Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat
with a pestle
As the manna was, ( Numbers 11:8 ) ; and as wheat beat and bruised in a mortar, or ground in a mill, retains its own nature; so, let a wicked man be used ever so roughly or severely, by words, admonitions, reproofs, and counsels; or by deeds, by corrections and punishment, by hard words or blows, whether publicly or privately; in the midst of the congregation, as the Targum and Syriac version; or of the sanhedrim and council, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions; [yet] will not his foolishness depart from him;
his inbred depravity and natural malignity and folly will not remove, nor will he leave his course of sinning he has been accustomed to; he is stricken in vain, he will revolt more and more, ( Isaiah 1:5 ) ( Jeremiah 5:3 ) ( 13:23 ) . Anaxarchus the philosopher was ordered by the tyrant Nicocreon to be pounded to death in a stone mortar with iron pestles F17, and which he endured with great patience.
F17 Laert. in Vit. Anaxarch. l. 9. p. 668.