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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

 

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Reed
        

'agmon. Used to form a rope: Job 41:2, "canst thou put a rush rope ('agmon) into his nose?" in Job 41:20 'agmon is a "caldron" from agam, "to flow." "Branch ("the high") and rush ("the low")" (Isaiah 9:14; Isaiah 58:5), "bow down ... head as a bulrush," imply that the head of the 'agmown was pendulous. Some aquatic, reed like, plant, the Arundodonax, or phragmitis, used as a walking stick, but apt to break and pierce the hand leaning on it (2 Kings 18:21; Ezekiel 29:6-7). The gomee, of the sedge kind (Cyperaceae), the papyrus or paper reeds of which Moses' ark was formed (Exodus 2:3). Used to form boats on the Nile, also garments, shoes, baskets, and paper (Isaiah 18:2); Job 8:11 "can the papyrus plant grow without mire?" so the godless thrive only in outward prosperity, which soon ends, for they are without God "the fountain of life" (Psalm 36:9). Rapid growth at first, like the papyrus; then sudden destruction.
        The papyrus is not now found in Egypt; but it has for ages been on the margin of Lake Huleh or Merom and Lake Tiberius and in Syria. Paper was formed by cutting the interior of the stalks into thin slices lengthwise, after removing the rind, and laying them side by side in succession on a flat board; similar ones were laid over them at right angles, and the whole was cemented together by a glue, and pressed and dried. The Egyptians stewed and ate the lower part of the papyrus (Herodotus ii. 92). It grows from three to six feet high; Tristram (Land of Israel, 436) says 16 feet, and the triangular stems three inches in diameter, N. of Lake Tiberias. There are no leaves; the flowers are small spikelets at the tip of the threadlike branchlets which together form a bushy crown on each stem.
        Aroth (Isaiah 19:7) not "paper reeds," but grassy pastures on the banks of the Nile; literally, places bare of wood, from 'aarah "to make bore" (Gesenius). KJV is from 'or the delicate "membrane"; the antithesis to "everything sown by the brooks" is, the aroth were not sown but growing of themselves. In mentioning "the reeds and flags" it is likely the papyrus would not be omitted; however, a different word in the chap. before (Isaiah 18:2, gomee) expresses the "papyrus". Kaneh "a reed" in general; a measuring reed, six cubits long (Ezekiel 40:5; Ezekiel 41:8; compare Revelation 11:1; Revelation 21:15). The "sweet reed from a far country" is possibly the Andropogon calamus aromaticus of central India; keneh bosem (Exodus 30:23 "sweet calamus") or hatob (Jeremiah 6:20); or it may be rather the lemon grass (Andropogon schoenanthus) of India (Isaiah 43:24; Song of Solomon 4:14; Ezekiel 27:19).


Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'Reed' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

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