of the Egyptians resembled that in modern use. The ears of corn were cut with it near the top of the straw. There was also a sickle used for warlike purposes, more correctly, however, called a pruning-hook ( Deuteronomy 16:9 ; Jeremiah 50:16 , marg., "scythe;" Joel 3:13 ; Mark 4:29 ).
Although the ancients pulled much of their grain by hand, we know that they also used sickles. The form of this instrument varied, as is evidenced by the Egyptian sculptures. The earliest sickle was probably of wood, shaped like the modern scythe, although much smaller, with the cutting edge made of sharp flints set into the wood. Sickle flints were found at Tel el-Chesy. Crescent-shaped iron sickles were found in the same mound. In Palestine and Syria the sickle varies in size. It is usually made wholly of iron or steel and shaped much like the instrument used in western lands. The smaller-sized sickles are used both for pruning and for reaping.
James A. Patch
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