What is a…
A mill such as mentioned in the Bible is a device used to grind grain into flour using stones. Small mills were powered by hand. Larger millstones were turned by people.
A mill for grinding grain was mentioned as used in the time of Abraham (Genesis 18:6).
That used by the Hebrews consisted of two circular stones, each 2 feet in diameter and half a foot thick, the lower of which was called the “nether millstone” (Job 41:24) and the upper the “rider.” The upper stone was turned round by a stick fixed in it as a handle.
There were then no public mills, thus most families required a hand-mill. The grain was ground daily, generally by the women of the house (Isaiah 47:1-2; Matthew 24:41).
It was with the upper stone of a hand-mill that “a certain woman” at Thebez broke Abimelech's skull (Judges 9:53, “a piece of a millstone;” literally, “a millstone rider”, i.e., the “runner,” the stone which revolves. Compare 2 Samuel 11:21).
Millstones could not be pledged (Deuteronomy 24:6), as they were necessary in every family.
Article Version: July 13, 2018