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Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian art shows rope being used as riggings of a ship, bowstrings, binding on prisoners, whips, etc.

חוּט, H2562, is a cord dyed scarlet (Josh 2:18) and is relatively small Song of Solomon, as well as a heavy threefold (Eccl 4:12 RSV) cord.

אַגְמוֹן, H109, a “bulrush,” once indicates rope with which to lead an animal (Job 41:2).


J. B. Pritchard, ANEP (1954), figs. 1, 7, 10, 298, 332; R. J. Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology, IV (1956), 2-80.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(chebhet, yether, methar, `abhoth; schoinion):

(2) Yether corresponds to the Arabic wittar, which means catgut. With a kindred inconsistency it is translated the Revised Version (British and American) by "withes" (Jud 16:7 the Revised Version, margin "bowstring"); by "cord" (Job 30:11), where some think it may mean "bowstring," or possibly "rein" of a bridle, and by "bowstring" (Ps 11:2), doubtless the true meaning.

(3) Methar is considered the equivalent of Arabic atnab, which means tent ropes, being constantly so used by the Bedouin. They make the thing so called of goat’s or camel’s hair. It is used of the "cords" of the tabernacle (Jer 10:20), of the "cords" of the "hangings" and "pillars" of the courts of the tabernacle in Exodus and Numbers, and figuratively by Isa 54:2, "Lengthen thy cords," etc.

(5) In the New Testament "cord" is found in Joh 2:15, translating schoinion, but in Ac 27:32 the same Greek word is rendered "ropes."


(1) of affliction (Job 36:8);

(2) of God’s laws (Ps 2:3);

(3) of the artifices of the wicked (Ps 129:4; 140:5);

(4) of sinful habits (Pr 5:22);

(5) of true friendship or companionship (Ec 4:12);

(6) possibly of the spinal cord (Ec 12:6);

(7) of falsehood (Isa 5:18);

(8) of the spirit of enterprise and devotion (Isa 54:2);

(9) of God’s gentleness.

George B. Eager