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SHOVEL (Heb. rahath, ya‘, yāthēdh). A tool used for clearing out ashes from the altar (Exod.27.3; 2Chr.4.11), for sanitary purposes (Deut.23.13), or for winnowing (Isa.30.24).

Another term, רַ֫חַת, H8181, is found only in Isaiah 30:24 in connection with the word for flail, as used in winnowing grain. Such grain shovels unlike those of the altar service were made of wood. On the basis of a form in Isaiah 28:17, it has been thought that a verb יָעָה, H3589, exists in Heb. meaning “to sweep together” but this is doubtful. Both terms for shovel are prob. Heb. primary nouns and the only remote cognates are found in Arab., Christian Aram., and Ethio. The word is not found in the NT, but does appear in the Apoc.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


(1) rachath, is a wooden shovel used on the threshing-floor for winnowing the grain (Isa 30:24).

(3) yathedh (De 23:13 the Revised Version margin)

James A. Patch