From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

In the primitive ages of the world, agriculture, as well as the keeping of flocks, was a principal employment among men,  Genesis 2:15;  Genesis 3:17-19;  Genesis 4:2 . It is an art which has ever been a prominent source, both of the necessaries and the conveniences of life. Those states and nations, especially Babylon and Egypt, which made the cultivation of the soil their chief business, arose in a short period to wealth and power. To these communities just mentioned, which excelled in this particular all the others of antiquity, may be added that of the Hebrews, who learned the value of the art while remaining in Egypt, and ever after that time were famous for their industry in the cultivation of the earth. Moses, following the example of the Egyptians, made agriculture the basis of the state. He accordingly apportioned to every citizen a certain quantity of land, and gave him the right of tilling it himself, and of transmitting it to his heirs. The person who had thus come into possession could not alienate the property for any longer period than the year of the coming jubilee: a regulation which prevented the rich from coming into possession of large tracts of land, and then leasing them out in small parcels to the poor: a practice which anciently prevailed, and does to this day, in the east. It was another law of Moses, that the vender of a piece of land, or his nearest relative, had a right to redeem the land sold, whenever they chose, by paying the amount of profits up to the year of jubilee,  Ruth 4:4;  Jeremiah 32:7 . Another law enacted by Moses on this subject was, that the Hebrews, as was the case among the Egyptians after the time of Joseph, should pay a tax of two-tenths of their income unto God, whose servants they were to consider themselves to be, and whom they were to obey as their King and Lord,  Leviticus 27:30;  Deuteronomy 12:17-19;  Deuteronomy 14:22-29;  Genesis 28:22 . The custom of marking the boundaries of lands by stones, although it prevailed a long time before,  Job 24:2 , was confirmed and perpetuated in the time of Moses by an express law; and a curse was pronounced against him who without authority removed them. These regulations having been made in respect to the tenure, incumbrances, &c, of landed property, Joshua divided the whole country which he had occupied, first among the respective tribes, and then among individual Hebrews, running it out with the aid of a measuring line,  Joshua 17:5;  Joshua 17:14;  Amos 7:17;  Micah 2:5;  Psalms 78:55;  Ezekiel 40:3 . The word חבל , a line, is accordingly used by a figure of speech, for the heritage itself,   Psalms 16:6 : "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places, yea I have a goodly heritage.' Though Moses was the friend of the agriculturist, he by no means discouraged the keeper of the flock.

The occupation of the husbandman was held in honour, not only for the profits which it brought, but from the circumstance that it was supported and protected by the fundamental laws of the state. All who were not set apart for religious duties, such as the priests and the Levites, whether inhabitants of the country, or of towns and cities, were considered by the laws, and were, in fact, agriculturists. The rich and the noble, it is true, in the cultivation of the soil, did not always put themselves on a level with their servants; but none were so rich or so noble as to disdain to put their hand to the plough,  1 Samuel 11:7;  1 Kings 19:19;  2 Chronicles 26:10 . The priests and Levites were indeed engaged in other employments, yet they could not withhold their honour from an occupation which supplied them with their income. The esteem in which agriculture was held diminished as luxury increased; but it never wholly came to an end. Even after the captivity, when many of the Jews had become merchants and mechanics, the esteem and honour attached to this occupation still continued, especially under the dynasty of the Persians, who were agriculturists from motives of religion.

