Linen has been made in the A. Version or elsewhere the representative of a considerable number of Hebrew and Greek terms, to most of which it more or less nearly corresponds. The material designated by them in general is no doubt principally, and perhaps by some of them exclusively, the product of the flax-plant; but there is another plant which, as being a probable rival to it, may be most conveniently considered here, namely, HEMP SEE HEMP . SEE SILK; SEE WOOL.
Hemp is a plant which in the present day is extensively distributed, being cultivated in Europe, and extending through Persia to the southernmost parts of India. In the plains of that country it is cultivated on account of its intoxicating product, so well known as bang; in the Himalayas both on this account and for its yielding the ligneous fiber which is used for sack and rope making. Its European names are no doubt derived from the Arabic kinnab, which is supposed to be connected with the Sanscrit shanapee. There is no doubt therefore, that it might easily have been cultivated in Egypt. Herodotus mentions it as being employed by the Thracians for making garments. "These were so like linen that none but a very experienced person could tell whether they were of hemp or flax; one who had never seen hemp would certainly suppose them to be linen." Hemp is used in the present day for smockfrocks and tunics; and Russia sheeting and Russia duck are well known. Cannabis is mentioned in the works of Hippocrates on account of its medical properties. Dioscorides describes it as being employed for making ropes, and it was a good deal cultivated by the Greeks for this purpose. Though we are unable at present to prove that it was cultivated in Egypt at an early period, and used for making garments, yet there is nothing improbable in its having been so. Indeed, as it was known to various Asiatic nations, it could hardly have been unknown to the Egyptians, and the similarity of the word husheesh to the Arabic shesh would lead to a belief that they were acquainted with it, especially as in a language like the Hebrew it is more probable that different names were applied to totally different things, than that the same thing had two or three different names. Hemp might thus have been used at an early period, along with flax and wool, for making cloth for garments and for hangings, and would be much valued until cotton and the finer kinds of linen came to be known.
1. PISHTEH´ (פַּשׁתֶּה, or, rather, according to Gesenius, פֶּשֶׁת, pe'sheth, from פָּשִׁשׁ, to card) is rendered "linen" in Le 13:47-48,52,59; De 22:11; Jer 13:1; Eze 44:17-18; and "flax" in Jos 2:6; Jg 15:14; Pr 31:13; Isa 19:9; Eze 40:3; Ho 2:5,9. It signifies
(1.) flax. i.e., the material of linen, Isa 19:9; De 22:11; Pr 31:13, where its manufacture is spoken of; also a line or rope made of it, Eze 40:3; Jg 14:4; so "stalks of flax," i.e., woody flax, Jos 2:6 (where the Sept. has λινοκαλάμη, Vulg. stipulae lini. but the Arabic Vers. stalks of cotton); and
(2.) wrought flax. i.e., linen cloth, as made into garments. e.g. generally, Le 13:47-48,52,59; De 22:11; Eze 44:17; a girdle, Jer 13:1. a mitre a pair of drawers worn by the priests, Eze 44:18. A cognate term is פַּשׁתָּה, pistah', the plant "flax" as growing, Ex 9:31; spec. a wick, made of linen, i.e., of "flax," Isa 42:3, or "tow," Isa 43:17. To this exactly corresponds the Greek λίνον (whence English linen), which, indeed, stands for pishteh or pishtah in the Sept. (at Ex 9:31; Isa 19:9; Isa 43:3). It signifies properly the flax-plant (Xenophon, Ath. 2:11, 12), but in the N.T. is only used of linen raiment (Re 15:6; comp. Homer, Il. 9:661; Od. 13:73), also the wick of a lamp, as being composed of a strip or ravelings of linen (Mt 12:20), where the half-expiring flame is made the symbol of an almost despairing heart, which will be cheered instead of having its religious hopes extinguished by the Redeemer. In Joh 13:4-5 occurs the Latin term linteum, in its Greek form λέντιον, literally a linen cloth, hence a "towel" or apron (comp. Galen, Comp. Med. 9; Suetonius, Calig. 26).
