(maqqel, maTTeh, shebheT; rhabdos):

Little distinction can be drawn between the Hebrew words used for "rod" and "staff." Maqqel is the word used in Genesis 30:37 for the twigs of poplar put by Jacob before his sheep, and in Jeremiah 1:11 of the "rod of an almond-tree." MaTTeh is used of a rod in the hand, as the "rods" of Moses and of Aaron (Exodus 4:2; 7:9, etc.). ShebheT is used, but sometimes also maTTeh, of the rod used for correction (Exodus 21:20; 2 Samuel 7:14; Proverbs 10:13; 13:24; Isaiah 10:5, etc.). In Psalms 23:4 ("Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me"), however, shebheT is the shepherd's rod, figurative of divine guidance and care. In Ezekiel 21:10,13, the word stands for the royal scepter. In the New Testament "rod" is used of a rod of correction (1 Corinthians 4:21), Aaron's rod (Hebrews 9:4), a ruler's rod "of iron" (severity, as in Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15), a measuring rod (Revelation 11:1).

See also ARMOR; ARMS.

James Orr

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'ROD'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.