is the translation of קַשֻּׁא, kishshu' (so called probably from its difficulty of digestion; Sept. σίκυος), in our Auth. Vers., and the correctness of this rendering has been almost universally admitted. It occurs in Nu 11:5, where the Israelites, when in the desert, express their longings for the melons and the cucumbers of Egypt. The Hebrews is so similar to the Arabic kissa that there can be very little doubt of their both meaning the same thing. Celsus (Hierobot . 2:247) gives keta, kati, and kusaia as different pronunciations of the same word in different Oriental languages. It does not follow that these names always indicate exactly the same species, since in the different countries they would probably be applied to the kinds of cucumber most common, or perhaps to those which were most esteemed in particular localities. Thus, in Egypt (see Prosp. Alpin, Plantt. AEg. c. 38, p. 54), the name kati appears to be applied to the species which is called Cucumis chate by botanists, and "queen of cucumbers" by Hasselquist, who describes it as the most highly esteemed of all those cultivated in Egypt (Trav. p. 258). See MELON. In India the name kissa is applied by the Mohammedans to the Cucumus utilissimus, or the common kukree of the natives, while in Persia and Syria the same name would probably be applied only to the common cucumber, or Cucumis sativus, as the two preceding species are not likely to be much known in either country. The Talmudists (Maaser. 1:4; Terumoth, 2:6; 6:6; Baba Mez. 7:5) have קַשּׁוֹת, and the Phoenicians had the word Κουσίμεζαρ (Diosc. 4:152), which is probably. Xrp מצר קשא, "cucumber of Egypt"=σίκυς ἄγριος. The same name for cucumber exists in all cognate languages. (For an account of the cucumbers of Syria and Egypt; see Forskal, Flora AEgypt. p. 169; Celsii Hierobot. 2, 249.) SEE BOTANY.

All travelers in the East notice the extensive cultivation and consumption of cucumbers and other vegetables of the same tribe, especially where there is any moisture of soil, or the possibility of irrigation (see Burckhardt, Arabic Proverbs, No. 660). Thus, even in the driest parts, the neighborhood of a well is often occupied by a field of cucurbitaceous plants, generally with a man or boy set to guard it from plunder, perched up on a temporary scaffolding, with a slight protection from the sun, where he may himself be safe from the attacks of the more powerful wild animals. That such plants appear to have been similarly cultivated among the Hebrews is evident from Isa 1:8, "The daughter of Zion is left like a cottage in a vineyard, like a lodge in a garden of cucumbers" (מַקשָׁה, mikshah', Sept. σικυήρατον), as well as from Baruch 6:70, "as a scarecrow in a garden of cucumbers (σικυήρατον) keepeth nothing, so are their gods of wood." SEE GARDEN; SEE COTTAGE.

Bible concordance for CUCUMBER.

Definition of cucumber

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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