This well-known plant was early cultivated in Egypt (Ex 9:31; Isa 19:9; comp. Pliny, 19:2; Herod. 2:105; Iasselquist, Trav. page 500), namely, in the Delta around Pelusium ("linum Pelusiacum," Sil. Ital. 3:25, 375; "linteum Pelusium," Phaedr. 2:6, 12); but also in Palestine (Jos 2:6; Ho 2:7; compare Pococke. East, 1:260), the stalk attaining a height of several feet (see Jos 2:6; compare Hartmann, Hebr. 1:116). Linen or tow was employed by the Hebrews, especially as a branch of female domestic manufacture (Pr 31:13), for garments (2Sa 6:14; Eze 44:17; Le 13:47; Re 15:6; comp. Philo, 2:225), girdles (Jer 31:1), thread and ropes (Eze 40:3; Jg 15:13), napkins (Lu 24:12; Joh 19:40), turbans (Eze 44:18), and lamp-wick (Isa 40:3; Isa 43:17; Mt 12:20). For clothing they used the "fine linen" (בִּד, ὀθόνη, 1Ch 15:27, where the Sept. has βύσσινος: see Hartmann, 3:38; compare Le 16:4,23; Eze 44:17), perhaps the Pelusiac linen of Egypt (see Mishna, Joma, 3:7), of remarkable whiteness (comp. Da 12:6; Re 15:6; see Plutarch, Isis, c. 4), with which the fine Babylon linen manufactured at Borsippa doubtless corresponded (Strabo, 16:739), being the material of the splendid robes of the Persian monarchs (Strabo, 14:719; Curt. 8:9), doubtless the karpas, כִּרפִּס, of Es 1:6 (see Gesenius, Thesaur. Heb. page 715). Very poor persons wore garments of unbleached flax (ὠμόλινον, linum crudum, i.q. tow-cloth, Ecclus. 40:4). The refuse of flax or tow is called in Heb. נַעֹרֵת, nesoreth (Jg 16:9; Isa 31). (See, generally, Celsius, Hierobot. 2:28 sq. See FLAX.
2. BUTS (בּוּוֹ, from a root signifying whiteness) occurs in 1Ch 4:21; 1Ch 15:27; 2Ch 2:14; 2Ch 3:14; 2Ch 5:12; Es 1:6; Es 8:15; Eze 27:16, in all which passages the A.V. renders it "fine linen," except in 2Ch 5:12, where it translates "white linen." The word is of Aramean origin, being found in substantially the same form in all the cognate dialects. It is spoken of the finest and most precious stuffs, as worn by kings (1Ch 15:27), by priests (2Ch 5:12), and by other persons of high rank or honor (Es 1:6,8,15). It is used of the Syrian byssus (Eze 27:16), which seems there to be distinguished from the Egyptian byssus or שֵׁשׁ, shesh (verse 7). Elsewhere it seems not to differ from this last, and is often put for it in late Hebrew (e.g. 1Ch 4:21; 2Ch 3:14; comp. Ex 26:31; so the Syr. and Chald. equivalents of buts occur in the O. and N.T. for the Heb. שֵׁשׁ and Gr. βύσσος). That the Heb. garments made of this material were white may not only be certainly concluded from the etymology (which that of שֵׁשׁ confirms), but from the express language of Re 19:4, where the white and shining raiment of the saints is emblematical of their purity. Yet we should not rashly reject the testimony of Pausanias (5:5), who states that the Hebrew byssus was yellow, for cotton of this color is found as well in Guinea and India (Gossypium religiosum) as in Greece at this day (comp. Vossius, ad. Virg. Geo. 2:220), although white was doubtless the prevailing color, as of linen with us. J.E. Faber (in Harmar, Observ. 2:382 sq.) suspects that the buts was a cotton-plant common in Syria, and different from the shesh or tree-cotton. It has long been disputed whether the cloths of byssus were of linen or cotton (see Celsius, Hierobot. 