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wheat

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 (Gen. 41:5). The “fat of the kidneys of wheat” (Deut. 32:14), and the “finest of the wheat” (Ps. 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 Sam. 17:17; 2 Sam. 17:28). The disciples, under the sanction of the Mosaic law (Deut. 23:25), plucked ears of corn, and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted (Matt. 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 (Lev. 23:14).

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