ROPE (חֶ֫בֶל, H2475, rope, cord; עֲבֹת, H6310, cord, rope, interwoven foliage; σχοινίον, G5389, cord; ζευκτηρίος, band, rope), rope or cord (there is no distinction in Heb. or Gr.). A cord of various thicknesses made by plaiting or twisting fibers, hair and strips of hide.
Evidence from a cave-painting in eastern Spain as early as the Late Paleolithic (c. 12000 b.c.) shows what appears to be rope being used to climb down the face of a cliff. In Egypt rope has been found made of reed (c. 4000 b.c.), fiber, flax, grass, papyrus and camel hair. Thicknesses as much as 2 1/2 inches in diameter have been found in sites of ancient Egypt. Ropes were of utmost importance in ancient empires because man himself provided the chief source of motive power for building operations. Some ancient inscrs. (e.g. Rekmire—15th cent. b.c.) show the rope-making process in Egypt.