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PLOUGHING IN CANAAN.

from Old Testament Stories





In Scripture frequent mention is made of the husbandman and his work.
Ploughing the land, sowing the seed, reaping the harvest, and
winnowing the grain are often referred to. Our picture shows an
Eastern husbandman ploughing. How different it is to ploughing in our
own land! There is no _coulter_; and instead of the broad steel
_plough-share_ we see a pointed piece of wood. And the long handles
with which our labourers guide their ploughs--where are they? The
strong horses, too, harnessed one behind the other, are missing. Yes!
none of these were used in Canaan. Small oxen drew the plough; and the
husbandman guided it by means of a single handle, as we see him doing
in the picture. Thus their method of ploughing was a slow one, and
unless the land had been very good their harvests would have been
poor.

Often these husbandmen had to wait until the rain made the ground soft
enough for their ploughs to enter it, consequently many had to toil in
cold, stormy, winter weather. To this the proverb alludes which says:
"The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold; therefore shall
he beg in harvest, and have nothing." (Prov. xx. 4.)

Perhaps it was just such a plough, drawn by just such oxen as we see
in our picture, that Elisha was using when Elijah passed by and cast
his mantle upon him; thereby calling Elisha to be his servant and
successor. We are told that Elisha "took a yoke of oxen, and slew
them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and
gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after
Elijah, and ministered unto him."





Next: THE SHUNAMMITE'S SON.

Previous: ELIJAH FED BY RAVENS.



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