The soil of Palestine is very fruitful, if the dews and vernal and autumnal rains are not withheld. The country, in opposition to Egypt, is eulogized for its rains in  Deuteronomy 11:10 . The Hebrews, notwithstanding the richness of the soil, endeavoured to increase its fertility in various ways. They not only divested it of stones, but watered it by means of canals, communicating with the rivers or brooks; and thereby imparted to their fields the richness of gardens,  Psalms 1:3;  Psalms 65:10;  Proverbs 21:1;  Isaiah 30:25;  Isaiah 32:2;  Isaiah 32:20 . Springs, therefore, fountains, and rivulets, were held in as much honour and worth by husbandmen as by shepherds,  Joshua 15:9;  Judges 1:15; and we accordingly find that the land of Canaan was extolled for those fountains of water of which Egypt was destitute The soil was enriched, also, in addition to the method just mentioned, by means of ashes; to which the straw, the stubble, the husks, the brambles, and grass, that overspread the land during the sabbatical year, were reduced by fire. The burning over the surface of the land had also another good effect, namely, that of destroying the seeds of the noxious herbs,  Isaiah 7:23;  Isaiah 32:13;  Proverbs 24:31 . Finally, the soil was manured with dung.

The Hebrew word, דגן , which is translated variously by the English words, grain, corn, &c, is of general signification, and comprehends in itself different kinds of grain and pulse, such as wheat, millet, spelt, wall-barley, barley, beans, lentils, meadow-cumin, pepper-wort, flax, cotton; to these may be added various species of the cucumber, and perhaps rice. Rye and oats do not grow in the warmer climates; but their place is, in a manner, supplied by barley. Barley, mixed with broken straw, affords the fodder for beasts of burden, which is called בליל . Wheat, הטה , which, by way of eminence, is called דגן , grew in Egypt in the time of Joseph, as it now does in Africa, on several branches from one stalk, each one of which produced an ear,  Genesis 41:47 . This sort of wheat does not flourish in Palestine: the wheat of Palestine is of a much better kind.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

1: Γεώργιον (Strong'S #1091 — Noun Neuter — georgion — gheh-ore'-ghee-on )

akin to the above, denotes "tillage, cultivation, husbandry,"  1—Corinthians 3:9 , where the local church is described under this metaphor (AV, marg., "tillage," RV, marg., "tilled land"), suggestive of the diligent toil of the Apostle and his fellow missionaries, both in the ministry of the Gospel, and the care of the church at Corinth; suggestive, too, of the effects in spiritual fruitfulness. Cp. georgeomai, "to till the ground,"  Hebrews 6:7 .

King James Dictionary [3]

HUS'BANDRY, n. The business of a farmer, comprehending agriculture or tillage of the ground, the raising, managing and fattening of cattle and other domestic animals, the management of the dairy and whatever the land produces.

1. Frugality domestic economy good management thrift. But in this sense we generally prefix good as good husbandry. 2. Care of domestic affairs.

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): ( n.) Care of domestic affairs; economy; domestic management; thrift.

(2): ( n.) The business of a husbandman, comprehending the various branches of agriculture; farming.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [5]

