camel's saddle, and secured by cords passing under its belly. The diameter being nearly six feet, the stone completely shaded the body of the camel from the sun, though it must have been a painful burthen to carry, the stone being above six inches thick in the centre, and diminishing to about four at the edges.-BUCKINGHAM's Arab Tribes, p. 166.
The kneading-trough was a small wooden bowl, sufficiently large to make bread for a day's consumption : it is noticed in the following passages :-“ And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up . . . . into thy kneading-troughs" (Ex. viii. 3); “ and the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders (Ex. xii. 34); “Blessed shall be thy basket and thy kneadingtrough ” (Deut. xxviii. 5, margin : see also verse 17). Some persons have supposed that the article referred to in these passages is a sort of leathern wallet, which is described in the following passages : but such an article would not supersede the use of a kneadingtrough.
- The Arabs use small wooden bowls for kneading the unleavened cakes which they prepare for strangers, in the very desert through which Israel journeyed ; but they have also among their kitchen furniture a round leather coverlid, which they lay on the ground, and which serves them to eat from. It has rings round it, by which it is drawn together with a chain that has a hook to hang it up by, either to the side of the camel or in the house. This draws it together, and sometimes they carry in it the meal made into dough: in this manner they bring it full of bread ; and when the
repast is over, carry it away at once, with all that is left, in the same manner."-HARMER, iv. 367, 369.
- For a
The same article is described by Niebuhr. table, with table-linen, we had a round piece of leather, with iron rings at certain distances round it, through which cords were passed, after our meals; and the table hung in the form of a purse, upon one of our camels.” Of this kind, probably, were the kneadingtroughs which the Israelites bound up in their clothes. — Travels, i. 169.
Milk-pails are noticed in Job xxi. 24 :—“His milkpails (see margin) are full of milk." Sundry pots and pans were further required for baking and cooking ; such as the "pan" for baking cakes (Lev. ii. 5), which exactly answers to the tajen now in use among the Bedouins: the "frying-pan or more properly saucepan, in which the “fine flour with oil” was pre
pared (Lev. ii. 7): and above all the portable "oven," consisting of an earthenware jar, about three feet high, of which we shall have to speak more at length in a following chapter. We need here only notice that each family generally used its own oven, so that it was a sign of great destitution if “ten women should bake bread in one oven (Lev. xxvi. 26). Water vessels of earthenware of different sizes and shapes were also required for keeping a store of water cool for the day's consumption.
We have said that the tent gradually gave way to the house, when the Israelites became settled in the land of Canaan. There is, however, one exception to this general assertion. Once every year, in the month Tisri (September), the whole population of Palestine lived for eight days under tents or booths, in commemoration of their wanderings in the wilderness. The institution of this feast, which was thence named the “feast of Tabernacles," is thus recorded in Leviticus xxii. 33: