hewers of wood and drawers of water

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hewers of wood and drawers of water

Those who are used solely for manual labor or menial tasks at the behest of others. An allusion to a passage in the Bible (Joshua 9:21), in which the Gibeonites were condemned to servitude under the Israelites. This scholarship intends to show that, given the right tools and opportunities, the people in this region are destined to become more than hewers of wood and drawers of water. Under the dictatorship, members of the religious minority were not allowed to be anything but hewers of wood and drawers of water to the ruling class.
See also: and, drawer, of, water, wood

hewers of wood and drawers of water

menial drudges; labourers.
This expression refers to Joshua 9:21, which tells the story of how the Israelites were tricked into sparing the lives of some of the indigenous inhabitants of the Promised Land: ‘And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation’.
See also: and, drawer, of, water, wood
References in periodicals archive ?
Canadians have manufactured a centuries-old reputation as hewers of wood and drawers of water, exporting rail-car loads and ship loads of raw material for someone else to process into consumer goods.
This new channel--branded TX1--enables hewers to watch footage of the UK's top games, have live on-screen SMS chats and download the latest games directly to their handsets.
Conditions within this market determined the initial nature of the early coal trade and exerted continuing intermittent pressures affecting both hewers and sellers of coal.
During this process, limestone hewers apparently discovered a branch of the fissure that they eventually hollowed out into the underground canal, Gill contends.
"It is going to give all of us in the North an opportunity to go from hewers of wood, carriers of water and miners, and give us a chance to look at manufacturing in the north," he said.
For struggling one-industry towns affected by lumber duties and volatile commodity prices, breaking the mould of being solely hewers of wood and extending themselves through partnerships into the more lucrative markets of making furniture, flooring and trusses may be the way to diversify and strengthen their economies.