(in Heb. by circumlocution, אֲדָמָה , the Ground; Gr. prop. Γεωργία ,  2 Maccabees 12:2; also Γεώργιον , A Plot of tilled ground,  1 Corinthians 3:9). The culture of the soil, although coeval with the history of the human race ( Genesis 2:15;  Genesis 4:2;  Genesis 9:20), was held of secondary account by the nomad Hebrews of the early period ( Genesis 26:12;  Genesis 26:14;  Genesis 37:7; see  Job 1:3; comp. Harmer, 1, 88 sq.; Volney, Travels, 1, 291; Burckhardt, Beduin. p. 17; see Michaelis, De antiquitatibus aecon. patriarch. 1, Halle, 1728, and in Ugolini Thesaurus, 24 etc.), but by the Jewish lawgiver it was elevated to the rank of a fundamental institution of national economy (Michaelis, Mos. Recht, i, 249 sq.), and hence became assiduously and skillfully practiced in Palestine (comp.  1 Samuel 11:5;  1 Kings 19:19;  2 Chronicles 26:10;  Proverbs 31:16;  Sirach 7:15; also Isaiah 27:27, and Gesenius, ad loc.), as it continues in a good degree to be at the present day in the East. Upon the fields, which were divided (if at all) according to a vague land-measure termed a yoke ( צֶמֶד ,  1 Samuel 14:14), and occasionally fenced in (see Knobel, Zu Jesaias, p. 207), were mostly raised wheat, barley, flax, lentils ( 2 Samuel 23:11), garlic, and sometimes spelt, beans, a kind of durra or holcus ( דֹּחִן ), cummin, fennel, cucumbers, etc. ( Isaiah 28:25). See these and other vegetables in their alphabetical place; for the later periods, compare the Mishna, Chilaim, 1. The fertility of Palestine (q.v.), especially in many parts, made the cultivation tolerably easy, and it was gradually increased by the clearing away of forests ( Jeremiah 4:3), thus enlarging the arable plains ( נַיר , Novale; comp.  Proverbs 13:23); the hills ( 2 Chronicles 26:10;  Ezekiel 38:6;  Ezekiel 38:9) being formed into terraces (compare Niebuhr, Beschreib. 156; Burckhardt, Trav. 1, 64), upon which the earth was kept by a facing of stones, while the low grounds and flats along streams were intersected by ditches ( פִּלְגֵּי מִיַם ,  Proverbs 21:1; comp. Psalms 1:13) for drainage (comp. Mishna, Maoed Katon, 1, 1; Niebuhr, Beschr. 156; Trav. 1, 356, 437; Harmer, 2, 331 sq.), or, more usually, irrigation by means of water wheels (Mishna, Peah, 5, 3). The soil was manured ( דָּמִן ) sometimes with dung (compare  Jeremiah 9:22;  2 Kings 9:37), sometimes by the ashes of burnt straw or stubble ( Isaiah 5:24;  Isaiah 47:14;  Joel 2:5). Moreover, the keeping of cattle on the fields (Pliny, 18:53), and the leaving of the chaff in threshing (Korte, Reisen, p. 433), contributed greatly to fertilization. For breaking up the surface of the ground ( חָרִשׁ , also יָגִב ), ploughs ( מִהֲרֶשֶׁת ?), probably of various construction, were used ("Syria tenui sulco arat:" Pliny, 18:47; comp. Theophrast. Caussae plant. 3, 25; on אַתַּים Joel 4:10, see Credner, ad loc.). The latter, like the harrows, which were early used for covering the seed (Pliny, 18:19, 3; see Harduinm, ad loc.), were drawn by oxen ( 1 Kings 19:19 sq.;  Job 1:14;  Amos 6:12) or cows ( Judges 14:18; Baba Mez. 6, 4), seldom by asses ( Isaiah 30:24;  Isaiah 32:20; Varro, 2, 6, 8, "Ubi levis est terra"), but never with a yoke of the two kinds of animals together ( Deuteronomy 22:10), as is now customary in the East (Niebuhr, Beschreib. p. 156): the beasts were driven with a cudgel ( מִלְמָד , goad). (Delineations of Egyptian agriculture may be seen in Wilkinson, 2nd ser. 1, 48; Rosellini, Mon. Civ. table 32, 33.) See each of the above agricultural implements in its alphabetical 1,.ce. The furrows ( מִעֲנָה תֶּלֵם ), among the Hebrews, probably ran usually lengthwise and crosswise (Pliny. 18:19; Niebuhr, Beschr. p. 155). The sowing occurred, for winter grain, in October and November; for summer fruit, in January or February; the harvest in April. The unexceptionable accounts of fifty-fold and hundred-fold crops ( Genesis 26:12 [on the reading here, see Tuch, ad loc];  Matthew 13:8 sq.; compare Josephus, War, 4, 8, 3; Herod. 1, 193; Pliny, 18, 47; Strabo, 15, 731; 16, 742; Heliod. Eth. 10, 5, p. 395; Sonnini. Trav. 2, 306; Shaw, Trav. p. 123; Burckhardt, 1, 463; yet see Ruppel, Abyss. 1, 92; Niebuhr, Beschreib. p. 151 sq.) seem to show that the ancients sowed (planted, i.e. deposited the grain, שׂוּם ,  Isaiah 28:25) in drills, and with wide spaces between (Niebuhr, Beschreib. p. 157; Brown's Travels In Africa, p. 457), as Strabo (15, 731) expressly says was the case among the Babylonians. (See further under the above terms respectively; and comp. generally Ugolini, Comment. de re rustica yet. Heb., in his Thesaur. 29; H. G. Paulsen, Nachrichten vom Ackerbau der Morgenl Ä nder, Helmstadt, 1748; id. Ackerbau d. Morgenl Ä nder, Helmstidt, 1748; Norbery, De agricultura orient., in his Opusc. Acad. ii, 474 sqq.; P. G. Purmann, 5 progr. de re rustica yet. Hebr. Franckf. 1787; also the Calendar. Palcest. aeconom. by Buhle and Walch, Gotting. 1784; Reynier, L'Economie rurale des Arabes; Wilkinson, Anc. Egyptians; Layard's Nineveh, 1849; his Nineveh and Babylon, 1853; Kitto's Physical Hist. of Palest. 1843.) (See Agriculture).

