that is, KNOB (Anglo-Saxon cnoep), a word employed in the A.V. to translate two terms, of the real meaning of which all that we can say with certainty is that they refer to some architectural or ornamental object, and that they have nothing in common.
1. Kaphtor' (כִּפתּוֹר or כִּפתֹּר) occurs in the description of the candlestick of the sacred tent (Ex 25:31-36; Ex 37:17-22, the two passages being identical). The knops are here distinguished from the shaft, branches, bowls, and flowers of the candlestick; but the knop and the flower go together, and seem intended to imitate the produce of an almond-tree. In another part of the work they appear to form a boss, from which the branches are to spring out from the main stem. In Am 9:1 the same word is rendered, with doubtful accuracy, "lintel." The same rendering is used in Zep 2:14, where the reference is to some part of the palace of Nineveh, to be exposed when the wooden upper story -the" cedar work"-was destroyed. The Hebrew word seems to contain the sense of "covering" and " crowning" (Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 709). Josephus's description (Ant. 3:6,7) names both balls (σφαιρία) and pomegranates (ῥοϊvσκοι), either of which may be the kaphtor. The Targum agrees with the latter, the Sept. (σφαιπωτῆρες) with the former. SEE LINTEL. All these circumstances point to a signification corresponding essentially to that of crown; and in the case of the sacred candelabrum, the term seems to point to a sharp ornamental swell placed (like a horizontal button) immediately beneath the cups that surmounted each arm and section of the shaft. SEE TABERNACLE.
2. The second term, pekaim' (פּקָעַים), is found only in 1Ki 6:18; 1Ki 7:24. It refers in the former to carvings executed in the cedar wainscot of the interior of the Temple, and, as in the preceding word, is associated with flowers. In the latter case it denotes an ornament cast round the great reservoir or " sea" of Solomon's Temple below the brim: there was a double row of them, ten to a cubit, or about two inches from centre to centre. The word no doubt signifies some globular thing resembling a small gourd (being only the masc. of the fem. term so rendered in 2Ki 4:39) or an egg, though as to the character of the ornament we are quite in the dark. The following wood-cut of a portion of a richly ornamented door-step or slab from Kouvunjik probably represents something approximating to the " knop and the flower" of Solomon's Temple. But as the building from which this is taken was the work of a king at least as late as the son of Esar-haddon, contemporary with the latter part of the reign of Manasseh, it is only natural to suppose that the character of the ornament would have undergone considerable modification from what it was in the time of Solomon. — Smith.
Mr. Paine suggests (Temple of Solomon, p. 41) that the difference in gender (above noted) of the terms for the gourds (or cucumbers, as he renders) is accounted for by the circumstance that these ornaments were artificial (hence in the masc.), while the real fruit is fem. He thinks that on the laver they were arranged in vineform, ten in each of the two rows, like a netting (ib. p. 50). SEE SEA, BRAZEN.