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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Flour

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Flour

stands in the Auth. Vers. as the representative of the following Heb. words: קֶמִח (ke'mach, literally marrow, SEE FAT, Judges 6:19; 1 Samuel 1:24; 1 Samuel 28:24; 2 Samuel 17:28, meal, as it is elsewhere rendered), סֹלֶת(so'leth, from stripping off the hull, the finest and purest part of the meal, usually rendered "fine flour," Sept. and N. Test. σεμίδαλις, Revelation 18:13), and בָּצֵק (batsek', from its swelling in rising, 2 Samuel 13:18, dough as it is elsewhere rendered). SEE MEAL.

In early times corn was often eaten whole without any preparation at all (Deuteronomy 23:25), and the custom was not entirely disused in the time of our Savior (Matthew 12:1). Parching it afterwards became so general that the words which properly mean parched were also used for corn or meal (Ruth 2:14; 2 Samuel 17:28). (See PARCHED CORN). Mortars were used in the time of Moses for bruising corn, as was also the mill (Numbers 11:8). (See MORTAR). Fine meal, that is, corn or grain ground or beaten fine, is spoken of as far back as the time of Abraham (Genesis 18:6). At first, barley alone was ground. but afterwards wheat, as only the poor used barley. Barley-bread appears to have been more suitable in the warm climate of the East than in a colder climate. (See BREAD).

On the second day, however, it becomes insipid and rough to the palate, as is likewise the case with wheaten bread; hence the necessity of baking every day, and hence also the daily grinding at the mills about evening alluded to by the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:10). (See MILL). The flour, being mingled with water, was reduced to a solid mass in a sort of wooden tray or kneading-trough (q.v.); this, after remaining a little time, was kneaded, some leaven being also added to it (Exodus 12:34). (See LEAVEN). In case it was necessary to prepare the bread very hastily, the leaven was left out (Genesis 18:6; Genesis 19:3). The cakes, when made, were round, and nine or ten inches in diameter, and often not thicker than a knife. Jahn, Aschaeol. § 137-140. (See CAKE). Fine flour was especially offered by the poor as a sin-offering (Leviticus 5:11-13), end in connection with other sacrifices in general (Numbers 15:3-12; Numbers 28:7-29). (See OFFERING).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Flour'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/f/flour.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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