Verse 26. "For his God doth instruct him" - All nations have agreed in attributing agriculture, the most useful and the most necessary of all sciences, to the invention and to the suggestions of their deities. "The Most High hath ordained husbandry, "saith the son of Sirach, Ecclus. vii. 15.
Namque Ceres fertur fruges, Liberque liquoris Vitigeni laticem mortalibus instituisse.
LUCRETIUS, v. 14.
"Ceres has taught mortals how to produce fruits; and Bacchus has taught them how to cultivate the vine." ∆o d∆ hpiov anqrwpoisi dexia shmainei, laouv d∆ epi ergon egeirei mimnhskwn biotoioĚ legei d∆ ote bwlov aristh bousi te kai makelhsiĚ legei d∆ ote dexiai wrai kai futa gurwsai, kai spermata panta balesqai.
ARATUS, Phantom. v.
"He, Jupiter, to the human race Indulgent, prompts to necessary toil Man provident of life; with kindly signs The seasons marks, when best to turn the glebe With spade and plough, to nurse the tender plant, And cast o'er fostering earth the seeds abroad." Verses 27, 28. Four methods of threshing are here mentioned, by different instruments; the flail, the drag, the wain, and the treading of the cattle. The staff or flail was used for the infirmiora semina, says Jerome, the grain that was too tender to be treated in the other methods. The drag consisted of a sort of strong planks, made rough at the bottom, with hard stones or iron; it was drawn by horses or oxen over the corn sheaves spread on the floor, the driver sitting upon it. Kempfer has given a print representing the manner of using this instrument, Amaen. Exot. p. 682, fig. 3. The wain was much like the former; but had wheels with iron teeth, or edges like a saw: Ferrata carpenta rotis per medium in serrarum modum se volventibus. Hieron. in loc. From this it would seem that the axle was armed with iron teeth or serrated unheels throughout. See a description and print of such a machine used at present in Egypt for the same purpose in Niebuhr's Voyage en Arabie, Tab. xvii. p. 123; it moves upon three rollers armed with iron teeth or wheels to cut the straw. In Syria they make use of the drag, constructed in the very same manner as above described; Niebuhr, Description de l'Arabie, p. 140. This not only forced out the grain, but cut the straw in pieces for fodder for the cattle; for in the eastern countries they have no hay. See Harmer's Observ. i. p. 425. The last method is well known from the law of Moses, which "forbids the ox to be muzzled, when he treadeth out the corn; " Deut. xxv. 4.
Verse 28. "The bread-corn" - I read Ķhlw velahem, on the authority of the Vulgate and Symmachus; the former expresses the conjunction w vau, omitted in the text, by autem; the latter by de.
Bruise it with his horsemen "Bruise it with the hoofs of his cattle."] For wyćrp parashaiv, horsemen or teeth, read wysrp perasaiv, hoofs. So the Syriac, Syrnmachus, Theodotion, and the Vulgate. The first is read with ć shin, the latter with s samech, the pronunciation is nearly the same.