Grass


The prophets and psalmists describe man’s days as grass, i.e. Psalm 103:15, “as for man, his days are as grass,” and Isaiah 40:6, “all flesh is grass.” In the NT also, the apostles take up the same theme. 1 Peter 1:24 states: “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,” and James 1:11 states: “For the sun...withers the grass.”

Grass also is used Biblically to describe plants as a whole. Our Lord says: “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you” (Matt 6:30). He was speaking primarily of flowering plants (see Lily), but there is a general reference to green plants.

It is wondered whether the Sorghum grass, Sorghum vulgare, was used by the hundreds of thousands of Israelites on the first morning of the Passover. It would have been difficult to obtain so much Hyssop (q.v.), but Sorghum grass was abundant, and was used in those days to make brushes.

The millet (Ezek 4:9) is an annual grass, bearing hundreds of small seeds.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

gras:



(3) chashash, probably "dry" or "cut grass"; compare Arabic chashesh, "dry fodder" or "cut grass" (Isa 5:24, the King James Version "chaff," the Revised Version (British and American) "dry grass"; Isa 33:11, English Versions of the Bible "chaff").

(4) leqesh, from root meaning "to come late," hence used in Am 7:1 for the "latter growth" of grass after mowing.

(5) yereq, literally, "green thing" (Nu 22:4, elsewhere translated "herb").

(6) `esebh (De 11:15, etc.), generally translated "herb" (for (5) and (6) see Herb).


There are 243 species of true grasses (Natural Order, Gramineae) in Palestine, but Hebrew, like modern Arabic, does not discriminate between these and other herbs which together make up herbage. Actual turf is practically unknown in Palestine, and grass seed is not artificially sown; young green barley is used in the neighborhood of towns as fresh fodder for horses and cattle. It is not the native custom to cut herbage for hay, though the writer has seen many carloads of sweet-smelling hay being carried from the land by Circassian settlers, East of the Jordan.

The "grass upon the house tops" (Ps 129:6; Isa 37:27), the growth which springs from the seeds mingled with the mud of which the roof is made, springs up quickly with the rains, but as quickly dries up before it reaches half its normal height--or not infrequently is set on fire.

Dew, rain or showers upon the grass are mentioned (De 32:6; Pr 19:12; Mic 5:7; Ps 72:6, "rain upon the mown grass," i.e. the grass eaten short by cattle).