one of the earliest cultivated grains

It bore the Hebrew name hittah, and was extensively cultivated in the Land of Israel. There are various species of wheat. That which Pharaoh saw in his dream was the Triticum compositum, which bears several ears upon one stalk (Genesis 41:5). The “fat of the kidneys of wheat” (Deuteronomy 32:14), and the “finest of the wheat” (Psalm 81:16; 147:14), denote the best of the kind. It was exported from Israel in great quantities (1 Kings 5:11; Ezek. 27:17; Acts 12:20).

Parched grains of wheat were used for food in the Land of Israel (Ruth 2:14; 1 Samuel 17:17; 2 Samuel 17:28). The disciples, under the sanction of the Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 23:25), plucked ears of corn, and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted (Matthew 12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke 6:1). Before any of the wheat-harvest, however, could be eaten, the first-fruits had to be presented before the Lord (Leviticus 23:14).

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