Job 8:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water?

King James Bible
Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?

Darby Bible Translation
Doth the papyrus shoot up without mire? doth the reed-grass grow without water?

World English Bible
"Can the papyrus grow up without mire? Can the rushes grow without water?

Young's Literal Translation
'Doth a rush wise without mire? A reed increase without water?

Job 8:11 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Can the rush grow - The word גמא gome, which we translate rush, is, without doubt, the Egyptian flag papyrus, on which the ancients wrote, and from which our paper derives its name. The Septuagint, who made their Greek translation in Egypt, (if this book made a part of it), and knew well the import of each word in both languages, render גמא gome by παπυρος papyrus, thus: Μη θαλλει παπυρος ανευ ὑδατος; Can the Papyrus flourish without water? Their translation leaves no doubt concerning the meaning of the original. They were probably writing on the very substance in question, while making their translation. The technical language of no science is so thoroughly barbarous as that of botany: the description of this plant by Linnaeus, shall be a proof. The plant he calls "Cyperus Papyrus; Class Triandria; Order Monogynia; Culm three-sided, naked; umbel longer than the involucres; involucels three-leaved, setaceous, longer; spikelets in threes - Egypt, etc. Involucre eight-leaved; general umbel copious, the rays sheathing at the base; partial on very short peduncles; spikelets alternate, sessile; culm leafy at the base; leaves hollow, ensiform." Hear our plain countryman John Gerarde, who describes the same plant: "Papyrus Nilotica, Paper Reed, hath many large flaggie leaves, somewhat triangular and smooth, not much unlike those of cats-taile, rising immediately from a tuft of roots, compact of many strings; amongst the which it shooteth up two or three naked stalkes, square, and rising some six or seven cubits high above the water; at the top whereof there stands a tuft or bundle off chaffie threds, set in comely order, resembling a tuft of floures, but barren and void of seed;" Gerarde's Herbal, p. 40. Which of the two descriptions is easiest to be understood by common sense, either with or without a knowledge of the Latin language? This plant grows in the muddy banks of the Nile, as it requires an abundance of water for its nourishment.

Can the flag grow without water? - Parkhurst supposes that the word אחו achu, which we render flag, is the same with that species of reed which Mr. Hasselquist found growing near the river Nile. He describes it (p. 97) as "having scarcely any branches, but numerous leaves, which are narrow, smooth, channelled on the upper surface; and the plant about eleven feet high. The Egyptians make ropes of the leaves. They lay the plant in water, like hemp, and then make good and strong cables of them." As אח ach signifies to join, connect, associate, hence אחי achi, a brother, אחו achu may come from the same root, and have its name from its usefulness in making ropes, cables, etc., which are composed of associated threads, and serve to tie, bind together, etc.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the rush.

Exodus 2:3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch...

Isaiah 19:5-7 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up...

Two Kinds of Hope
'Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web.'--JOB viii. 14. 'And hope maketh not ashamed.'--ROMANS v. 5. These two texts take opposite sides. Bildad was not the wisest of Job's friends, and he gives utterance to solemn commonplaces with partial truth in them. In the rough it is true that the hope of the ungodly perishes, and the limits of the truth are concealed by the splendour of the imagery and the perfection of artistic form in which the well-worn platitude is draped.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Hebrew Sages and their Proverbs
[Sidenote: Role of the sages in Israel's life] In the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel (Jer. xviii. 18; Ezek. vii. 26) three distinct classes of religious teachers were recognized by the people: the prophets, the priests, and the wise men or sages. From their lips and pens have come practically all the writings of the Old Testament. Of these three classes the wise men or sages are far less prominent or well known. They wrote no history of Israel, they preached no public sermons, nor do they appear
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Cross References
Genesis 41:2
when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds.

Job 8:10
Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?

Job 8:12
While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass.

Isaiah 19:6
The canals will stink; the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. The reeds and rushes will wither,

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