What is Corn?
Mark 4:28. This word is generally applied in the United States to maize or Indian-corn, which it never means in the Bible, for that grain, like the Western continent, was, in scriptural times, as yet undiscovered. The English Bible uses the word as the general name for all sorts of cereals, such as wheat, barley, millet, and fitches, and of such cornfields only must we think. Oats are not known in Palestine, and rye is rarely, if ever, grown. A "corn of wheat" is a kernel of wheat. The figurative use of the word "corn," usually in connection with wine and oil, is very frequent, as grain and wine and olives were the leading productions of the country. Deut 11:14; Deut 18:4; Deut 28:51; 2 Chr 32:28; Hos 2:22; Joel 2:19. It is probable that grain was commonly used in its crude state in the early ages of the world. It was sometimes done in later times, Matt 12:1; and even now it is no uncommon thing, in passing a field of wheat, to pluck an ear, and, after rubbing the husk or beard off by rolling it between the hands, to eat the grain, which is very palatable, even in that state. The Jewish law permitted standing corn to be plucked by any one passing through it, Deut 23:25; and this custom, or right, is still respected in some parts of the East. See Mills. The " parched corn" of the Bible, Lev 23:14; Ruth 2:14; 1 Sam 17:17, etc., corresponds to the kaly of the Arabs, and is obtained in the following manner: When wheat is being harvested, some of the green ears are thrown upon the coals of fire and roasted; they are but partially divested of the hull by rubbing between the hands, and are very much relished." Van Lennep.