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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
SMOKING FLAX (λίνον τυφόμενον, Matthew 12:20).—The little earthenware lamp is largely replaced to-day, even in the houses of the fellahîn in Palestine, by lamps made by travelling tinsmiths from the tins in which petroleum is imported. But the old-fashioned lamp, resembling those dug out of ancient graves, is still to be seen. Olive oil is poured into the bowl of the lamp, and for wick a few strands of flaxen fibre or cotton thread twisted together are inserted. As the oil is consumed the flame sinks, and the wick fills the house with peculiarly disagreeable smoke. The lamp must be replenished with oil, and the wick trimmed, or, us more frequently happens when the smoking stage is reached, the flax is ‘quenched’ and cast out.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Smoking Flax'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/s/smoking-flax.html. 1906-1918.