2:167 sq.; Forster, De bysso antiquor. London, 1776), and recent microscopic experiments upon the mummy-cloths brought to London from Egypt have been claimed as determining the controversy by discovering that the threads of these are linen (Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt. 3:115). But this is not decisive, as there may have existed religious reasons for employing linen for this particular purpose, and the cloths used for bandaging the bodies are not clearly stated to have been of byssus. On the contrary, the characteristics ascribed to this latter are such as much better agree with the qualities of cotton (see Forster, De bysqo, ut sup.). "The corresponding Greek word βύσσος occurs in Lu 16:19, where the rich man is described as being clothed in purple and fine linen, and also in Re 18:12,16; Re 19:8,14, among the merchandise the loss of which would be mourned for by the merchants trading with the mystical Babylon. But it is by many authors still considered uncertain whether this byssus was of fax or cotton; for, as Rosenmüller says, 'The Heb. word shesh, which occurs thirty times in the two first books of the Pentateuch (see Celsius, 2:259), is in these places, as well as in Pr 31:22, by the Greek Alexandrian translators interpreted byssus, which denotes Egyptian cotton, and also the cotton cloth made from it. In the later writings of the O.T., as, for example, in the Chronicles, the book of Esther, and Ezekiel, buts is commonly used instead of shesh as an expression for cotton cloth.' This, however, seems to be inferred rather than proved, and it is just as likely that improved civilization may have introduced a substance, such as cotton, which was unknown at the times when shesh was spoken of and employed, in the same manner as we know that in Europe woolen, hempen, linen, and cotton clothes have at one period of society been more extensively worn than at another." Cotton is the product of a plant apparently cultivated in the earliest ages not only in India, Cyprus, and other well-known localities, but also in Egypt (Pliny, 19:2; comp. Descript. de l'Egypte, 17:104 sq.), and even in Syria (Eze 27:16) and Palestine (1Ch 4:21; Pausan. 5:5, 2; Pococke, East, 2:88; Arvieux, 1:306). Two kinds of cotton are usually distinguished, the plant (Gossypium herbaceum) and the tree (Gossyp. arboreum), although the latest investigations appear to make them essentially one. The former, which in Western Asia is found growing in fields (Olearius, Travels, page 297; Korte, Reis. page 437), is an annual shrub two or three feet high, but when cultivated (Olivier, Trav. 2:461) it becomes a bush from three to five feet in height. The stalks are reddish at the bottom, the branches short, furry, and speckled with black spots; the leaves are dark green, large, five-lobed, and weak. The flowers spring from the junction of the leaves with the stem; they are bell-shaped, pale yellow, but purplish beneath. They are succeeded by oval capsules of the size of a hazel-nut, which swell to the size of a walnut, and (in October) burst spontaneously. They contain a little ball of white filaments, which in warm situations attains the size of an apple. Imbedded in this are seven little egg- shaped, woolly seeds, of a brown or black-gray color, which contain an oily kernel. The Gossypium arboreunr (δένδρον ἐπιοφόριον of Theophrastus) was anciently (see Theoph. Plant. 4:9, page 144, ed. Schneider), and still is indigenous in Asia (i.e., India), and attains a height of about twelve feet, but differs very little as to the leaves, blossoms, or fruit from the herbaceous cotton. See generally Belon, in Paulus's Samml.
1:214 sq.; Kurrer, in the Hall. Encykl. 8:209 sq., Oken, Lehrb. d. Neaturgesch. II, 2:1262 sq.; Ainslie, Mater. Ind. page 282 sq.; Ritter, Erdk. 7:1058 sq.
