grav'-el (chatsats, from root chatsats, "to divide." Kindred roots have the meaning of "to cut," "to hew," "to sharpen," hence chets, "arrow" (2 Kings 13:17; Psalms 64:7 and often); compare Arabic chacca, "to fall to the lot of," chiccah, "portion"):
In Proverbs 20:17, we have:
"Bread of falsehood is sweet to a man;
But afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel."
And in Lamentations 3:16:
"He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he
hath covered me with ashes."
The only other occurrence of the word is in Psalms 77:17, where it is the equivalent of chets, "arrow" (see supra):
"The clouds poured out water;
The skies sent out a sound:
Thine arrows also went abroad."
Proverbs 20:17 and Lamentations 3:16 both suggest the frequent occurrence of grit in the coarse bread, the source of the grit being not necessarily the grindstone, but possibly even small stones originally mingled with the wheat and never properly separated from it.
Alfred Ely Day
These files are public domain.