Corn Or Maize? Which?
Sep 22, 2003 08:29 PDT
CORN OR MAIZE? WHICH?
By Herb Evans
For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the BLADE, then the
EAR, after that the FULL CORN in the EAR. But when the fruit is brought
forth, immediately he putteth in the SICKLE because the harvest is
come. -- Mark 4:28-29
In many things we offend all. Still, we would rather that we, believers,
did not err. Yet if we do, rather that we do err on the side of truth. We
would rather err on the side of the Bible than on the side of unreliable
scientific theories. We would rather err on the side of Bible believers and
Bible defenders than on the side of Bible Correctors. Truth with traces of
error is to be reluctantly preferred above error with traces of truth
(neither is the best nor preferred choice). Does the word corn, in the King
James Bible, refer to yellow "maize" or does it refer to another kind
of "corn?" Some of our number would insist that Bible "corn" refer to
North American yellow "maize," scolding anyone, who does not accept this
"interpretation," even to the point of supposing those, who disagree are
"Bible Correctors." Nevertheless, this is not a question about the Greek
nor the Hebrew; it is a question about the early English perception of the
word "corn" as opposed to the modern perception of it. Any good "English"
dictionary will show whether or not "maize" is in line with the early
English perception of the word "corn."
WHEN CORN IS BARLEY?
. . .they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of BARLEY harvest . . .And
Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean
EARS OF CORN . . .And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his
young men (reapers), saying, Let her glean even among the SHEAVES . .
. And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave
them, that she may glean them . . . So she gleaned in the field . . . and
BEAT OUT that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of BARLEY . . . So
she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of BARLEY
harvest and of WHEAT harvest . . . Behold, he (Boaz) WINNOWETH BARLEY to
night in the THRESHING-floor . . .And when she held it, he measured six
measures of BARLEY, and laid it on her . . . And she said, These six
measures of BARLEY gave he me . . . -- Ruth 1:22; 2:2,14-23; 3:2, 15, 17
And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the BARLEY WAS IN THE EAR . .
. -- Exo. 9:31
Strange, how maize shows up during "barley" harvest! How could Ruth glean
among the ears of "maize," among the sheaves, during barley harvest, and
then glean and beat out an ephah of "barley" for threshing and winnowing?
Still, maize is not the only grain found in the "ear" and "ears" (Exo.
9:31). Let us examine the growing process from start to finish. (Few will
remember the term "John Barley Corn" as a personification of the barley
used to make malt liquor.)
SOWING GENERIC GRAIN
. . .Except a CORN OF WHEAT fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone
. . . -- John 12:24
And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but
bare GRAIN, it may chance of WHEAT, or of some other GRAIN: -- 1 Cor. 15:37
. . .The kingdom of heaven is like to a GRAIN of mustard SEED . . . --
Something can be learned about Bible corn from sowing corn, grain, or seed
(generic words). Plant grain, seed, and corn, and you get grain, seed, and
corn. Whatever else corn and grain may be, they are also seeds. The
passages, which mention seed, grain, and/or the kernel(s) of wheat (also
barley and other grain), use the word "corn" generically (as "grain" or
seed). While it is true that "corn" can be "maize" and that "maize" can be
"corn"; it is equally true that "wheat and barley" can be "corn and grain,"
and "corn and grain" can also be "wheat and barley." Wheat, barley, flax,
and "maize," are certain kinds of grain, seed, and corn, all of which
demand additional specification.
HARVESTING, REAPING, GLEANING, AND PICKING
. . .he went through the CORN fields; and his disciples plucked the EARS
OF CORN, and did eat, rubbing them (ears) in their hands. -- Luke 6:1
. . .thou mayest pluck the EARS with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a
SICKLE unto thy neighbour's standing CORN. -- Deut. 23:25
. . .they are taken out of the way as all other, and CUT OFF as the TOPS of
the EARS OF CORN. -- Job 24:24
. . .seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the SICKLE TO
THE CORN. -- Deut. 16:9
. . .the harvestman gathereth the CORN, and REAPETH the EARS WITH HIS ARM
. . . -- Isa. 17:5
And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the
. . .