Cotton (שֵׁשׁ, shesh, according to Rosenmüller, Alterth. IV, 1:175; comp. Tuch, Genesis page 520 sq.; later בּוּוֹ, buts, see Faber, in Harmar, 2:383; comp. Gesenius, Thesaur. page 190) was not only manufactured in Egypt into state apparel (Ge 41:42; comp. Pliny, 19:2), and in Persia into cords (Es 1:6), but the Israelites even made use of byssus cloth (Ex 26:1; Ex 27:9) and clothing (Ex 28:39), and the Hebrew women were accustomed to similar fabrics (Pr 31:31). It has also been regarded as the sumptuous apparel which only the rich were able to afford (Lu 16:19; on the byssus of the Greeks and Romans, see Celsius, 2:170,177, and Wetstein, 2:767). Nevertheless, the Hebrew shesh does not designate exclusively cotton, but also stands sometimes, like the Gr. byssus often (as the product of a tree, Philostr. Apoll. 2:20; comp. Pollux, Onom. 7:17; Strabo, 15:693; Arrian, Indic. 7), for the finest (Egyptian) white linen (certainly in Ex 39:28; comp. 28:42; Le 16:4; see Pliny, 19:2, 3), which in softness compared with cotton (Hartmann, Hebr. 3:37 sq.). Indeed, the Jewish tradition of the use of linen for sacred purposes (Bahr, Symbol. 1:264) is based altogether upon the custom of the Egyptians, whose priests were exclusively clothed in linen (Pliny, 19:1, 2; comp. Philostr. Apoll. 2:20), which it has likewise been contended was the ancient byssus (Rosellini, Mon. 104:1, 341; comp. Becker, Chariik. 333 sq.). In fine, the Orientals often employed a single term to designate both cotton and linen, but Celsius was wrong when he insisted (Hierobot. 2:259 sq., 167 sq.) that shesh stands only for (fine) linen (see Faber, in Harmar, 2:380 sq.; Hartmann, Hebr. 3:34 sq.). The same ambiguity that thus applies to βύσσος is also found in the use of חוּר(chur, Es 1:6; Es 8:15; Sept. βύσσος), by which perhaps cotton is, after all, intended. See generally J.R. Forster, De bysso antiquor. (Lond. 1776); Smith's Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v. Byssus; Egypt. Antiq. in the Lib. of Entertaining Knowl. 2:182192; Penny Cyclopaedia, s.v. Cotton, Gossypium. SEE COTTON.
3. BAD (בִּד, perhaps from its separation for sacred uses) occurs Ex 28:42; Ex 39:28; Le 6:10; Le 16:4,23,32; 1 Samuel 2:18; 32:18; 2Sa 6:14; 1Ch 15:27; Eze 9:2-3,11; Eze 10:2,6-7; Da 10:5; Da 12:6-7, in all which passages it is rendered "linen" in the Auth. Vers. It is uniformly applied to the sacred vestments (e.g. drawers, mitre, ephod, etc.) of the priests, or (in the passages in Ezekiel and Daniel) of an angel (comp. Joh 20:12; Ac 1:20). In these last instances it is in the plural, בִּדַּים, baddim', in the concrete sense of clothes of this material, Sept. in the Pent. invariably λίνεος, but in 1 Chronicles βύσσινος. It is well known that the official garments of the Egyptian (as of the Brahmin) priests were always of linen (Rosenmüller. Bot. of the Bible, page 175), and hence the custom among the Hebrews (compare Eze 44:17, where the sacred apparel is expressly described as the product of flax, פַּשׁתַּים). Celsius, however, is of opinion (Hierobot. 2:509) that bad does not signify the common linen, as some have imagined, but the finest and best Egyptian linen; and he quotes (page 510) Aben-Ezra as asserting that bad is the same as buts, namely, a species of linen in Egypt. With this view Gesenius concurs (Thesaur. Heb. page 179). The Talmudists appear to have been of the same opinion, from their fanciful etymology of the term bad as of a plant with a single stem springing upright from the earth from one seed (Braun, De vest. sacerd. page 101). This interpretation is finally confirmed by the Arabic versions, which have a term equivalent to bysstus. See No. 1 above. Perhaps, however, the requirement of the material in question for priestly garments may only signify that no wool should be employed in them, and they may therefore have consisted indifferently of either linen or cotton, provided it was entirely pure, and thus be represented by the equivocal term byssus. See No. 2 above.
