MILLSTONE


MILLSTONE
MILLSTONE (Heb. רֵחַיִם), an instrument used for grinding grain. The word has a dual ending, indicating an instrument composed of two parts: an upper millstone (Heb. rekhev, Deut. 24:6) and a lower millstone (talmudic Heb. shekhev), which, however, was called reḥayim as well (ibid.). Other terms for both millstones are pelaḥ (Judg. 9:53, in combination with rekhev for upper millstone; Job 41:16, in combination with taḥtit, lower millstone), and taḥanah (Eccles. 12:34). The mill was worked by slaves (Ex. 11:5; Judg. 16:21 – Samson; Isa. 47:2; Lam. 5:13). The manna too was ground by millstones (Num. 11:8). Abimelech was killed with an upper millstone by the woman of Thebez (Judg. 9:53). Grain would be spread out between the upper and lower millstones, and the friction and pressure of one stone upon the other would break the kernels and grind them into flour. The desired friction was achieved by passing the upper stone back and forth over the lower one, as is illustrated in early Egyptian pictures. Millstones of this type have been found in abundance in excavations in Ereẓ Israel, for example at Gezer, Megiddo, and Hazor. This type of millstone was in use until the end of the Israelite period. Only at the end of the Persian period did another type of millstone come into use, in which the desired friction was achieved by means of the circular motion of the upper stone – which turned on an axle – upon the stationary lower stone. Millstones were essential household items, and it was forbidden to remove them from their owner's possession, for example, as a pledge for a loan (Deut. 24:6). In talmudic times a distinction was made between "hand mills" or "human mills," usually worked by the housewife and standing in a special room or place, and a mill operated by a donkey, which was both larger and of a more complicated construction. Water mills are mentioned but were rare. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.A. Wilson and T.G. Allen, Megiddo, 1 (1939), pl. 114, no. 11; C.C. McCown, Tell En-Naẓbeh, 1 (1947), pl. 91, nos. 1, 2, 4; R. Amiran, in: Eretz Israel, 4 (1956), 46–49; Y. Yadin et. al., Hazor, 3–4 (1961), pl. 233, nos. 20, 21; Krauss, Tal Arch, 1 (1910), 95–97. (Ze'ev Yeivin)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Millstone — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Millstone (Connecticut) Millstone (Kentucky) Millstone (New Jersey) Millstone (Pennsylvania) Millstone (Tennessee) Millstone (Virginia) Millstone (West Virginia) Flüsse: Millstone River …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Millstone — Mill stone , n. One of two circular stones used for grinding grain or other substance in a mill[1]. [1913 Webster] No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge. Deut. xxiv. 6. [1913 Webster] Note: The cellular siliceous rock… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Millstone — Borough de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Millstone — Millstone, NJ U.S. borough in New Jersey Population (2000): 410 Housing Units (2000): 173 Land area (2000): 0.749397 sq. miles (1.940929 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.749397 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Millstone, NJ — U.S. borough in New Jersey Population (2000): 410 Housing Units (2000): 173 Land area (2000): 0.749397 sq. miles (1.940929 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.749397 sq. miles (1.940929 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • millstone — index incumbrance (burden) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • millstone — (n.) O.E. mylenstan, from MILL (Cf. mill) (n.1) + STONE (Cf. stone) (n.). Figurative sense of a burden (1720) is from Matt. xviii:6 …   Etymology dictionary

  • millstone — [n] burden accountability, affliction, albatross*, anxiety, ball and chain*, blame, charge, concern, cross, deadweight, difficulty, encumbrance, grievance, hardship, hindrance, load, mental weight, misfortune, onus, punishment, responsibility,… …   New thesaurus

  • millstone — ► NOUN 1) each of a pair of circular stones used for grinding grain. 2) a burden of responsibility …   English terms dictionary

  • millstone — [mil′stōn΄] n. 1. either of a pair of large, flat, round stones between which grain or other substances are ground 2. stone used for these, usually a hard sandstone or conglomerate 3. a heavy burden 4. something that grinds, pulverizes, or… …   English World dictionary