There is much in the Bible about threshing and winnowing, a process that today is entirely automated. Even in the 1st century AD people did the threshing and winnowing in the ‘old-fashioned’ way.
I needed to know about this for Hold the Faith and found many sources. I also liked to picture in my mind how it was done.
It was hard work…
First the crop was reaped… then threshed.
The process of threshing was performed usually by spreading
On occasions flails or sticks were used to beat the grain.
There was also a “threshing instrument” which was drawn over the grain. The Hebrews called this moreg, a threshing board. It was somewhat similar to the Roman tribulum, or threshing tool.
The threshing board was some invention!
Check out what Wikipedia has to say…
After that came the winnowing…
This was done by being thrown up against the wind and afterwards tossed with wooden scoops. The shovel and the fan for winnowing are mentioned in Ps. 35:5, Job 21:18, Isa. 17:13. The refuse of straw and chaff was burned.
Hard work… for fit people
Now, modern machinery make this a quick process. Imagine how much your loaf of bread would cost if it was made like this.