the rendering in the Auth. Vers. of the following words:
1. SAL, סִל (Sept. usually κόφινος or σπυρίς, as in the N.T.), the most general term, so called from the twigs of which it was originally made; specially used, as the Greek κανοῦν (Hom. Od. 3, 442) and the Latin canistrum (Virg. En. 1:701), for holding bread (Ge 40:16 sq.; Ex 29:3,23; Le 8:2,26,31; Nu 6:15,17,19). The form of the Egyptian breadbasket is delineated in Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt. 3, 226, after the specimens represented in the tomb of Rameses III. These were made of gold (comp. Hom. Od. 10:355), and we must assume that the term sal passed from its strict etymological meaning to any vessel applied to the purpose. In Jg 6:19, meat is served up in a sal, which could hardly have been of wicker-work. The expression "white baskets," הֹרַי סלֵּי (Ge 40:16), is sometimes referred to the material of which the baskets were made (Symmachus, κανᾶ βαϊνά), or the white color of the peeled sticks, or lastly to their being "full of holes" (A. V. margin), i.e. open-work baskets. The name Sallai (Ne 11:8; Ne 12:20) seems to indicate that the manufacture of baskets was a recognised trade among the Hebrews.
⇒Bible concordance for BASKET.
2. SALSILLOTH'. סִלסַלּוֹת), a word of kindred origin, applied to the basket used in gathering grapes (Jer 6:9).
3. TE'NE, טֶנֶא, in which the first-fruits of the harvest were presented (De 26:2,4). From its being coupled with the kneading-bowl (A. V. "store;" De 28:5,17), we may infer that it was also used for household purposes, perhaps to bring the corn to the mill. The equivalent term in the Sept. for this and the preceding Hebrew words is κάρταλλος, which specifically means a basket that tapers downward (κόφινος ὀξὺς τὰ κάτω, Suid.), similar to the Roman corbis. This shape of basket appears to have been familiar to the Egyptians (Wilkinson, 2:401).
4. KELUB', כּלוּב so called from its similarity to a bird-cage or trap (κάρταλλος is used in the latter sense in Ecclesiasticus 11:30), probably in regard to its having a lid. From the etymology, this appears to have been an interwoven basket, made of leaves or rushes. In Jer 5:27, however, it is used for a bird-cage, which must have been of open work, and probably not unlike our own wicker bird-cages. The name is applied to fruit-baskets (Am 8:1-2, where the Sept. gives ἄγγος; Symm. more correctly κάλαθος,Vulg. uncinus), Egyptian examples of which are presented in figs. 2 and 4 (which contain pomegranates) of the annexed cut.
5. DUD, דּוּד, or duday', דּוּדִי, used like the Greek κάλαθος (so the Sept.) for carrying figs (Jer 24:1-2), as well as on a larger scale for carrying clay to the brick-yard (Ps 81:6; Sept. κόφινος, Auth. Vers. pots), or for holding bulky articles (2Ki 10:7; Sept. κάρταλλος); the shape of this basket and the mode of carrying it usual among the brickmakers in Egypt is delineated in Wilkinson, 2:99, and aptly illustrates Ps 81:6. See BRICK. In fact, very heavy burdens were thus carried in Egypt, as corn in very large baskets from the field to the threshing-floor, and from the threshing-floor to the granaries. They were carried between two men by a pole resting on the shoulders. SEE AGRICULTURE. In 1Sa 2:14: 2Ch 35:10; Job 41:20, however, the same word evidently means pots for boiling, and is translated accordingly.
⇒See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
In most places where the word basket occurs, we are doubtless to understand one made of rushes, similar both in form and material to those used by carpenters for carrying their tools. This is still the common kind of basket throughout Western Asia; and, its use in ancient Egypt is shown by an actual specimen which was found in a tomb at Thebes, and which is now in the British Museum. It was, in fact, a carpenter's basket, and contained his tools (fig. 1 above). Some of the Egyptian baskets are worked ornamentally with colors (figs. 3, 5, above; also the modern examples, figs. 2, 7, below). And besides these the monuments exhibit a large variety of hand-baskets of different shapes, and so extensively employed as to show the numerous applications of basket-work in the remote times to which these representations extend. They are mostly manufactured, the stronger and larger sorts of the fibres, and the finer of the leaves of the palm-tree, and not infrequently of rushes, but more seldom of reeds. — Kitto, s.v. Smith, s.v.
In the N.T. baskets are described under the three following terms, κόφινος, σπυρίς, and σαργάνη. The last occurs only in 2Co 11:33, in describing Paul's escape from Damascus: the word properly refers to any thing twisted like a rope (AEsch. Suppl. 791), or any article woven of rope (πλέγμα τι ἐκ σχοινίου Suid.); fish-baskets specially were so made (ἀπὸ σχοινίου πλεγμάτιον εἰς ὑποδοχὴν ἰχθύων, Etym. Mag.). It was evidently one of the larger and stronger description (Hackett's Illustra. of Script. p. 69). With regard to the two former words, it may be remarked that κόφινος is exclusively used in the description of the miracle of feeding the five thousand (Mt 14:20; Mt 16:9; Mr 6:43; Lu 9:17; Joh 6:13), and σπυρίς in that of the four thousand (Mt 15:37; Mr 8:8), the distinction is most definitely brought out in Mr 8:19-20. The σπυρίς is also mentioned as the means of Paul's escape (Ac 9:25). The difference between these two kinds of baskets is not very apparent. Their construction appears to have been the same; for κόφινος is explained by Suidas as a "woven vessel" (ἀγγεῖον πλεκτόν), while σπυρίς is generally connected with sowing (σπεῖρα). The σπυρίς (Vulg. sporta) seems to have been most appropriately used of the provision-basket, the Roman sportula. Hesychius explains it as the "grain-basket" (τὸ τῶν πυρῶν ἄγγος, compare also the expression δεῖπνον ἀπὸ σπυρίδος, Athen. 8:17). The κόφινος seems to have been generally larger (Etym. Mag. βαθὺ καὶ κοῖλον χώρημα); since, as used by the Romans (Colum. 11:3, p. 460), it contained manure enough to make a portable hot-bed (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v. Cophinus); in Rome itself it was constantly carried about by the Jews (quorum cophinus fanumque supellex, Juv. Sat. 3, 14; 6:542). Greswell (Diss. 8, pt. 4) surmises that the use of the cophinus was to sleep in, but there is little to support this. Baskets probably formed a necessary article of furniture to the Jews, who, when travelling either among the Gentiles or the Samaritans, were accustomed to carry their provisions with them in baskets, in order to avoid defilement.