HEDGE. Loose stone walls without mortar, or cut thorn branches or thorny bushes, common as “hedges” and “fences” in Palestine. The word can be translated “fence,” “wall,” or “hedge.” The use of a hedge about a vine or tree was mainly for its protection (Ps.80.12). Figuratively, prophets should make up a hedge for the people’s protection (Ezek.13.5), and God is pictured as doing so for his people (Mark.12.1). The very poor live in highways and hedges (Luke.14.23).

HEDGE. 1. מְסוּכָה, H5004, a thorn hedge (Mic 7:4); מְשֻׂכָה, H5379, a thorn hedge (Isa 5:5).

2. גָּדֵר, H1555, a stone wall or fence (1 Chron 4:23 ASV; Ps 89:40).

3. Φραγμός, a fence of any kind, a partition (Matt 21:33; Mark 12:1; Luke 14:23; Eph 2:14).

Hedges were made to protect vineyards from thieves (Ps 80:12, 13; Isa 5:5; Matt 21:33; Mark 12:1). They were constructed of loose stones without mortar, or of cut thorny branches or bushes. “To hedge about” was used fig. to refer to God’s protecting care (Job 1:10) or His constraint (3:23).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


(1) mecukhah, "a thorn hedge," only in Mic 7:4.; mesukkah, "a hedge" (Isa 5:5); mesukhath chadheq, "a hedge of thorns" (Pr 15:19).

(2) gadher, and geherah, translated "hedges" in the Revised Version (British and American) only in Ps 89:40, elsewhere "fence." GEDERAH (which see) in the Revised Version margin is translated "hedges" (1Ch 4:23).

(3) na`atsuts, "thorn-hedges" (Isa 7:19).

(4) phragmos, translated "hedge" (Mt 21:33; Mr 12:1; Lu 14:23); "partition" in Eph 2:14, which is its literal meaning. In the Septuagint it is the usual equivalent of the above Hebrew words.

Loose stone walls without mortar are the usual "fences" around fields in Palestine, and this is what gadher and gedherah signify in most passages. Hedges made of cut thorn branches or thorny bushes are very common in the plains and particularly in the Jordan valley.