Notable Hand Tools in the Bible

The Bible mentions many tools in the book of Genesis. These are:

1) A hammer (Genesis 3:15).

2) An anvil (Genesis 4:8), which was used to smash rocks together (3:16; 5:19).

3) A plowshare or scythe (4:11), which were used to cut up plants and animals into smaller pieces (5:18; 7:2).

4) A sickle (7:9), which was used to harvest crops (6:10).

5) A sickle with two prongs (8:12), which was used to divide land between husband and wife (9:13).

6) A spade (10:14), which was used to dig holes for grain storage.

7) A shovel or dirk (11:17); a digging implement that could be used both indoors and outdoors.

8) A shears (12:25), which was used to separate hair from wool.

9) A knife (13:24), which was used to cut meat and vegetables.

10) A fork or spoon (14:22); a utensil that could be used both indoors and outdoors. 11) A pair of tongs (15:30), which were used to eat food. 12) A battery (16:1), which was used to power electrical devices.

Notable Hand Tools in the Bible -

13) A hammer drill (17:1), which was used to make holes in rocks. 14) A plumb line (21:31), which was used to make sure a wall was straight. 15) A cord or rope (26:15), which was used to make something secure. 16) A shears (27:35), which was used to cut cloth and hair. 17) A winnowing fork (28:27), which was used to remove chaff from grain. 18) A candlestick (29:31), which was used to hold candles. 19) Nails (33:20), which were used to make furniture immobile. 20) An oven (38:3), which was used for cooking food or firing pottery. 21) A spindle (42:12), which was used to make thread or yarn. 22) A shuttle (42:13), which was used to make thread or yarn. 23) A loom (42:23), which was used to make cloth. 24) A compass or carpenter’s square (44:14), which was used to make things round or right-angled. 25) A plumb line (44:14), which was used to make things straight. 26) A hammer (49:16), which was used to make things immobile. 27) A saw (50:5), which was used to cut wood. 28) A bar or rod of iron (50:18), which was used to make things rigid. 29) A staff or walking stick (51:23), which could be used to support the body. 30) A rod or cane (52:9), which could be used to hit people with. 31) A hook (52:8), which could be used to make things immobile. 32) A snare (55:5), which was used to catch animals alive. 33) A trap (55:14), which was used to catch animals dead.

It should be noted that many of these tools were only available to the rich and powerful.


1.Manual labour

Manual labour or manual work is physical work that involves hard physical effort. It’s called manual labor because it involves lifting, carrying, pushing, placing, and other similar movements. Physical skills require bodily coordination and attention to detail.

There are many occupations involving manual labor. A common occupation involving manual labor is a laborer or an “unskilled” worker. Other common occupations are driver, farmer, painter, maintenance worker, soldier.

Manual labour – Woodcut showing manual labour with a spinning wheel at a peasant’s home

2.Quern-stone – An old millstone or quern-stone is a stone, carefully shaped and polished into a cylinder, used for grinding grain and other materials prior to the age of electricity. Millstones are made of hard, durable rock.

The grinding surface is made of softer stone and is called the bed. Millstones were traditionally used in windmills to grind grains and seeds to produce meal. They were gradually replaced by turbine-driven mills, later by water mills, diesel engines and electric motors. In a horse mill, a merchant would ride on the top of the wheel and create motion by hitting the floor with their feet. The stone spins around until it makes grain for bread. Quern-stone from English Weald, ca. 1800 BC. Quern-stones were used to grind cereals into flour in the ancient world. The majority of these stones were found in kitchens and food production areas of homes. These utilitarian stones were typically irregularly shaped with various markings, dimensions ranging from centimeters to decimeters. However, there is much more variation in the size and shapes of querns than those used for domestic purposes. The excess weight implies they were not portable. These stones were typically used for grinding grain or for spices. The variation among querns has led to a few generalized assumptions and errors in historical interpretations. For example, some querns have assumed to be bondstones when their shape was actually due to the use of a bun-shaped stone.

Notable Hand Tools in the Bible on

Quern-stone – The quern-stone as illustrated in An Online Encyclopedia of Roman and Greek Antiquity. Quern-stone – Querns from the British Iron Age. Quern-stone – Woman grinding grain with a quern-stone in Roman times.

A binder lies beside her on the floor. In fact, this is a marble copy of a late 1st century AD original. Museo Gregoriano Etrusco, Vatican City. Quern-stone – Querns from the Neolithic Großschach catchment area on display at the Römerschlösschen Museum

3. Grain – Grains are small, hard, dry seeds, with or without attached hulls or fruit layers, harvested for human food or livestock feed. Agronomists also call the plants producing such seeds “grain crops”.

The two main types of commercial grain crops are legumes such as beans and soybeans.

Sources & references used in this article: