“Ears of Corn”?

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The King James Version of Luke 6 speaks of the disciples plucking ears of corn, which to an American suggests yellow sweet corn rather than the grain that the King James translators had in mind.

Revised: 14-May-13

The King James Version of Luke 6:1 speaks of the disciples plucking ears of corn,[1] which to an American suggests yellow sweet corn rather than the grain the King James translators had in mind. In fact, corn is a generic term used to refer to the most important cereal crop of a region, be it maize, wheat or oats. In the Land of Israel, the main field crops in ancient times were חִטִּים (khitim, wheat) and שְׂעוֹרָה (se’orah, barley). Barley is mentioned thirty-four times in the Hebrew Scriptures, thirteen times together with wheat.

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Ruth with a sheaf of barley. From a mosaic in the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem. Photo courtesy of Joshua N. Tilton.

Ruth with a sheaf of barley. From a mosaic in the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem. Photo courtesy of Joshua N. Tilton.


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