4. SHESH (שֵׁשׁ, prob. from the Egyptian sheush, in ancient Egyptian cheuti. i.e., linen, Bunsen, AEg. 1:606, which the Hebrews appear to have imitated as if from שׁוּשׁ, to be white; Sept. everywhere βύσσος) occurs Ge 41:42; Ex 25:4; Ex 26:1,31,36; Ex 27:9,16,18; Ex 28:5-6,8,15,39; Ex 35:6,23,25,35; Ex 36:8,35,37; Ex 38:9,16,18,23; Ex 39:2-3,5,8,27-29; Pr 31:22; Eze 16:10,13; Eze 27:7; in all which passages it is rendered "fine linen" in the Auth. Vers. (except Pr 31:22, where it is rendered "silk;" in Es 1:6; Song 5:15, the same term occurs, but is rendered, as it there signifies, "marble"); once SHESHI (שׁשַׁי, from the same), Eze 16:13, text, "fine linen." This word appears to designate Egyptian linen of peculiar whiteness and fineness, and as such it is stated to have been imported from Egypt by way of Tyre (Eze 27:7), in distinction from the Syrian linen or buts (בּוּוֹ, verse 16). In the Pentateuch it is several times applied to byssus, of which, both as material spontaneously offered (Ex 25:4; Ex 35:6,23) and as woven fabrics (Ex 35:25,35; Ex 38:23), were made both the curtains and veils of the sacred tabernacle (Ex 26:1,31,36; Ex 27:9,16,18; Ex 36:8,35,37; Ex 38:9,16,18), and the priestly garments, especially the high- priest's ephod or shoulder-piece (Ex 28:5-6,8,15,39; Ex 29:2,5,8,27-29). Raiment of this description is stated to have been worn by noble persons besides priests, e.g. by Joseph as prefect of Egypt (Ge 41:42), and women of eminence (Pr 31:22). But that shesh is also spoken of linen articles is apparent from Ex 39:28, where the "linen breeches" (מַכנסֵי הִבָּד) are said to have been made "of fine-twined linen" (שֵׁשׁ מָשׁזָר), as well as from the fact that פַּשׁתַּים, pishtim, linen garments, are sometimes (e.g. Isa 43:17; Eze 44:18) rendered by the Chaldee interpreter by בּוּוֹ, buts. It thus appears that shesh is equivalent in general to byssus. See No. 2 above. See generally Celsius, Hierobot. 2:259; J.R. Forster, Liber singularis de bysso antiquorum (London, 1776); J.E. Faber, Observat. 2:282 sq.; Hartmann, Hebrierin, 3:34 sq.; Rosenmüller, Bibl. Alterth. IV, 1:175 sq.
5. CHÛR (חוּר, from its whiteness) occurs Es 1:6; Es 8:15, where the Auth. Version renders "white," Sept. βύσσος, besides other passages where it signifies a "hole" (Isa 11:8; Isa 42:22, etc.); once חוֹר, chor, plural poet. חוֹרִי, Isa 19:9 (Auth. Vers. "net-works." Sept. βύσσος, Vulg. subtilia, Kimchi white garments). This term likewise appears to designate fine and white linen, or in general byssus, although Saadias and other interpreters understand silk (see Schroder, De Vest. Mul. Heb. pages 40, 245). See No. 2 above.
6. ETUN' (אֵטוּן, from an obsolete root perhaps signifying to bind, referring to the use of the material for ropes) occurs only in Pr 7:16, as a product of Egypt, "I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt." As Egypt was from very early times celebrated for its cultivation of flax and manufactures of linen, there can be little doubt that etun is correctly rendered, though some have thought that it may signify rope or string of Egypt, "funis AEgyptius," "funis salignus v. intubaceus;" a sense that it bears in Chaldee, for the Targums employ אּטֵוּן in the sense of rope for the Heb. חֶבֶל and מֵיתָר (Jos 2:15; Nu 4:32; 1Ki 20:32; Es 1:6, etc.). But, following the suggestion of Alb. Schultens, Celsius (Hierobot. 