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Smith's Bible Dictionary

"a wide-mouthed vessel in form of an inverted bell, in which substances are pounded or bruised with a pestle." --Webster. The simplest and probably most ancient method of preparing corn for food was by pounding it between two stones. The Israelites in the desert appear to have possessed mortars and handmills among their necessary domestic utensils. When the manna fell they gathered it, and either ground it in the mill or pounded it in the mortar till it was fit for use. (Numbers 11:8) So in the present day stone mortars are used by the Arabs to pound wheat for their national dish kibby . Another word occurring in (Proverbs 27:22) probably denotes a mortar of a larger kind in which corn was pounded: "Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him." Corn may be separated from its husk and all its good properties preserved by such an operation, but the fool's folly is so essential a part of himself that no analogous process can remove it from him. Such seems the natural interpretation of this remarkable proverb. The language is intentionally exaggerated, and there is no necessity for supposing an allusion to a mode of punishment by which criminals were put to death by being pounded in a mortar. A custom of this king existed among the Turks, but there is no distinct trace of it among the Hebrews. Such, however, is supposed to be the reference in the proverb by Mr. Roberts, who illustrates it from his Indian experience.

ATS Bible Dictionary

This well-known utensil was employed by the Hebrews in preparing manna for use, Numbers 11:8. Large iron mortars, for pounding grain, have been used by the Turks in the execution of criminals; but it is not known that the Jews ever practiced this mode of punishment. To this day a favorite article of food in Syria is prepared by pounding meat for hours in an iron mortar, and adding grain and spice while the process of "braying" goes on, Proverbs 27:22.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrews homer), cement of lime and sand (Genesis 11:3; Exodus 1:14); also potter's clay (Isaiah 41:25; Nahum 3:14). Also Hebrews `aphar, usually rendered "dust," clay or mud used for cement in building (Leviticus 14:42, 45).

Mortar for pulverizing (Proverbs 27:22) grain or other substances by means of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the wilderness for pounding the manna (Numbers 11:8). It is commonly used in Palestine at the present day to pound wheat, from which the Arabs make a favourite dish called kibby.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A strong vessel, commonly in form of an inverted bell, in which substances are pounded or rubbed with a pestle.

2. (n.) A short piece of ordnance, used for throwing bombs, carcasses, shells, etc., at high angles of elevation, as 45, and even higher; -- so named from its resemblance in shape to the utensil above described.

3. (n.) A building material made by mixing lime, cement, or plaster of Paris, with sand, water, and sometimes other materials; -- used in masonry for joining stones, bricks, etc., also for plastering, and in other ways.

4. (v. t.) To plaster or make fast with mortar.

5. (n.) A chamber lamp or light.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

mor'-ter (medhokhah (Numbers 11:8), makhtesh (Proverbs 27:22)): 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").


James Orr

Strong's Hebrew
4085. medokah -- mortar
... 4084, 4085. medokah. 4086 . mortar. Transliteration: medokah Phonetic
Spelling: (med-o-kaw') Short Definition: mortar. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/4085.htm - 6k

4388. maktesh -- mortar
... 4387, 4388. maktesh. 4389 . mortar. Transliteration: maktesh Phonetic Spelling:
(mak-taysh') Short Definition: hollow. ... hollow place, mortar. ...
/hebrew/4388.htm - 6k

4423. melet -- mortar, cement
... 4422, 4423. melet. 4424 . mortar, cement. Transliteration: melet Phonetic
Spelling: (meh'-let) Short Definition: mortar. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/4423.htm - 6k

2563a. chomer -- cement, mortar, clay
... 2563, 2563a. chomer. 2563b . cement, mortar, clay. Transliteration: chomer
Short Definition: clay. Word Origin from chamar Definition ...
/hebrew/2563a.htm - 5k

2563. chomer -- cement, mortar, clay
... 2562, 2563. chomer. 2563a . cement, mortar, clay. Transliteration: chomer Phonetic
Spelling: (kho'mer) Short Definition: clay. clay, heap, homer, mire, motion ...
/hebrew/2563.htm - 5k

4389. Maktesh -- a place probably in Jer.
... Maktesh. 4390 . a place probably in Jer. Transliteration: Maktesh Phonetic Spelling:
(mak-taysh') Short Definition: mortar. ... NASB Word Usage mortar (1). Maktesh ...
/hebrew/4389.htm - 6k

7322. ruph -- tremble
... Word Origin see raphaph. tremble A primitive root; properly, to triturate (in a
mortar), ie (figuratively) to agitate (by concussion) -- tremble. 7321, 7322. ...
/hebrew/7322.htm - 5k

1743. duk -- to pound, beat
... Word Origin of uncertain derivation Definition to pound, beat NASB Word Usage beat
(1). beat. A primitive root; to bruise in a mortar -- beat. 1742, 1743. ...
/hebrew/1743.htm - 5k

