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Holman Bible Dictionary


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Unenclosed land. In the Hebrew definition of field, both the use of land (pasture, Genesis 29:2 ; Genesis 31:4 ; cropland, Genesis 37:7 ; Genesis 47:24 ; hunting ground, Genesis 27:3 ,Genesis 27:3,27:5 ) and the terrain [mountaintops, Numbers 21:20 (literal translation, “field of Moabi”); Judges 9:32 ,Judges 9:32,9:36 ;] were insignificant. The crucial distinction is between what is enclosed and what is open. A field may be contrasted with a tent (Numbers 19:14 ,Numbers 19:14,19:16 ), a camp (Leviticus 14:3 ,Leviticus 14:3,14:7 ), vineyards which were customarily enclosed (Exodus 22:5 ; Leviticus 25:3-4 ), or with a walled city (Leviticus 14:53 ; Deuteronomy 28:3 ,Deuteronomy 28:3,28:16 ). Villages without walls were regarded as fields (Leviticus 25:31 ). Fields were likewise distinguished from barren wasteland (Ezekiel 33:27 ). Fields were marked with landmarks (Deuteronomy 19:14 ).

The NRSV translated the Hebrew term shedemah , one of the words generally translated field, as vineyard at Deuteronomy 32:32 . The REB rendered the term differently each place it was used (terraces, Deuteronomy 32:32 ; slope, 2 Kings 23:4 ; vineyard, Isaiah 16:8 ; field, Jeremiah 31:40 ; orchards, Habakkuk 3:17 ).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Field'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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