Heb tannur, (Ho 7:4). In towns there appear to have been public ovens. There was a street in Jerusalem (Jer 37:21) called "bakers' street" (the only case in which the name of a street in Jerusalem is preserved). The words "tower of the furnaces" (Ne 3:11; 12:38) is more properly "tower of the ovens" (Heb tannurim). These resemble the ovens in use among ourselves.
There were other private ovens of different kinds. Some were like large jars made of earthenware or copper, which were heated inside with wood (1Ki 17:12; Isa 44:15; Jer 7:18) or grass (Mt 6:30), and when the fire had burned out, small pieces of dough were placed inside or spread in thin layers on the outside, and were thus baked. (See Furnace.)
Pits were also formed for the same purposes, and lined with cement. These were used after the same manner.
tanur. Fixed or portable. The fixed ovens were inside towns. The portable ovens consisted of a large clay jar, three feet high, widening toward the bottom, with a hole to extract the ashes. Sometimes there was an erection of clay in the form of a jar, built on the house floor. Every house had one (Exodus viii. 3 ); only in a famine (lid one suffice for several faro-flies (Leviticus xxvi. 26). Tile heating fuel was dry grass and twigs (Blurt. vt. 30: "grass, which to-day is, to-morrow is cast into the oven"). The loaves were placed inside, and thin cakes outside of it.
Image of consuming vengeance (Mal 4:1). Ps 21:9; "Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of Thine anger... burning with Thy hot, wrath in the day of the Lord." Ho 7:4, 7: "they are all adulterers, as an oven heated by (burning from) the baker," i.e. the fire burns of itself, even after tlle baker has ceased to feed it with fuel. "Who teaseth from raising (rather from heating it meeir) after he hath kneaded the dough until it be leavened:" he omits to feed it only during the short time of the fermentation of the bread. So their lusts were on fire even in the short respite that Satan gives, till his leaven has worked. 2Pe 2:14, "cannot cease from sin."
Except in cities where there were those who followed the trade of the baker, with built-up ovens, it was customary for every household to have its own simple oven. A hole was dug in the ground and coated with clay, which hardened with the heat of the fire. Any species of grass soon dried in the sun and was then thrown into the oven to heat it. The bread was made into thin cakes which were baked by being stuck to the sides of the oven, or placed on a cover at the top. There are many instances in scripture where on the arrival of a visitor bread had to be kneaded and baked for them. Ex 8:3; Le 2:4; 7:9; 11:35; 26:26; La 5:10; Ho 7:4-7; Mt 6:30; Lu 12:28. The heat of the oven is used symbolically for rapid destruction. Ps 21:9; Mal 4:1.
The eastern oven is of two kinds --fixed and portable. The former is found only in towns, where regular bakers are employed.
The latter ia adapted to the nomad state, it consists of a large jar made of clay, about three feet high and widening toward the bottom, with a hole for the extraction of the ashes. Each household possessed such an article,
and it was only in times of extreme dearth that the same oven sufficed for several families.
It was heated with dry twigs and grass,
and the loaves were placed both inside and outside of it.