2915. tiach -- a coating
... daubing. From (the equiv. Of) tuwach; mortar or plaster -- daubing. see HEBREW
tuwach. 2914, 2915. tiach. 2916 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/2915.htm - 6k

6083. aphar -- dry earth, dust
... 1), plaster (3), rubbish (1), rubble (1). ashes, dust, earth, ground, mortar,
powder, rubbish. From aphar; dust (as powdered or gray ...
/hebrew/6083.htm - 6k


Of the Character of the Unregenerate.
... because they have seduced my people, saying Peace, when there was no peace; and
one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar: say unto ...
/.../doddridge/practical discourses on regeneration/discourse i of the character.htm

The Boyhood and Training of Moses
... And the Egyptians were cruel and made slaves of them, making their lives bitter
with hard labor in mortar and brick, and by all kinds of hard work in the field ...
/.../sherman/the childrens bible/the boyhood and training of.htm

February the Twenty-Third the Process and the End
... The maker of chaste and delicate porcelain reaches his lovely ends through an awful
mortar, where the raw material of bone and clay is pounded into a cream. ...
/.../february the twenty-third the process.htm

Mobbed by Masons
... The mob quickly rewarded him by plastering him over with mortar from head
to foot. They then fell upon the carriage, which they ...
// journal of john wesley/mobbed by masons.htm

Members of Christ
... In the course of time, the stone becomes more and more knit to it. When first the
mortar is placed there, and is wet, you might also shake the stone. ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 38 1892/members of christ.htm

Civilized Barbarism (Preached for the Bishop of London's Fund, at ...
... merely the society of London, and the industry of London, and the wealth of London,
but the very buildings of London, the brick and the mortar, would crumble ...
/.../the water of life and other sermons/sermon xix civilized barbarism preached.htm

... Our strength is measured by our plastic power... Bricks and mortar are mortar and
bricks until the architect can make them into something else. ...

Chapter xi
... 3, 4. And they said, one to another: Come, let us make bricks and let us burn them
well. And they used brick in place of stone and bitumen in place of mortar. ...
// of genesis volume 1/chapter xi.htm

Peter Alone with Jesus
... to him about an angry God. You may bray a fool in a mortar, and his foolishness
will not depart from him. You may break a man down ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture e/peter alone with jesus.htm

Hugh the Builder
... the building of his great Castle Saucy, the Chateau Gaillard, it is not wonderful
that Hugh also should be ready and willing to do much in stone and mortar. ...
/.../marson/hugh bishop of lincoln/chapter viii hugh the builder.htm

Mortar (16 Occurrences)
...Mortar for pulverizing (Proverbs 27:22) grain or other substances by means of a
pestle instead of a mill. ... 4. (vt) To plaster or make fast with mortar. ...
/m/mortar.htm - 14k

Plaster (13 Occurrences)
... See Mortar. ... In Egypt burnt gypsum, and in Palestine and Syria burnt limestone
(lime) are the commonest materials for making mortar. ...
/p/plaster.htm - 13k

Whited (7 Occurrences)
... they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there is no peace; and when one
buildeth up a wall, behold, they daub it with untempered mortar : (See JPS). ...
/w/whited.htm - 8k

Bray (3 Occurrences)
... bra (nahaq, "to bray," of the ass; kathash, "to pound in a mortar"): This word occurs
with two distinct meanings: (a) The harsh cry of the ass (Job 6:5). Job ...
/b/bray.htm - 8k

Slime (6 Occurrences)
... Latin Bible, 390-405 AD) bitumen; the Revised Version margin "bitumen"; compare
Arabic chummar, "bitumen"; and compare chomer, "clay," "mortar"): In the ...
/s/slime.htm - 11k

Pestle (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) An implement for pounding and breaking or braying
substances in a mortar. ... See MORTAR. Multi-Version Concordance ...
/p/pestle.htm - 7k

Untempered (5 Occurrences)
... UNTEMPERED. un-tem'-perd (taphel): Used of mortar in Ezekiel 13:10-15; Ezekiel
22:28. Taphel probably refers to mortar made with clay instead of slaked lime. ...
/u/untempered.htm - 9k

Maktesh (1 Occurrence)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Mortar, a place in or near Jerusalem inhabited by
silver merchants (Zephaniah 1:11). It has been conjectured ...
/m/maktesh.htm - 7k

Pits (13 Occurrences)
... Latin Bible, 390-405 AD) bitumen; the Revised Version margin "bitumen"; compare
Arabic chummar, "bitumen"; and compare chomer, "clay," "mortar"): In the ...
/p/pits.htm - 13k

Clay (50 Occurrences)
... Clay was also in primitive times used for mortar (Genesis 11:3). The "clay ground"
in which the large vessels of the temple were cast (1 Kings 7:46; 2 ...
/c/clay.htm - 25k

Bible Concordance
Mortar (16 Occurrences)

Genesis 11:3 They said one to another, "Come, let's make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.

