Sometimes means any green herbage, Isa 15:6, and sometimes the usual food of cattle, Ps 104:14. The quick growth of grass, its tenderness, and its rapid combustion when dry, have furnished the sacred writers with some of their most appropriate illustrations, Ps 90:5-6; 92:7; 103:15-16; Isa 40:6-8; 51:12; Jas 1:10; 1Pe 1:24. All sorts of grass and small shrubs are still used in Syria for fuel, on account of the scarcity of wood, Mt 6:28-30. Travelers in that country often see grass growing on the housetops, the roofs being flat and coated with earth trodden hard. Such grass quickly withers when the rainy season is over, Ps 129:6-7; Isa 37:27.
(3.) (1.) Heb hatsir, ripe grass fit for mowing (1Ki 18:5; Job 40:15; Ps 104:14). As the herbage rapidly fades under the scorching sun, it is used as an image of the brevity of human life (Isa 40:6-7; Ps 90:5). In Nu 11:5 this word is rendered "leeks."
(4.) (2.) Heb deshe', green grass (Ge 1:11-12; Isa 66:14; De 32:2). "The sickly and forced blades of grass which spring up on the flat plastered roofs of houses in the East are used as an emblem of speedy destruction, because they are small and weak, and because, under the scorching rays of the sun, they soon wither away" (2Ki 19:26; Ps 129:6; Isa 37:27).
Its rapid fading in the heat of Palestine is a frequent image of man's frailty (Ps 103:14-15; 90:5-6; Isa 40:6-7). In Jer 50:11 for "the heifer at grass" (i.e., fat and frisky), since the gender of "at grass" dasha, confounded with desha "grass") does not agree with eglah "a heifer," translated "a heifer threshing (treading out) grain." The strongest were used for threshing, and as the law did not allow their mouth to be muzzled in threshing (De 25:4) they waxed wanton with superabundant food, an image of Judea's insolent destroyers.
It is a coincidence undesigned, and therefore a mark of genuineness, that by three evangelists the "grass" is noticed in the miraculous feeding of the 5,000; John (Joh 6:10) saying, "there was much grass in the place" (a notable circumstance in Palestine, where grass is neither perennial nor universal; the latter rain and sunshine stimulate its rapid growth, but the scorching summer soon withers it and leaves the hills bare); Mark (Mr 6:39), with his usual graphic vividness, mentioning "the green grass"; Matthew (Mt 14:19) simply stating Christ's command to "sit down on the grass." But in the feeding of the 4,000 the multitude in both Gospels (Mt 15:35; Mr 8:6) are commanded to "sit down on the ground."
This delicate distinction disproves the notion that the two miracles are really different versions of the same miracle, as also that of the 12 (small) baskets (kofinoi) in the miracle of the 5,000, and the seven (larger) baskets (spurides) in that of the 4,000. Compare Mt 16:9-10 with Mt 14:20; Lu 9:17; kofinoi) being uniformly applied to the former miracle, spurides) to the latter (Blunt, Undesigned Coincidences). In Mt 6:30 "the lily" is classed with "the grass of the field." "Grass" must here be used for all that grows in the field, wild flowers as well as grasses, herbage.
This word is often used in scripture for any kind of small herb or fodder. It is frequently referred to metaphorically to represent human frailty. "Surely the people is grass: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth." Isa 40:7. 8. It is growing one day, and the next it is cast into the oven as fuel. Mt 6:30.
GRASS, ???, Ge 1:11, the well known vegetable upon which flocks and herds feed, and which decks our fields, and refreshes our sight with its grateful verdure. Its feeble frame and transitory duration are mentioned in Scripture as emblematic of the frail condition and fleeting existence of man. The inspired poets draw this picture with such inimitable beauty as the laboured elegies on mortality of ancient and modern times have never surpassed. See Ps 90:6, and particularly Isa 40:6-8: "The voice said, Cry! And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it, Verily this people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever." As, in their decay, the herbs of the fields strikingly illustrate the shortness of human life, so, in the order of their growth, from seeds dead and buried, they give a natural testimony to the doctrine of a resurrection. The Prophet Isaiah, and the Apostle Peter, both speak of bodies rising from the dead, as of so many seeds springing from the ground to renovated existence and beauty, although they do not, as some have absurdly supposed, consider the resurrection as in any sense analogous to the process of vegetation, Isa 26:19; 1Pe 1:24-25.
It is a just remark of Grotius, that the Hebrews ranked the whole vegetable system under two classes, ??, and ???. The first is rendered ?????, or ???????, tree: to express the second, the LXX have adopted ??????, as their common way to translate one Hebrew word by one Greek word, though not quite proper, rather than by a circumlocution. It is accordingly used in their version of Ge 1:11, where the distinction first occurs, and in most other places. Nor is it with greater propriety rendered grass in English than ?????? in Greek. The same division occurs in Mt 6:30, and Re 8:7, where our translators have in like manner had recourse to the term grass. Dr. Campbell prefers and uses the word herbage, as coming nearer the meaning of the sacred writer. Under the name herb is comprehended every sort of plant which has not, like trees and shrubs, a perennial stalk. That many, if not all, sorts of shrubs were included by the Hebrews under the denomination, tree, is evident from Jotham's apologue of the trees choosing a king, Jg 9:7, where the bramble is mentioned as one. See HAY.