2, page 89) observes that etun designates not a rope, but flax and linen, as even the Greek ὀθόνη and ὀθόνιον, derived from it, sufficiently demonstrate. "So Mr. Yates, in his Textrinzun Antiquorum, page 265, says of ὀθόνη that 'it was in all probability an Egyptian word, adopted by the Greeks to denote the commodity to which the Egyptians themselves applied it.' For אֵטוּן; put into Greek letters and with Greek terminations, becomes ὀθόνη and ὀθόνιον. Hesychius states, no doubt correctly, 'that ὀθόνη was applied by the Greeks to any fine and thin cloth, though not of linen.' Mr. Yates further adduces from ancient scholia that ὀθόναι were made both of flax and of wool, and also that the silks of India are called ὀθόναι σηρικαί by the author of the Perijplus of the Erythrcean Sea. It also appears that the name ὀθόνιον was applied to cloths exported from Cutch, Ougein, and Baroach, and which must have been made of cotton. Mr. Yates moreover observes that, though ὀθόνη, lile σινδών, originally denoted linen, yet we find them both applied to cotton cloth. As the manufacture of linen extended itself into other countries, and as the exports of India became added to those of Egypt, all varieties, either of linen or cotton cloth, wherever woven, came to be designated by the originally Egyptian names Ο᾿θόνη asnd Σινδών." Forster (De bysso antiquor. page 75) endeavors to trace the Egyptian form of the word. and Ludolf (Comment. ad hist. AEthiop. page 204) renders it by the Ethiopic term for franskincense. But these efforts, as Gesenius remarks (Thesaur. Heb. page 77), are wide of the mark. Among the Hebrews the term "thread of Egypt" (אֵטוּן מַצרִיַם) may properly have designated a linen or even cotton material, similar to silk or byssus in fineness, such as we know was manufactured in Egypt (Isa 19:9; Eze 27:7; Barhebr. page 218), q.d. Egyptian yarn, not less famous among the ancients than "Turkish yarn" has been among moderns. Kimchi, the Venetian Greek, and others understand funiculum, and apply it to cords hanging from the side of a bed, or something of that sort; rabbi Parchon, a girdle woven in Egypt — evidently mere conjectures.
"In the N.T. the word ὀθόνιον occurs in Joh 19:40: 'Then took they the body of Jesus and wound it in linen clothes' (ὀθονίοις); in the parallel passage (Mt 27:59) the term used is σινδόνι, as also in Mr 15:46, and in Lu 23:53. We meet with it again in Joh 20:5, 'and he, stooping down, saw the linen clothes lying.' It is generally used in the plural to denote 'linen bandages.' Ο᾿θόνη, its primitive, occurs in Ac 10:11, 'and (Peter) saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth.' and also in 11:5, where this passage is repeated." In Homer it signifies either the natriae (Odys. 7:107), or wrought veils and under- garments for women (11. 3:141; 18:195); in later writers linen cloths (Lucilius, Dial. Mort. 3:2), especially for sails (Mel. 80; Anth. 10:5; Luc. Jup. Tramg. 46). From the preceding observations it is evident that ὀθόνιον, whether answering to the Heb. etun or not, may signify cloth made either of linen or cotton, but most probably the former, as it was more common than cotton in Syria and Egypt. In classical writers the word signifies linen bandages (Luc. Philops. 34), espec. lint for wounds (Hipp. page 772, etc.; Ar. Ach. 1176); also sail-cloth (Polybus, 5:89, 2; Dem. 1145, 6). SEE COTTON; also Nos. 7 and 10 below.
7. SADIN' (סָדַין, from an obsolete root signifying to loosen or let down a garment, as a veil) occurs in Jg 14:12-13 (where the Auth. Vers. has "sheets," margin "shirts"), and Pr 31:24; Isa 3:23 (A. Vers. "fine linen"). From these passages it appears to have been an ample garment, probably of linen, worn under the other clothing in the manner of a shirt by men (Jg 14:12-13), or as a thin chemise by women (Isa 3:23). The Talmud describes it as made of the finest linen ("the sindon is suitable for summer," Menach. 41:1). The Targums similarly explain Ps 104:2; La 2:20. The corresponding Syriac is employed in the Peshito for σουδάριον, Lu 19:20; λέντιον, Joh 13:4. The Sept. has σινδών, Vulgate sindo; but in Isa 3:23 the Sept. appears to have a paraphrase . The passage in Proverbs seems to refer to the manufacture of the cloth or material, probably linen, but possibly sometimes of cotton; in Judges shirts or male under-apparel are evidently referred to; and in Isaiah we may infer that female under-clothing is in like manner alluded to.