Exodus 1:14 and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service, in which they ruthlessly made them serve.

Leviticus 14:41 and he shall cause the inside of the house to be scraped all over, and they shall pour out the mortar, that they scraped off, outside of the city into an unclean place.

Leviticus 14:42 They shall take other stones, and put them in the place of those stones; and he shall take other mortar, and shall plaster the house.

Leviticus 14:45 He shall break down the house, its stones, and its timber, and all the house's mortar. He shall carry them out of the city into an unclean place.

Numbers 11:8 The people went around, gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and boiled it in pots, and made cakes of it. Its taste was like the taste of fresh oil.

Proverbs 27:22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his foolishness will not be removed from him.

Isaiah 41:25 "I have raised up one from the north, and he has come; from the rising of the sun, one who calls on my name; and he shall come on rulers as on mortar, and as the potter treads clay.

Jeremiah 43:9 Take great stones in your hand, and hide them in mortar in the brick work, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah;

Ezekiel 13:10 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there is no peace; and when one buildeth up a wall, behold, they daub it with untempered 'mortar':

Ezekiel 13:11 say unto them that daub it with untempered 'mortar', that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.

Ezekiel 13:14 So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered 'mortar', and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be uncovered; and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah.

Ezekiel 13:15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered 'mortar'; and I will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it;

Ezekiel 22:28 And her prophets have daubed for them with untempered 'mortar', seeing false visions, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, when Jehovah hath not spoken.

Nahum 3:14 Draw water for the siege. Strengthen your fortresses. Go into the clay, and tread the mortar. Make the brick kiln strong.

Zephaniah 1:11 Wail, you inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the people of Canaan are undone! All those who were loaded with silver are cut off.



Mortar: A Cement

Mortar: A Cement used to Plaster House

Mortar: A Cement: Slime Used As, in Building Tower of Babel

Mortar: A Cement: To be Trodden to Make Firm

Mortar: A Cement: Untempered, not Enduring

Mortar: An Instrument for Pulverizing Grain

Mortar: Figurative

Related Terms

Plaster (13 Occurrences)

Whited (7 Occurrences)

Bray (3 Occurrences)

Slime (6 Occurrences)

Pestle (1 Occurrence)

Untempered (5 Occurrences)

Maktesh (1 Occurrence)

Pits (13 Occurrences)

Clay (50 Occurrences)

Brick (10 Occurrences)

Lime (4 Occurrences)

Millstone (9 Occurrences)

Mill (9 Occurrences)

Cement (1 Occurrence)

Bread (433 Occurrences)

Fortified (79 Occurrences)

Fort (8 Occurrences)

Fortress (75 Occurrences)

Fortification (5 Occurrences)

Whitewash (7 Occurrences)


Cities (427 Occurrences)

Potter (14 Occurrences)

Kiln (5 Occurrences)

Neighbour (139 Occurrences)

Unite (10 Occurrences)

Joint (12 Occurrences)

Labors (27 Occurrences)

Grind (12 Occurrences)

Groats (4 Occurrences)

Walls (152 Occurrences)

Imposed (16 Occurrences)

Foolishness (30 Occurrences)

Fair (147 Occurrences)

Framework (6 Occurrences)

Tar (3 Occurrences)

Timber (32 Occurrences)

Temper (14 Occurrences)

Treads (19 Occurrences)

Thoroughly (48 Occurrences)

Timbers (8 Occurrences)

Terrace (1 Occurrence)

Replace (11 Occurrences)

Replaster (1 Occurrence)

Ruthlessly (8 Occurrences)

Rigor (8 Occurrences)

Roused (24 Occurrences)

Rigorously (2 Occurrences)

Royal (154 Occurrences)

Rigour (5 Occurrences)

Egyptians (108 Occurrences)

Defenses (8 Occurrences)

Daubing (6 Occurrences)

Dump (1 Occurrence)

Dumped (1 Occurrence)

Manna (19 Occurrences)

Mealtime (1 Occurrence)

Mold (1 Occurrence)

Meals (8 Occurrences)

Meal-time (1 Occurrence)

Millstones (6 Occurrences)

Mortals (3 Occurrences)

Masonry (1 Occurrence)

Marsh (4 Occurrences)

Moisture (8 Occurrences)

Mortars (1 Occurrence)

Pointing (13 Occurrences)

Pavement (9 Occurrences)

Pans (19 Occurrences)

Baked (26 Occurrences)

Brick-kiln (3 Occurrences)

Bruise (19 Occurrences)

Build (242 Occurrences)

Bitumen (3 Occurrences)

Brickmould (1 Occurrence)

Bake (13 Occurrences)

Bricks (10 Occurrences)

Brickwork (2 Occurrences)

Beaten (73 Occurrences)

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