As it were a voice (w pwnhn). "This use of w, giving a certain vagueness or mysteriousness to a phrase, is one of the characteristics of the writer's style, e.g., Ezekiel 8:1 ; Ezekiel 14:3 ; Ezekiel 19:1Ezekiel 19:6 " (Beckwith). This voice comes from the midst of the four living creatures, "the protest of nature against the horrors of famine" (Swete). A measure (coinix). Old word for less than a quart with us, here only in N.T. Of wheat (sitou). Old word for wheat, a number of times in N.T., in Rev. only here and Ezekiel 18:13 . This was enough wheat to keep a man of moderate appetite alive for a day. For a penny (dhnariou). Genitive of price, the wages of a day laborer ( Matthew 20:2 ), about eighteen cents in our money today. Of barley (kriqwn). Old word kriqh, usually in plural as here. Barley was the food of the poor and it was cheaper even in the famine and it took more of it to support life. Here the proportion is three to one (cf. 2 Kings 7:18 ). The proclamation forbids famine prices for food (solid and liquid). Hurt thou not (mh adikhsh). Prohibition with mh and the ingressive first aorist active subjunctive of adikew. See 2 Kings 7:3 ; 2 Kings 9:4 for adikew for injury to vegetable life. "The prohibition is addressed to the nameless rider who represents Dearth" (Swete). Wheat and barley, oil and the vine, were the staple foods in Palestine and Asia Minor.