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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #2563 - κάλαμος

Root Word (Etymology)
or uncertain affinity
Parts of Speech
Noun Masculine
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  1. a reed
  2. a staff made of a reed, a reed staff
  3. a measuring reed or rod
  4. a writer's reed, a pen
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 1903 ‑ הָגִין (haw‑gheen');  6256 ‑ עֵת (ayth);  7070 ‑ קָנֶה (kaw‑neh');  
Frequency Lists
Verse Results
KJV (12)
Matthew 5
Mark 2
Luke 1
3 John 1
Revelation 3
NAS (14)
Matthew 5
Mark 2
Luke 1
3 John 1
Revelation 5
HCS (12)
Matthew 5
Mark 2
Luke 1
3 John 1
Revelation 3
BSB (12)
Matthew 5
Mark 2
Luke 1
3 John 1
Revelation 3
ESV (9)
Matthew 4
Mark 2
Revelation 3
WEB (12)
Matthew 5
Mark 2
Luke 1
3 John 1
Revelation 3
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

κάλᾰμος [κᾰ], ,

1. reed, used for thatching or wattling, Hdt. 5.101, al., Th. 2.76; for wreaths, κ. λευκός Ar. Nu. 1006 (anap.); for bedding, Plu. Lyc. 16; for fuel, PCair.Zen. 85 (iii B.C.); various species, κ. εὐώδης, ἀρωματικός, sweet flag, Acorus Calamus, Thphr. HP 4.8.4, 9.7.1, Od. 33, Dsc. 1.18; κ. αὐλητικός pole-reed, Arundo Donax, Thphr. HP 4.11.1, 9; κ. εἰλετίας marram, Ammophila arundinacea, ib. 13; κ. ἐπίγειος bush-grass, Calamagrostis epigeios, ibid.; κ. Ἰνδικός bamboo, Bambusa arundinacea, ibid., Dsc. 5.92, PLond. 2.191.11 (ii A.D.), Gp. 2.6.23, cf. Hdt. 3.98; κ. Ἰνδικὸς ὁ ἄρρην male bamboo, Dendrocalamus strictus, Thphr. HP 4.11.13; κ. κύπριος, = δόναξ, Ascl ap. Gal. 12.414; κ. πλόκιμος spear-grass, Phragmites communis, Thphr. HP 4.11.1; κ. Χαρακίας, Arundo Donax, ibid.

II applied to various uses,

1 reed-pipe, flute, Pi. O. 10(11).84, N. 5.38, E. El. 702 (lyr.), IT 1126 (lyr.).

2. fishing-rod, Pl.Com. 11, Theoc. 21.43, Luc. DMort. 27.9; κ. ἁλιευτικός Arist. PA 693a23.

3. limed twig used by fowlers, Bion Fr. 10.5, Aesop. 171, 296.

4. shaft of an arrow, Ptol. Alm. 7.5; made of κ. τοξικός, or Κρητικός, Thphr. HP 4.11.11.

5. reed-pen, LXX Psalms 44:1-26 (45) 3 John 1:13, Plu. Dem. 29, Luc. Hist.Conscr. 38; κάλαμοι γραφικοί PGrenf. 2.38.7 (i B.C.); κ. γραφεῖς Poll. 10.61.

6. measuring-rod, Revelation 11:1, al.: hence, a definite measure, IG 9(1).61.50 (Daulis, ii A.D.); = 5 πήχεις, Hero *Geom. 4.11; = 6 2/3 πήχεις, ib.23.13.

7. Medic., tube for insufflation, Aret. CA 1.9, Ascl ap. Gal. 12.985; for fumigation, Dsc. Eup. 1.56; for extraction, Cels. 7.5.2; also, splint, Pall. in Hp.Fract. 12.282 C.

8. ornament of female dress, AP 6.292 (Hedyl.).

9. stake to which vines were tied, PFlor. 369.4 (ii A.D.), Jul. Or. 3.125b, etc.

III collectively,

1 reed, i.e. reeds, Arist. Mete. 359b1, POxy. 742.2 (i B.C.), etc.: in pl., reed-beds, Plb. 3.71.4.

2. of plants, which are neither shrub nor bush (ὕλη), nor tree (δένδρον), X. An. 1.5.1.

3. mat of reeds, Pl. R. 372b; roof of reeds (Coan), Hsch. = καλάμη, stalk of wheat, X. Oec. 18.2. ὁ κ. τοῦ σκέλους the shinbone, Sch. Luc. VH 1.23. ticket for obtaining corn-rations, = tessera frumentaria, Gloss. (Cf. Lat. culmus, OHG. halm, etc.)