-- Lev. 23:14
More can be learned from the harvesting, reaping, gleaning, and/or plucking
of Bible corn. It is sometimes pointed out that Jesus and the disciples
plucked "ears" of corn and "rubbed" them in their hands, which would not be
the case if the corn were "fresh maize," which would not easily come off
the cob. (Better eaten right off the cob, if fresh "maize!") Still, a
better case might be stretched for dry fall "maize" or popcorn. Still, why
would "maize" be reaped or gathered, implementing the arm and the sickle,
cutting off the tops off ears of corn? Does the prophesy regarding "green
ears" referred to eating green "maize" or their husks?
STACKS, SHEAVES, SHOCKS, AND STANDING CORN
. . .we were binding SHEAVES in the field, and, lo, my SHEAF arose . . .
and . . . your SHEAVE stood round about, and made obeisance to my
SHEAF. -- Gen. 37:7
If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the STACKS OF CORN, or the
standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith . . . -- Exo. 22:6
And when he had set the brands on fire . . . and burnt up both the SHOCKS,
and also the standing corn . . . -- Judg. 15:5
Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a SHOCK OF CORN cometh
in his season. --Job 5:26
Does it seem like "maize" cobs or husks are being referred to by the
practice of binding sheaves or by the terms stacks, shocks, sheaves, or
standing corn? Or rather do they refer to stacks or shocks or sheaves of
heads of grain? Grain, whether cut or uncut?
. . .he shall gather them as the SHEAVES into the floor . . . -- Mic. 4:1
And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to TREAD OUT THE CORN.
-- Hosea 10:11
. . .the CORN of the THRESHINGFLOOR, and as the fulness of the winepress.
-- Num. 18:27
. . .Gideon THRESHED WHEAT . . . -- Jud. 6:11
BREAD CORN is bruised; because he will not ever be THRESHING it, nor break
it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. -- Isa.
. . .Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that TREADETH OUT THE CORN. - 1 Tim. 5:18
Is it "maize" or wheat or barley or some other grain that is actually
threshed? Does a farmer use cattle or carts or horses to thresh "maize" on
the threshing floor? Or is "maize" ever threshed? Does the term "bread
corn" refer to "bread maize" for corn bread? Sho' 'nuff?
WINNOWING ON THE THRESHINGFLOOR
What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. -- Jer. 23:28
The oxen likewise and the young asses that EAR THE GROUND shall eat clean
provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. --
. . .broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer
threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away . . . -- Dan. 2:35
. . .they shall be . . . as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out
of the floor . . . -- Hosea 13:3
. . .I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as CORN is
SIFTED in a sieve, yet shall not the least GRAIN fall upon the earth. --
Is it customary to winnow the "maize" after it is threshed? And is "maize"
tossed in the air with a shovel and fanned to extract the chaff from the
"maize" and/or thrown into a sieve. Or is this really done with various
BAKING AND BREAD ON THE TABLE
. . . I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the
host of Midian . . . -- Jud. 7:13
. . .he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of
barley meal . . . -- Num. 5:15
There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves . . . Therefore they
gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the
five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had
eaten. -- John 6:9,13
Barley bread and barley cakes seem to be favorites in Israel, which may not
sit well with Georgians. Yankees continue to love "Grape Nuts" (barley that
is neither grapes nor nuts) with little regard for southern "cornbread" or
even northern "Johnny Cake."
It is "limited" perception, "narrow" perception, and "misdated" perception,
which are the curses of correct Bible interpretation. We believe that this
issue is an example of faulty interpretation due to all three. Still, we do
not believe it is a reason for Bible believers to fall out with one
another. We write this to help Bible believers avoid the Bible Corrector's
trap. The Bible Corrector will appeal to the Greek and Hebrew to show an
error; we are appealing to the English in the King James Bible to exonerate
it. This is not a scolding but a Bible study, comparing of scripture with
scripture, to keep you from getting caught with yellow "maize" on your face.