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Cucumbers

(Heb. plur. kishshuim; i.e., “hard,” “difficult” of digestion, only in Num. 11:5). This vegetable is extensively cultivated in the East at the present day, as it appears to have been in earlier times among the Hebrews. It belongs to the gourd family of plants. In the East its cooling pulp and juice are most refreshing. “We need not altogether wonder that the Israelites, wearily marching through the arid solitudes of the Sinaitic peninsula, thought more of the cucumbers and watermelons of which they had had no lack in Egypt, rather than of the cruel bondage which was the price of these luxuries.” Groser’s Scripture Natural History.

Isaiah speaks of a “lodge” (1:8; Heb. sukkah), i.e., a shed or edifice more solid than a booth, for the protection throughout the season from spring to autumn of the watchers in a “garden of cucumbers.”

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