Lev. 23:16 talks about a corn harvest. Was there corn in the old world in pre-Columbian times?
Clive, from Powell, Wyoming
Corn is mentioned 86 times in the Old Testament and 8 times in the New Testament, so I conclude that is was grown in the Eastern hemisphere in pre-Columbian times. However, various Hebrew words were translated into English as corn, and they could refer to other grain as well. For instance, in Genesis 27:28—
Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine
the word, corn, comes from the Hebrew dagan, which could be interpreted as wheat, cereal, grain or corn. However, in the more descriptive verse
And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good (Gen 41:5)
where it talks about ears of corn, there can be no doubt that the reference is to corn as we know it. The Hebrew word here is bar, which refers to grain or corn in the sense of winnowing.
In the New Testament, in John 12:24—
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
the Greek word for corn of wheat, κοκκος, means grain, and could be used in the sense of granule.
However, in Luke 6:1—
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands
the ears of corn, is translated from the Greek σιτηρά, which means cereal, but since they use the term ears of corn, we would understand it to mean corn as we know it.