A hollowed stone or vessel in which grain or other substance was pounded or beaten with a pestle. The Israelites used a mortar in which to beat the manna in the wilderness (Numbers 11:8), and Proverbs 27:22 declares, "Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar with a pestle .... yet will not his foolishness depart from him," i.e. it is inherent and ineradicable. Some have supposed an allusion to an oriental mode of punishment by pounding the criminal to death in a mortar, but this is unlikely. In illustration of Proverbs 27:22 such proverbs are quoted as "Though you beat that loose woman in a mortar, she will not leave her ways." See also BRAY. For "mortar" (the King James Version "morter").
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