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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Line

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(represented by the following terms in the original: חֶבֶל, che'bel, a measuring-line, 2 Samuel 8:2; Amos 7:17; hence a portion as divided out by a line, Psalms 16:6; elsewhere "cord," "portion," etc. קָוּ or קִו, kav, a measuring-line, Isaiah 34:17; Ezekiel 47:3; either for construction, Job 38:5; Isaiah 44:13; Jeremiah 31:39; Zechariah 1:16, or for destruction, 2 Kings 21:13; Lamentations 2:8; Isaiah 34:11; metaph., a rule or norm, Isaiah 28:17; Isaiah 28:10; Isaiah 28:13; like the Gr. κανών, 2 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:15-16; Galatians 6:16; Philippians 3:16; also the rim, e.g. of a laver, 1 Kings 7:23; 2 Chronicles 4:2; or string of a musical instrument, put for sound, q.d. accord, Psalms 19:4; where Sept. φθόγγος, and so Romans 10:18, Vulg. sonus; once, strength, Isaiah 18:2, where "a nation meted out" should be rendered a most mighty nation: in three of the above passages, 1 Kings 7:23; Jeremiah 31:39; Zechariah 1:16, the text reads קֶוֶה, ke'veh, of the same import; and in Joshua 2:18; Joshua 2:21, occurs תַּקְוָה, tikvah', a cord, from the same root. Other terms less proper are: חוּט, chut, a thread, for measuring a circumference, 1 Kings 7:15; "fillets," Jeremiah 52:21; elsewhere generally a "thread." פָּתַיל, pathil', a cord, for measuring length, Ezekiel 40:3; elsewhere a "thread," "lace," etc., especially the string for suspending the signet-ring in the bosom, rendered "bracelets" in Genesis 38:18; Genesis 38:25. שֶׂרֶד, se'red, the awl or stylus with which an artist graves the sketch of a figure in outline, to be afterwards sculptured in full, Isaiah 44:13). There can be little doubt that the Hebrews acquired the art of measuring land from the ancient Egyptians, with whom it was early prevalent (Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt. 2:256). In Joshua 18:9 we read, "And the men went out and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh." These circumstances clearly indicate that a survey of the whole country was made, and the results entered carefully in a book (see Kitto's Daily Bible Illust. ad loc.). This appears to be the earliest example of a topographical survey on record, and it proves that there must have been some knowledge of mensuration among the Hebrews, as is moreover evinced by the other topographical details in the book of Joshua.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Line'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/l/line.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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