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Bulrush

  1. In Isa. 58:5 the rendering of a word which denotes “belonging to a marsh,” from the nature of the soil in which it grows (Isa. 18:2). It was sometimes platted into ropes (Job. 41:2; Authorized Version, “hook,” Revised Version, “rope,” lit. “cord of rushes”).

  2. In Ex. 2:3, Isa. 18:2 (Revised Version, “papyrus”) this word is the translation of the Hebrew gome, which designates the plant as absorbing moisture. In Isa. 35:7 and Job 8:11 it is rendered “rush.” This was the Egyptian papyrus (papyrus Nilotica). It was anciently very abundant in Egypt. The Egyptians made garments and shoes and various utensils of it. It was used for the construction of the ark of Moses (Ex. 2:3, 5). The root portions of the stem were used for food. The inside bark was cut into strips, which were sewed together and dried in the sun, forming the papyrus used for writing. It is no longer found in Egypt, but grows luxuriantly in Israel, in the marshes of the Huleh, and in the swamps at the north end of the Lake of Gennesaret.

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