Thayer's Expanded Definition

κάλαμος, καλάμου, , from Pindar down, Latincalamus, i. e.

a. a reed: Matthew 11:7; Matthew 12:20 (from Isaiah 42:3); Luke 7:24.

b. a staff made of a reed, a reed-staff (as in 2 Kings 18:21): Matthew 27:29f, 48; Mark 15:19, 36.

c. a measuring reed or rod: Revelation 11:1; Revelation 21:15f (Ezekiel 40:3-6; Ezekiel 42:16-19).

d. a writer's reed, a pen: 3 John 1:13; (see Gardthausen, Griech. Palaeogr., p. 71f).

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.
All rights rserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

κάλαμος , -ου , ,

[in LXX chiefly for H7070, Isaiah 42:3, Ezekiel 40:3 ff., al.;]

a reed: Matthew 11:7; Matthew 12:20 (LXX) Luke 7:24; hence, acc, to its various uses,

(a) a reed-pipe, flute;

(b) a reed-staff, staff (cf. 2 Kings 18:21, ῥάβδος καλαμίνη ): Matthew 27:29-30; Matthew 27:48, Mark 15:19; Mark 15:36;

(c) a measuring reed or rod (Ez, l.c.): Revelation 11:1; Revelation 21:15-16;

(d) a writing reed, a pen: 3 John 1:13 (cf. Milligan, NTD, 9, 7).†

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

P Tebt II. 375.30 (A.D. 140) παραδώσω πάσας τὰς ἀρούρας καθαρὰ (l. ὰς) ἀπὸ θρύου καλάμου δί [σ ]ης πάσης, ";I will deliver up the arourae free from rushes, reeds, and dirt of all sorts"; (Edd.) : and so P Fay 345 (A.D. 139–40), P Amh II. 90.22 (A.D. 159), 91.23 (A.D. 159). In place of ἄχυρον, κάλαμος is used for heating purposes according to P Giss I. 40ii. 12 (A.D. 212) κάλαμον πρ [ ]ς τὸ ὑποκαίειν τὰ βαλα [νεῖ ]α καταφέρουσι. From the close connexion between the cultivation of κάλαμος and vine-growing, to which the papyri witness, GH in their note on P Oxy IV. 729.3 (A.D. 137) have shown the probability that a crop of reeds was planted between or under the vines. The collective use of κάλαμος in the above citations and in P Oxy IV. 742.2 (B.C. 2) παράλαβε παρὰ Πόθου τὸν κάλαμ [ο ]ν πανα [ρ ]ιθμῶι καὶ ἀπόστειλόν μ [ο ]ι πόσας δέσμας παρείληφες, ";take over from Pothus the reeds all together, and send me word how many bundles you have received"; (Edd.), points to a similar sense in Matthew 11:7. The reference is to ";the very ordinary sight of cane grass shaken by wind,"; and ";there is no contrast intended between the moral strength of the Baptist and the weak pliability of the reed"; (McNeile ad l.). With Ezekiel’s ";reed"; of six cubits i.e. about 9 feet (see Davidson ad Ezekiel 40:5), which underlies the imagery of Revelation 11:1, we may compare the κάλαμος of similar length in P Ryl II. 64.2 (iv/v A.D.) : see the editors’ note and cf. Archiv iii. p. 440. In a list of articles sent by one woman to another, P Tebt II. 413.11 (ii/iii A.D.), ε ̄ καλάμ [ους ] στημίων, ";five reeds of thread,"; are included, and with 3 John 1:13 cf. P Grenf II. 38.7 (B.C. 81) κα ]λάμων γραφικῶν δεκάπεντε. We may note the contrast between the καλάμο (υ) Ἑλλη (νικοῦ) of P Lond 195(b).11 (A.D. 14–37) (=11. p. 128) and ib. 191.11 (A.D. 103–117) (= II. p. 265) καλάμου Ἰνδικοῦ : see Archiv i. p. 150. A new subst. καλαμουργία is found in P Lond 163.24 (A.D. 88) (= II. p. 183), and for the corresponding verb see PSI IV. 317.8 (A.D. 95) ἐὰν μ [ ]λλῃς καλαμουργεῖν, γρά [ψ ]ον μοι.


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
καλαμον κάλαμον καλαμος κάλαμος καλαμου καλάμου καλαμω καλάμω καλάμῳ kalamo kalamō kalámoi kalámōi kalamon kálamon kalamos kálamos kalamou kalámou
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