This is almost certainly the famous papyrus, Cyperus papyrus (Natural Order, Cyperaceae), known in Arabic as babir (whence comes our word "paper"). This plant, the finest of the sedges, flourishes plentifully in Upper Egypt; in Palestine there is a great mass of it growing in the marsh to the North of Lake Huleh, and it also occurs on the Lake of Galilee and the Jordan. Light boats of plaited papyrus have been used on the Nile from ancient times and are mentioned by many writers (compare Exodus 2:3; Isaiah 18:2).
(2) ('aghmon, "rope," margin "Hebrew `a rope of rushes,' " the King James Version "hook" (Job 41:2):
"(burning) rushes," the King James Version "caldron" (Job 41:20); "rush," the King James Version "bulrush" (Isaiah 58:5); "rush" in Isaiah 9:14; 19:15, used of the humble and lowly folk as contrasted with the "palm branch," the highest class): The word 'aghmon comes from 'agham, meaning a marsh (see POOL), being transferred from the place of the things growing there. The word doubtless includes not only the rushes--of which there are several kinds in Palestine--but also members of the sedge family, the Cyperaceae.
See also REED.
E. W. G. Masterman
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