Matthew 24:41

41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left.

Matthew 24:41 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 24:41

Two women shall be grinding at the mill
Though the word women is not in the Greek text, yet it is rightly supplied by our translators, as it is in the Persic version; for the word rendered grinding, is in the feminine gender, and was the work of women, as appears both from the Scripture, ( Exodus 11:5 ) ( Isaiah 47:1 Isaiah 47:2 ) and from several passages in the Jewish writings, concerning which their canons run thus F16;

``These are the works which a woman is to do for her husband, (tnxwj) , "she must grind", and bake, and wash, and boil, and make his bed''
And elsewhere it is asked F17,
``how does she grind? she sits at the mill, and watches the flour, but she does not grind, or go after a beast, that so the mill may not stop; but if their custom is to grind at a hand mill, she may grind. The sanhedrim order this to poor people; for if she brings one handmaid, or money, or goods, sufficient to purchase, she is not obliged to grind''
Frequent mention is made, of women grinding together at the same mill: a case is put concerning two women grinding at an hand mill {r}, and various rules are given about it; as, that F19
``a woman may lend her neighbour that is suspected of eating the fruits of the seventh year after time, a meal sieve, a fan, a mill, or a furnace, but she may not winnow, nor "grind with her".''
Which it supposes she might do, if she was not suspected: again F20,
``the wife of a plebeian, (tnxwj) , "may grind" with the wife of a learned man, in the time that she is unclean, but not when she is clean.''
Nor was this the custom of the Jews only, for women to grind, but also of other countries, as of the Abyssines F21, and of both Greeks and Barbarians F23: the one shall be taken, and the other left;
as before, one shall be taken by the Romans, and either put to death, or carried captive; and the other shall escape their hands, through the singular providence of God. The Ethiopic version, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel add, "two shall be in one bed, one shall be taken, and the other left"; but these words are not in the copies of Matthew in common, but are taken out of ( Luke 17:34 ) though they are in the Cambridge copy of Beza's, and in one of Stephens's.

F16 Misn. Cetubot, c. 5. sect. 5. Vid. T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 47. 9. & 48. 1.
F17 Maimon. Hilch. Ishot. c. 21. sect. 5, 6.
F18 T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 60. 2.
F19 Misn. Sheviith, c. 5. 9. & Gittin, c. 5. sect. 9.
F20 T. Hieros. Teruinot, fol. 46. 3. T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 61. 2. & Cholin, fol. 6. 2. Misn. Taharot, c. 7. sect. 4.
F21 Ludolph. Hist. Ethiop. l. 4. c. 4.
F23 Plutarch apud Beza. in loc.

Matthew 24:41 In-Context

39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man.
40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left.
41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left.
42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.