Line (represented by the following terms in the original: חֶבֶל, che'bel, a measuring-line, 2Sa 8:2; Am 7:17; hence a portion as divided out by a line, Ps 16:6; elsewhere "cord," "portion," etc. קָוּ or קִו, kav, a measuring-line, Isa 34:17; Eze 47:3; either for construction, Job 38:5; Isa 44:13; Jer 31:39; Zec 1:16, or for destruction, 2Ki 21:13; La 2:8; Isa 34:11; metaph., a rule or norm, Isa 28:17,10,13; like the Gr. κανών, 2Co 10:13,15-16; Ga 6:16; Php 3:16; also the rim, e.g. of a laver, 1Ki 7:23; 2Ch 4:2; or string of a musical instrument, put for sound, q.d. accord, Ps 19:4; where Sept. ὁ φθόγγος, and so Ro 10:18, Vulg. sonus; once, strength, Isa 18:2, where "a nation meted out" should be rendered a most mighty nation: in three of the above passages, 1Ki 7:23; Jer 31:39; Zec 1:16, the text reads קֶוֶה, ke'veh, of the same import; and in Jos 2:18,21, occurs תַּקוָה,
tikvah', a cord, from the same root. Other terms less proper are: חוּט, chut, a thread, for measuring a circumference, 1Ki 7:15; "fillets," Jer 52:21; elsewhere generally a "thread." פָּתַיל, pathil', a cord, for measuring length, Eze 40:3; elsewhere a "thread," "lace," etc., especially the string for suspending the signet-ring in the bosom, rendered "bracelets" in Ge 38:18,25. שֶׂרֶד, se'red, the awl or stylus with which an artist graves the sketch of a figure in outline, to be afterwards sculptured in full, Isa 44:13). There can be little doubt that the Hebrews acquired the art of measuring land from the ancient Egyptians, with whom it was early prevalent (Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt. 2:256). In Jos 18:9 we read, "And the men went out and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh." These circumstances clearly indicate that a survey of the whole country was made, and the results entered carefully in a book (see Kitto's Daily Bible Illust. ad loc.). This appears to be the earliest example of a topographical survey on record, and it proves that there must have been some knowledge of mensuration among the Hebrews, as is moreover evinced by the other topographical details in the book of Joshua.