from an unused root meaning to smooth; a threshing-floor (as made even); by analogy, any open area:—a barn-, corn-, threshing- floor, a threshing-, void- place before the gates of a city
Freshly harvested grain was thrown into a large pile in the very center of the floor. It was then hand raked onto the area of the floor where the oxen would walk around and around, breaking the husks away from the actual grain. This area was called the threshing floor. It was flat and hardened by the passing of oxen over the sheaves, sometimes pulling a sled designed to separate the grain from the husks, the tares (weeds, false grain) from the wheat. Afterwards, the stalks and grain were thrown up into the air (winnowing) so that the wind would blow the unwanted chaff away, leaving the kernels.
The threshing floors were also important places and were often used as landmarks. Men and royalty often sat in the gates of a city, often on or near a threshing floor.
And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. 1 King 22:10
The words, threshing floor, is one word in the King James version of the Bible. In looking up the Hebrew, we find the same word, goren, is for both threshing and for floor. Thus, translating the Hebrew into English gives us threshingfloor as one word. Other versions of the Bible separate the two words but translate them individually from the one word, goren.
Joseph, with his kinsmen and Egyptian followers, halted for seven days at the threshing floor of Atad to lament the death of Jacob.
When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days. Genesis 50:10
Travelers might welcome a threshing floor to stop for the night as the hard, level spot would be preferable to surrounding stony fields for tents.
David bought a threshing floor to build an altar to the LORD.
1 Then satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. … 7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. … 18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan (Araunah) the Jebusite. … 20 Now Ornan was threshing wheat. He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. … 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 25 So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. 26 And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. … 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 1 Chronicles 21:1, 7, 18, 20, 24-26, 28
Have we felt that something is worth more to us when it is bought and paid for by our earnings? Do we take things for granted when they are given to us for nothing? Is more value placed upon that which we buy, whether by money, labor, or things traded?
This same piece of property was to be where God’s Temple was to be built by Solomon.
1 Then David said, “Here shall be the house of the Lord God and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” … 7 David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood before Me on the earth. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name. He shall be My son, and I will be his Father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’ 11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as He has spoken concerning you. 1 Chronicles 22:1, 7-11
Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 Chronicles 3:1
Mount Moriah is where Abraham sacrificed his son, Isaac, to God.
He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:2
Threshing floors were places of judgment:
Rejoice not, O Israel! Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute’s wages on all threshing floors. Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail them. Hosea 9:1-2
But they do not know
the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand His plan,
that He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. Micah 4:12
Threshing floors were places of blessings as well. Sheave offerings were laid there to the Lord.
And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed. Joel 2:24-26
Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” And she replied, “All that you say I will do.” Ruth 3:3-5 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowned in Israel! Ruth 4:13-14
“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:12
Have I felt that something is worth more to me when it is bought and paid for by the sacrifice of my LORD? Is more value placed upon that which has been purchased for me by the sacrifices of Jesus? Is the gift of forgiveness of the debt I cannot pay and for which I owe such that I am so humbled?
LORD Jesus, I thank You for the love You have for me, for redeeming me. You have blessed me beyond anything I could imagine. I know that a day will come for my judgment. I also know of Your forgiveness of this child. I want to continue to be winnowed for I desire to become more pure for You with each day. I want the chaff to be blown away, then burned. I want only the kernels to be left so that I may make You a loaf of bread. I know You are the Bread of Life, yet I want to give You this gift from my heart. How can I really thank You, Jesus? You have done so very much for me. I am humbled with gratitude. Thresh me on Your threshing floor, my LORD. Separate the weeds and husk from the very grain of me. Winnow me to purity, to wholeness, LORD, for I want to be wholly Yours. In Your beautiful Name, I pray. Amen.