Or papyrus, a reed growing on the banks of the Nile, in marshy ground, Job 8:11, to the height of twelve or fifteen feet, Isa 35:7. The stalks are pliable, and capable of being interwoven very closely, as is evident from their being used in the construction of arks, Ex 2:3,5; and also vessels of larger dimensions, Isa 18:2. Boats of this material were very common in Egypt. Being exceedingly light and small, they sailed with great velocity, and might easily be borne on the shoulders around rapids and falls. The inner bark of this plant, platted and cemented together, furnished a writing material; and the pith was sometimes used for food. See BOOK.
(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; A.V., "hook," R.V., "rope," lit. "cord of rushes").
(2.) In Ex 2:3; Isa 18:2 (R.V., "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 Palestine, in the marshes of the Huleh, and in the swamps at the north end of the Lake of Gennesaret. (See Cane.)
Illustration: Egyptian Papyrus
Agmon, from 'aagam, a marsh. "The head or tail, branch or rush," i.e. high or low; the lofty palm branch, or the humble reed (Isa 9:14-15; 19:15). It used to be platted into rope; Job 41:2," canst thou put an hook (rather a rope of rushes) into his nose?" Moses' ark was woven of it (gomeh): Ex 2:3; Isa 18:2. "Vessels of bulrushes," light canoes of papyrus of the Nile, daubed over with pitch; derived from gaamah, "to absorb."
The Egyptians used it for making also garments, shoes, and baskets. In Ex 2:3; Isa 18:2, it means the papyrus of which the Egyptians made light boats for the Nile; the same Hebrew (gomeh) is translated rush (Job 8:11; Isa 35:7). The Egyptian kam is related. This papyrus is no longer found below Nubia. It is a strong bamboo-like rush, as thick as a finger, three grainered, from 10 to 15 feet high. It is represented on the tomb of Tel, of the sixth dynasty, and other oldest Egyptian monuments.
In Ex 2:3; Isa 18:2, the papyrus is referred to, a reed of which anciently paper was made. It was of this that the ark was made in which the infant Moses was put, Ex 2:3, and the smaller boats on the Nile. Isa 18:2. In Isa 58:5 it is a different word, and is used for any kind of 'rush.' Both words are also translated 'rushes.'
(or papyrus), a red growing in the shallow water on the banks of the Nile. It grows to the height of 12 or 15 feet, with a stalk two or three inches in diameter. The stalks are very pliable and can be very closely interwoven, as is evident from their having been used in the construction of arks.
Paper was made from this plant, from which it derives its name.
BULRUSH, ???, Ex 2:3; Job 8:11; Isa 18:2; 35:7. A plant growing on the banks of the Nile, and in marshy grounds. The stalk rises to the height of six or seven cubits, beside two under water. This stalk is triangular, and terminates in a crown of small filaments resembling hair, which the ancients used to compare to a thyrsus. This reed, the Cyperus papyrus of Linnaeus, commonly called "the Egyptian reed," was of the greatest use to the inhabitants of the country where it grew; the pith contained in the stock served them for food, and the woody part for building vessels, figures of which are to be seen on the engraven stones and other monuments of Egyptian antiquity. For this purpose they made it up, like rushes, into bundles; and, by tying these bundles together, gave their vessels the necessary shape and solidity. "The vessels of bulrushes," or papyrus, "that are mentioned in sacred and profane history," says Dr. Shaw, "were no other than large fabrics of the same kind with that of Moses, Ex 2:3; which, from the late introduction of plank and stronger materials, are now laid aside." Thus Pliny takes notice of the "naves papyraceas armamentaque Nili," "ships made of papyrus, and the equipments of the Nile; and he observes, "ex ipsa quidem papyro navigia texunt," "of the papyrus itself they construct sailing vessels." Herodotus and Diodorus have recorded the same fact; and among the poets, Lucan, "Conseritur bibula Memphitis cymba papyro," "the Memphian" or Egyptian "boat is made of the thirsty papyrus;" where the epithet bibula, "drinking," "soaking," "thirsty," is particularly remarkable, as corresponding with great exactness to the nature of the plant, and to its Hebrew name, which signifies to soak or drink up. These vegetables require much water for their growth; when, therefore, the river on whose banks they grew was reduced, they perished sooner than other plants. This explains Job 8:11, where the circumstance is referred to as an image of transient prosperity: "Can the flag grow without water? Whilst it is yet in its greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb."