The reed of Egypt and Palestine is the Arundo donax, which grows to the height of 12 feet, its stalk jointed like the bamboo, "with a magnificent panicle of blossom at the top, and so slender and yielding that it will lie perfectly flat under a gust of wind, and immediately resume its upright position." It is used to illustrate weakness ( 2 Kings 18:21 ; Ezekiel 29:6 ), also fickleness or instability ( Matthew 11:7 ; Compare Ephesians 4:14 ).
A "bruised reed" ( Isaiah 42:3 ; Matthew 12:20 ) is an emblem of a believer weak in grace. A reed was put into our Lord's hands in derision ( Matthew 27:29 ); and "they took the reed and smote him on the head" (30). The "reed" on which they put the sponge filled with vinegar ( Matthew 27:48 ) was, according to ( John 19:29 ), a hyssop stalk, which must have been of some length, or perhaps a bunch of hyssop twigs fastened to a rod with the sponge. (See CANE .)
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Reed". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".