From this Heb. term many have thought is derived the Greek word σινδών, which occurs of linen or muslin cloth, e.g. a loose garment worn at night instead of the day-clothes, q.d. night-gown (Mr 14:51-52, "linen cloth"); used also for wrapping around dead bodies, q.d. grave- clothes, cerements ("fine linen," Mr 15:46; "linen cloth," Mt 27:59; "linen," Mr 15:46; Lu 23:53). This appears to have been a fine fabric (probably usually, but not necessarily of linen), either the Egyptian (Pollux, 7:16, 72) or Indian; called in Egypt senter (Peyron, page 299), the Sanscrit sindhu (Jablonski, Opusc. 1:297 sq.). Others trace a connection with Ι᾿νδός, Sind (Passow, Lex. s.v.); some (as Etymol. Mag.) from the city Sidon, etc. It appears to have specially denoted a fine cotton cloth from India (Herod. 1:200; 2:95; 3:86; 7:181) ; also generally a linen cloth, used as a signal (Polyb. 2:66, 10), for surgeons' bandages (Herod. 7:181), for mummy-cloth (Herod. 2:86), or other purposes (Sophocles, Ant. 1222; Thuc. 2:49). This word is therefore not decisive as to the material. See Schroder, De Vest. Mul. page 339; Michaelis, Suppl. 1720; Wetstein, N.T. 1:631. — Gesenius, Thes. Heb. s.v.
8. KARPAS´ (כִּרפִּס, Sept. καρπάσινος,Vulg. carbassinus) "occurs in the book of Esther (1:6), in the description of the hangings 'in the court of the garden of the king's palace,' at the time of the great feast given in the city Shushan, or Susan, by Ahasuerus, who 'reigned from India even unto Ethiopia.' We are told that there were white, green, and blue hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble. Karpas is translated green in our version, on the authority, it is said, 'of the Chaldee paraphrase,' where it is interpreted leek-green. Rosenmüller and others derive the Hebrew word from the Arabic kurufs, which signifies 'garden parsley,' Apium petroselinum, as if it alluded to the green color of this plant; at the same time arguing that as 'the word karpas is placed before two other words which undoubtedly denote colors, viz. the white and the purple-blue, it probably also does the same.' But if two of the words denote colors, it would appear a good reason why the third should refer to the substance which was colored. This, there is little doubt, is what was intended. If we consider that the occurrences related took place at the Persian court at a time when it held sway as far as India, and that the account is by some supposed to have been originally written in the ancient language of Persia, we may suppose that some foreign words may have been introduced to indicate even an already well-known substance; but more especially so if the substance itself was then first made known to the Hebrews. The Hebrew karpas is very similar to the Sanscrit kaspasum, karpasa, or karpase, signifying the cotton-plant, whence the Armen. kierbas, and the Greek κυρβασία, κυρβάσις, etc. (Asiat. Researches, 4:231, Calcutta). Celsius (Hierobot. 1:159) states that the Arabs and Persians have kallphas and kirbas as names for cotton. These must no doubt be derived from the Sanscrit, while the word karpas is now applied throughout India to cotton with the seed, and may even be seen in English prices-current. Κάρπασος occurs in the Periplus of Arrian, who states (page 165) that the region about the Gulf of Barygaze, in India, was productive of carpasus, and of the fine Indian muslins made of it. The word is no doubt derived from the Sanscrit karpasa, and, though it has been translated fine muslin by Dr. Vincent, it may mean cotton cloths, or calico in general. Mr. Yates, in his recently published and valuable work, Textrinun Antiquorum, states that the earliest notice of this Oriental name in any classical author which he has met with is the line 'Catrbasina, molochina, ampelina' of Caecilius Statius, who died B.C. 169. Mr. Yates infers that as this poet translated from the Greek, so the Greeks must have made use of muslins or calicoes, etc., which were brought from India as early as 200 years B.C. See his work, as well as that of Celsius, for numerous quotations from classical authors, where carbasus occurs; proving that not only the word, but the substance which it indicated, was known to the ancients subsequent to this period. It might, indeed must, have been known long before to the Persians, as constant communication took place by caravans between the north of India and Persia, as has been clearly shown by Haeren. Cotton was known to Ctesias. who lived so long at the Persian court. Pliny describes it as a Spanish article (Nat. H. 19:1), but other ancient writers call it a product of India and the East (Strabo, 14:719; Curtius, 8:9). Nothing can be more suitable than cotton, white and blue, in the above passage of Esther, as J.F. Royle long since (1837) remarked in a note in his Essay on the Antiquity of Hindoo Medicine, page 145: 'Hanging curtains made with calico, usually in stripes of different colors and padded with cotton, called purdahs, are employed throughout India as a substitute for doors.' They may be seen used for the very purposes mentioned in the text in the court of the king of Delhi's palace, where, on a paved mosaic terrace, rows of slender pillars support a light roof, from which hang by rings immense padded and striped curtains, which may be rolled up or removed at pleasure. These either increase light or ventilation, and form, in fact, a kind of movable wall to the building, which is used as one of the halls of audience. This kind of structure was probably introduced by the Persian conquerors of India, and therefore may serve to explain the object of the colonnade in front of the palace in the ruins of Persepolis." See Abulplarag. Hist. dynast. page 433; Salmasius, Homonym. c. 81; Celsius, Hierobot. 2:157; Schroder, De. Vest. Mul. page 108 sq. SEE COTTON.
