Nettles

NETTLES (חָרוּל, H3017, thorny shrub; קִמּוֹשׂ, H7853, thistles).

Found five times, twice as קִמּוֹשׂ, H7853, and three times as חָרוּל, H3017.

In Job 30:7 it says: “Under the nettles they huddle together,” so the word חָרוּל, H3017, as “nettle” is not really appropriate, but nettles in Hosea 9:6, i.e. “nettles shall possess” them, is much more sensible—the word here is קִמּוֹשׂ, H7853.

The nettles of Job 30:7 are prob. Acanthus syriacus—prickly, tall-growing perennials, which grow as weeds in Eastern countries. The species might have been A. spinosus, but it is A. syriacus which is commonly seen in Pal. These plants do grow tall enough to give some protection and shade to animals.

In the case of “possessed by nettles” (Zeph 2:9), the tr. could easily be just “weeds” so as to give the desolation sense to the text.

The nettles and brambles that come up in the fortresses (Isa 34:13), and the “Nettles shall possess” of Hosea 9:6, are prob. the plants called nettles today—either the small nettle, Urtica urens; the great nettle, Urica dioica; or the Rom. nettle, Urtica piluliflera. All these nettles are common weeds of gardens and fields. They are seen today, growing in and around ruins. Therefore, they fit into the picture of Isaiah 34 and Hosea 9.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

net’-’lz: (1) charul, (Job 30:7; Pr 24:31; Ze 2:9 margin, in all, "wild vetches"); the translation "nettles" is due to the supposed derivations of charul from an (obsolete) charal, meaning "to be sharp" or "stinging," but a translation "thorns" (as in Vulgate) would in that case do as well. Septuagint has phrugana agria, "wild brushwood," in Job, and certainly the association with the "saltwort" and the retm, "broom," in the passage would best be met by the supposition that it means the low thorny bushes plentiful in association with these plants. "Vetch" is suggested by the Aramaic, but is very uncertain. (2) qimmosh (Isa 34:13; Ho 9:6), and plural qimmeshonim (Pr 24:31), translated (English Versions of the Bible) "thorns," because of the translation of charul as "nettles" in the same verse From Isa 34:13 qimmosh is apparently distinct from thorns, and the translation "nettle" is very probable, as such neglected or deserted places as described in the three references readily become overgrown with nettles in Palestine The common and characteristic Palestine nettle is the Urtica pilulifera, so called from the globular heads of its flowers.