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The Blue Letter Bible

Dictionaries :: Paper

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


The expression in the Authorized Version (Isa 19:7), "the paper reeds by the brooks," is in the Revised Version more correctly "the meadows by the Nile." The words undoubtedly refer to a grassy place on the banks of the Nile fit for pasturage.

In 2Jo 1:12 the word is used in its proper sense. The material so referred to was manufactured from the papyrus, and hence its name. The papyrus (Heb. gome) was a kind of bulrush (q.v.). It is mentioned by Job (Job 8:11) and Isaiah (Isa 35:7). It was used for many purposes. This plant (Papyrus Nilotica) is now unknown in Egypt; no trace of it can be found. The unaccountable disappearance of this plant from Egypt was foretold by Isaiah (Isa 19:6,7) as a part of the divine judgment on that land. The most extensive papyrus growths now known are in the marshes at the northern end of the lake of Merom.

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia







Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g5489 Greek: chartes


"a sheet of paper made of strips of papyrus" (whence Eng., "paper"), Eng., "chart," "charter," etc.; the word is used in 2Jo 1:12. The papyrus reed grew in ancient times in great profusion in the Nile and was used as a material for writing. From Egypt its use spread to other countries and it was the universal material for writing in general in Greece and Italy during the most flourishing periods of their literature.

The pith of the stem of the plant was cut into thin strips, placed side by side to form a sheath. Another layer was laid upon this at right angles to it. The two layers were united by moisture and pressure and frequently with the addition of glue. The sheets, after being dried and polished, were ready for use. Normally, the writing is on that side of the papyrus on which the fibers lie horizontally, parallel to the length of the roll, but where the material was scarce the writer used the other side also (cp. Rev 5:1). Papyrus continued to be used until the seventh cent., A.D., when the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs led to the disuse of the material for literary purposes and the use of vellum till the 12th century.

Smith's Bible Dictionary



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