a. The legal regulations for the security and promotion of agriculture among the Israelites (compare Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 23 sq.) were the following: A. Every hereditary or family estate was inalienable ( Leviticus 25:23); it could indeed be sold for debt, but the purchaser held only the usufruct of the ground; hence the land itself reverted without redemption at the year of jubilee to its appropriate owner ( Leviticus 25:28), whether the original possessor or his heirs-at-law; and at any time during the interval before that period it might be redeemed by such person on repayment of the purchase-money ( Leviticus 25:24). (See Land); (See Jubilee).

b. The removal of field-lines marked by boundary-stones ( Termini") was strongly interdicted ( Deuteronomy 19:14; compare  Deuteronomy 27:17;  Proverbs 22:28;  Hosea 5:10), as in all ancient nations (comp. Plato, Leg. 8 p. 843 sq.; Dougtsei, Annalect. 1, 110; since these metes were established with religious ceremonies, see Pliny, 18:2; compare Ovid, Fasti, 2, 639 sq.); yet no special penalty is denounced in law against offenders. For any damage done to a field or its growth, whether by the overrunning of cattle or the spreading of fire ( Exodus 22:5 sq.), full satisfaction was exacted (Philo, Opp. 2, 339 sq.). But it was not accounted a trespass for a person to pluck ears of grain from a stranger's field with the naked hand ( Deuteronomy 23:24;  Matthew 12:1;  Luke 6:1). This last prescription, which prevails likewise among the Arabs in Palestine (Robinson's Researches, 2, 419, 430), was also extended to the gleanings ( לֶקֶט , comp. Robinson's Res. 3:9) and to the corners, of the field (see Mishna, Peak, 1, 2, where these are computed at a sixtieth part of the field), which were left for the poor, who were in like manner to share in the remnants of the produce of vineyards and fruit trees. (See Gleaning).

c. Every seventh year it was ordained that all the fields throughout the entire land should lie fallow, and whatever grew spontaneously belonged to the poor ( Leviticus 25:4 sq.). (See Sabbatical Year).

d. Various seeds were not allowed to be planted in the same field ( Leviticus 19:19;  Deuteronomy 22:9). These beneficent statutes, however, were not uniformly observed by the Israelites (before the Exile). Covetous farmers not only suffered themselves to remove their neighbor's land-mark ( Hosea 5:10; comp.  Job 24:2) but even kings bought large tracts of land (Latifundia) together ( Isaiah 5:8;  Micah 2:2), so that the entailment and right of redemption of the original possessor appear to have fallen into disuse; neither was the Sabbatical year regularly observed ( Jeremiah 34:8sq.). (For further agricultural details, see Jahn's Bibl. Archaeol. chap. 4.) (See Farm).