Threshing and Winnowing

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

oxenthe sheaves on the threshing-floor and causing oxen and cattle to walk repeatedly over them

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.

Threshing board with stones
Those are stones

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. 35:5Job 21:18Isa. 17:13. The refuse of straw and chaff was burned.

men winnowing grain

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.

Just thinking,




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