« Red Sea Reed Reelaiah »

Reed

Under this name may be noticed the following Hebrew words:

  • Agmon occurs in (Job 40:12,16; Isaiah 9:14) (Authorized Version “rush”). There can be no doubt that it denotes some aquatic reed-like plant, probably the Phragmitis communis, which, if it does not occur in Palestine and Egypt, is represented by a very closely-allied species, viz., the Arundo isiaca of Delisle. The drooping panicle of this plant will answer well to the “bowing down the head” of which Isaiah speaks. (Isaiah 58:5)
  • Gnome, translated “rush” and “bulrush” by the Authorized Version, without doubt denotes the celebrated paper-reed of the ancients, Papyrus antiquorum, which formerly was common in some parts of Egypt. The papyrus reed is not now found in Egypt; it grows however, in Syria. Dr. Hooker saw it on the banks of Lake Tiberias, a few miles north of the town. The papyrus plant has an angular stem from 3 to 6 feet high, though occasionally it grows to the height of 14 feet it has no leaves; the flowers are in very small spikelets, which grow on the thread-like flowering branchlets which form a bushy crown to each stem; (It was used for making paper, shoes, sails, ropes, mattresses, etc. The Greek name is Biblos, from which came our word Bible—book—because books were made of the papyrus paper. This paper was always expensive among the Greeks, being worth a dollar a sheet.—ED.)
  • Kaneh, a reed of any kind. Thus there are in general four kinds of reeds named in the Bible: (1) The water reed; No, 1 above. (2) A stronger reed, Arundo donax, the true reed of Egypt and Palestine, which grows 8 or 10 feet high, and is thicker than a man’s thumb. It has a jointed stalk like the bamboo, and is very abundant on the Nile. (3) The writing reed, Arundo scriptoria, was used for making pens. (4) The papyrus; No. 2.
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