Cotton

COTTON (כַּרְפַּס, H4158, cotton). In Esther 1:6 KJV, the court is said to have “white, green and blue hangings,” but the word karpas, tr. “green,” is incorrect; the word is cotton. The text reads “white cotton and blue hangings.” The RSV reads “white cotton curtains and blue hangings.”

Cotton was grown in Judea in 490 and 480 b.c. and some Egyp. child mummies were wrapped in cotton bandages.

The Hebrews learned about cotton growing while they were in captivity in Persia under King Ahasuerus (598-536 b.c.).

The plant grown in Pal. and in India and the Levant is Gossypium herbaceum which grows as a shrub 6 ft. high. The fruit, called a “boll,” when quite ripe, splits and produces masses of white fluff. The cotton is said to be yellower than that grown in the USA.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(karpac is the better translation, as in the Revised Version, margin, where the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) have "green" in Es 1:6): The Hebrew karpac is from the Persian kirpas and the Sanskrit karpasa, "the cotton plant." The derived words originally meant "muslin" or "calico," but in classical times the use of words allied to karpac--in Greek and Latin--was extended to include linen. The probability is in favor of "cotton" in Es 1:6. This is the product of Gossypium herbaceum, a plant originally from India but now cultivated in many other lands.