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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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REED . 1. qâneh , tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘reed,’ 1Ki 14:15 , 2 Kings 18:21 , Isaiah 36:6 ; Isaiah 42:3 ; ‘stalk,’ Genesis 41:6 ; Genesis 41:22 ; ‘sweet cane’ (RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘calamus’ ), Isaiah 43:24 , Jeremiah 6:20 ; ‘calamus,’ Song of Solomon 4:14 , Ezekiel 27:19 ; ‘spearmen,’ Psalms 68:30 (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] , but RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘reeds’); also metaphorically used for a ‘bone,’ Job 31:22 ; the arm of ‘a balance,’ Isaiah 46:6 ; and ‘branches’ of a candlestick, Exodus 25:31-32 . The qâneh is probably the familiar qasâb ( Arundo donax ), which flourishes on the banks of all the streams and lakes of the Jordan Valley. Miles of it are to be seen at the ‘Ain Feshkhah oasis on the Dead Sea shore, and at the Huleh marshes. It is a lofty reed, often 20 feet high, brilliantly green in the late summer, when all around is dry and bare; but dead-looking, from a distance, in the spring, when it stands in full flower and the lofty stems are crowned by beautiful silken pannicles. In the district mentioned the reeds are cleared from time to time by fire, that the young and tender shoots may grow up to afford fodder for cattle. The covert of the reeds is often the only possible shade ( Job 40:21 ). The bruised reed, which, though standing, a touch will cause to fall and lie bedraggled on the ground, is a familiar sight ( 2 Kings 18:21 , Isaiah 36:8 , Ezekiel 29:6-7 ). A reed forms a most convenient measuring-rod , being straight and light ( Ezekiel 40:3 ; Ezekiel 40:5 , Revelation 11:1 etc.). In certain passages where qâneh is tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘ calamus ,’ or ‘sweet cane ,’ some imported aromatic cane or hark is meant. For the use of reeds as pens, see Writing, 6 .

2 . ‘ârôth , Isaiah 19:7 (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘paper reeds,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘meadows’). See Meadow.

3 . ’ăgamm îm , lit.‘pools’ (see Pool), is in Jeremiah 51:32 tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘reeds.’ For bulrushes see Rush.

4 . ’ âchû , Job 8:11 EV [Note: English Version.] ‘flag,’ RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘reed-grass.’ See Meadow.

5 . ’çbeh, Job 9:26 (RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘reed’). The reference is to light skiffs of papyrus.

E. W. G. Masterman.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Reed'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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