The end of the verse in Devarim 11:10 says "...You watered the green garden with your foot." (rough translation.)

My brother, an anthropology professor who studied Biblical history, explained to me, somewhat the method of the shaduf. He explained that in the Mideast, most of the crops were laid on "terraces" (much as it still is, today.) Water was poured on the top terrace and to get the water to go to the lower terraces, the farmer would kick away (using his foot) some dirt to create a tunnel so that the water would drain downward to the next terrace level.

My brother, and I, were curious if the usage of the term "watering with your foot" in this verse might be a reference to this irrigation method. Do any commentators mention this?


1 Answer 1


Various modern-day bible scholars (perhaps some of them are even Jewish!) make this connection. Here are a bunch of links discussing it:

1. Biblehub, see the Cambridge commentary

2. Peter Craigie

3. Google Scholar search of articles that mention or discuss this - quite a few hits

Other suggestions among the Mefarshim include irrigation systems powered by pedaling, and walking while carrying water.

If anyone has access to any of the more modern Jewish commentaries (e.g. Daat Mikra) and could take a look to see if they discuss it, that would be appreciated.

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