9. SHAATNEZ´ (שִׁעִטנֵז), a kind of garments woven of two sorts of thread, linen and wool, like the Greek ὕφασμα ἀμφίμιτον, Eng. linsey- woolsey, which the Hebrews were forbidden to use, as appears from the two passages in the Mosaic law where the word occurs: Le 19:19, "Neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee;" De 22:11," Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of linen and woolen together." In the former of these passages the term Shaatnez is interpreted by בֶּגֶד כַּלאִיַם, a garment of two different kinds, i.e. of heterogeneous materials; and in the latter by the explicit definition, יִחדָּין צֶמֶר וּפַשׁתַּים, of wool and flax threads together. The Sept. renders κίβδηλον, i.e., adulterated; Aquila, ἀντιδιακείμενον, i.e., various, of different sorts; the Peshito and Samaritan, variegated. Other ancient interpreters have either retained the original word, as Onkelos, or have entirely neglected it, as the Vulg., usually introducing the interpretation from Deuteronomy into Levit., as the Venetian Greek (ἐριόλινον), Saadias, the Armenian, Erpenius, and the Persic. The derivation is uncertain. The early etymologists have sought in vain a Samar. origin for the word, as Bochart (Hieroz. 1:545). The Talmud gives only fanciful derivations (Mishna, Kilain, 9:8; comp. Nidda, 61 b; Buxtorf, Lex. Talin. s.v.; Abr. Geiger. Lehrbuch d. Mischnah, 2:75); and the Targums are little better (see Pseudojon. in Deuteronomy ad loc.). Ernest Meyer proposes the signification gradually formed, from a transposition of the letters and comparison with the Arabic and Ethiopic (Lex rad. Heb. page 686). The word is prob. of Egyptian origin, although Forster (De bysso antiquorurm, page 95) and Jablonski (Opusc. 1:294 sq.) have not fully succeeded in tracing its original in the Coptic, which language, however, furnishes the nearest etvmolu (see Peyron, Lexicon, s.v. κίβδηλος). SEE WOOLLEN.
10. MIKVESH' (מַקוֵה, a collection, as often) occurs only in connection with this subject in 1Ki 10:28, "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn; the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price;" also 2Ch 1:16, where the same language occurs. In these passages it evidently signifies a company of horses, i.e., a drove or string, as brought from Egypt at a fixed valuation. The Sept. in most copies renders ἐκ θεκουέ or ἐξ Ε᾿κουέ, otherwise ἔξοδος, as in 2 Chronicles; the Vulg. has Coa in both places, as a proper name, referring. as some have thought, to Michoe (Pliny, 6:29), the country of the Troglodytes (see Calmet, Dict. s.v. Coa). Others have sought less direct elucidations (see Bochart, lsieroz. 1:171, 172; Lud. de Dieu, ad loc.; Clericus and Dathe On Kings, ad loc.; Becke, Paraphr. Chald. ad Chron., ad loc., page 7; Michaelis, Supplenm. 1271, and In Jure Mosaico. 3:332; Bottcher, Specim. page 170). But of these far-fetched explanations there is no occasion; the passages simply refer to a caravan of horse-merchants carrying on the commerce of Solomon with Egypt (see Taylor, Fragments, No. 190).