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wheat Summary and Overview

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wheat in Easton's Bible Dictionary

one of the earliest cultivated grains. It bore the Hebrew name "hittah", and was extensively cultivated in Israel. There are various species of wheat. That which Pharaoh saw in his dream was the Triticum compositum, which bears several ears upon one stalk (Gen. 41:5). The "fat of the kidneys of wheat" (Deut. 32:14), and the "finest of the wheat" (Ps. 81:16; 147:14), denote the best of the kind. It was exported from Israel in great quantities (1 Kings 5:11; Ezek. 27:17; Acts 12:20). Parched grains of wheat were used for food in Israel (Ruth 2:14; 1 Sam. 17:17; 2 Sam. 17:28). The disciples, under the sanction of the Mosaic law (Deut. 23:25), plucked ears of corn, and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted (Matt. 12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke 6:1). Before any of the wheat-harvest, however, could be eaten, the first-fruits had to be presented before the Lord (Lev. 23:14).

wheat in Smith's Bible Dictionary

the well-known valuable cereal, cultivated from the earliest times, is first mentioned in ( #Ge 30:14| in the account of Jacob's sojourn with Laban in Mesopotamia. Egypt in ancient times was celebrated for the growth of its wheat; the best quality was all bearded; and the same varieties existed in ancient as in modern times, among which may be mentioned the seven-eared quality described in Pharaoh's dream. #Ge 41:22| Babylonia was also noted for the excellence of its wheat and other cereals. Syria and Israel produced wheat of fine quality and in large quantities. #Ps 81:16; 147:14| etc. There appear to be two or three kinds of wheat at present grown in Israel, the Triticum vulgare, the T. spelta, and another variety of bearded wheat which appears to be the same as the Egyptian kind, the T. compositum. In the parable of the sower our Lord alludes to grains of wheat which in good ground produce a hundred-fold. #Mt 13:8| The common Triticum vulgare will sometimes produce one hundred grains in the ear. Wheat is reaped to ward the end of April, in May, and in June, according to the differences of soil and position; it was sown either broadcast and then ploughed in or trampled in by cattle, #Isa 32:20| or in rows, if we rightly understand #Isa 28:25| which seems to imply that the seeds were planted apart in order to insure larger and fuller ears. The wheat was put into the ground in the winter, and some time after the barley; in the Egyptian plague of hail, consequently, the barley suffered, but the wheat had not appeared, and so escaped injury.

wheat in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

WHEAT . In Palestine this most important of all grains was sown after barley, late in the fall. It was not only scattered broadcast and then ploughed, harrowed, or trodden in, Isa 32:20, but it seems, according to the Hebrew of Isa 28:25, to have been planted in rows or drills, as it certainly often is at present in Syria. Wheat-harvest is about a month later than barley-harvest, usually in May. Sixty, or even one hundred, grains may sometimes be counted in an ear of this cereal, according to Tristram, and, as several stalks may spring from a single seed with thorough cultivation, the increase of Matt 13:8 is not at all incredible. Wheat is still produced for export east of the Jordan, where probably Minnith, Eze 27:17, was located. The whole land once produced vast quantities of this cereal, and will again when agriculture is protected and encouraged. Deut 8:8. In the days of Jacob this grain was already so much cultivated in Mesopotamia that "wheat-harvest" denoted a well-known season. Gen 30:14. The many-eared variety, or mummy-wheat, still sometimes cultivated in Egypt and represented on its monuments, is referred to in Pharaoh's dream. Egyptian Wheat. Gen 41:22. In our translation this grain is often mentioned under the general name of "corn." See Corn, Thresh.

wheat in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

The wheat harvest (usually in the end of May) in Israel is mentioned as early as Reuben (Genesis 30:14), compare Isaac's hundred fold increase (Genesis 26:12). The crops are now thin and light, no manure being used and the same grain grown on the same soil year by year. Three varieties are grown, all bearded. The sickle was in use for cutting grain as well as sometimes for the vintage (Revelation 14:18-19). Generally, the ears only were cut off, the long straw being left in the ground.