Larry Herr

Wheels, hourglasses and millstones. Scholars who question the Biblical account of the woman of Thebez may mistake her millstone for one from a wheel mill like this. The wheel mill was a heavy machine powered by beasts of burden (or, sometimes, by human beings) who rotated a movable upper stone against a stationary lower stone, grinding the kernels of grain in between. Certainly this millstone would not be brought to the top of a tower and could not be thrown. But this type of mill did not come into use in the Near East until the Hellenistic period, nearly 1,000 years after the period of the Judges. Thus, the story of the woman of Thebez in Judges 9 likely referred to a wholly different kind of millstone.