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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

 

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GRASS

gras:
(1) chatsir, from a root meaning "greenness"; compare Arabic Khudra, which includes grasses and green vegetables (1 Ki 18:5; 2 Ki 19:26; Job 40:15; Ps 104:14, etc.). Isa 15:6 is translated in the King James Version "have," the Revised Version (British and American) "grass"; Prov 27:25, English Versions of the Bible "hay," margin "Hebrew grass"; Nu 11:5 English Versions of the Bible translates "leeks." It is a term for herbage in general.
(2) deshe', from root meaning "to sprout abundantly." Generally translated "tender grass" (Gen 1:11 f; 2 Sam 23:4; Job 6:5; Isa 15:6; 66:14; Jer 14:5, etc.); translated "grass" (Job 6:5; Jer 14:5); translated "herb" (2 Ki 19:26; Ps 27:2; Isa 37:27; 66:14). In Jer 50:11 we have "heifer at grass" (deshe') in the King James Version and the Revised Version, margin, but in the Revised Version (British and American) "heifer that treadeth out the grain." (dethe'), the Aramaic form, occurs in Dan 4:15,23, and is translated "tender grass."
(3) chashash, probably "dry" or "cut grass"; compare Arabic chashesh, "dry fodder" or "cut grass" (Isa 5:24, the King James Version "chaff," the Revised Version (British and American) "dry grass"; Isa 33:11, English Versions of the Bible "chaff").
(4) leqesh, from root meaning "to come late," hence used in Am 7:1 for the "latter growth" of grass after mowing.
(5) yereq, literally, "green thing" (Nu 22:4, elsewhere translated "herb").
(6) `esebh (Dt 11:15, etc.), generally translated "herb" (for (5) and (6) see HERB).
(7) chortos (Mt 6:30; 14:19; Mk 6:39; Lk 12:28; Jn 6:10; Jas 1:10,11; 1 Pet 1:24; Rev 8:7; 9:4); translated "blade" (Mt 13:26 Mk 4:28); translated "hay" (1 Cor 3:12).
There are 243 species of true grasses (Natural Order, Gramineae) in Israel, but Hebrew, like modern Arabic, does not discriminate between these and other herbs which together make up herbage. Actual turf is practically unknown in Israel, and grass seed is not artificially sown; young green barley is used in the neighborhood of towns as fresh fodder for horses and cattle. It is not the native custom to cut herbage for hay, though the writer has seen many carloads of sweet-smelling hay being carried from the land by Circassian settlers, East of the Jordan.
The "grass upon the house tops" (Ps 129:6; Isa 37:27), the growth which springs from the seeds mingled with the mud of which the roof is made, springs up quickly with the rains, but as quickly dries up before it reaches half its normal height--or not infrequently is set on fire.
Dew, rain or showers upon the grass are mentioned (Dt 32:6; Prov 19:12; Mic 5:7; Ps 72:6, "rain upon the mown grass," i.e. the grass eaten short by cattle).
E. W. G. Masterman

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'GRASS'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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