Harrow

HARROW (Heb. sādhādh). The Hebrew word occurs three times, always as a verb. In Job.39.10 it is translated “till” (kjv “harrow”). In Isa.28.24 it is translated by the phrase “breaking up and harrowing the ground” and in Hos.10.11 by “break up the ground.” From the root of the word it seems to mean dragging or leveling off a field.


HARROW (שָׂדַד, H8440). An unknown process of treating soil after plowing. In each of its three occurrences it is related to plowing (Job 39:10; Isa 28:24f.; Hos 10:11). Job 39:10 says that an ox does the harrowing. Isaiah 28:24f. mentions “opening” the ground before harrowing and levelling the face of it. Perhaps harrowing refers to pulling branches behind the plow to cover the seed uniformly. Some suggest that it meant cross plowing or the making of furrows. No tool resembling a harrow is known from Egypt or ancient Pal.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Sadhadh occurs in 3 passages (Job 39:10; Isa 28:24; Ho 10:11). In the first 2 it is translated "harrow," in the last "break the clods." That this was a separate operation from plowing, and that it was performed with an instrument drawn by animals, seems certain. As to whether it corresponded to our modern harrowing is a question. The reasons for this uncertainty are:

(1) the ancient Egyptians have left no records of its use;

(2) at the present time, in those parts of Palestine and Syria where foreign methods have not been introduced, harrowing is not commonly known, although the writer has been told that in some districts the ground is leveled after plowing with the threshing-sledge or a log drawn by oxen. Cross-plowing is resorted to for breaking up the lumpy soil, especially where the ground has been baked during the long rainless summer. Lumps not reduced in this way are further broken up with a hoe or pick. Seed is always sown before plowing, so that harrowing to cover the seed is unnecessary. See Agriculture. Figuratively used of affliction, discipline, etc. (Isa 28:24).

James A. Patch

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