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Reference: Hyssop


HYSSOP is mentioned several times in the Bible. It was used for sprinkling blood (Ex 12:22), and in the ritual of the cleansing of lepers (Le 14:4; Nu 19:6); it was an insignificant plant growing out of the wall (1Ki 4:33); it could afford a branch strong enough to support a wet sponge (Joh 19:29). It is possible that all these references are not to a single species. Among many suggested plants the most probable is either a species of marjoram, e.g., Origanum maru, or the common caper-plant (Capparis spinosa), which may be seen growing out of crevices in walls all over Palestine. See Caper-berry.

E. W. G. Masterman.

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