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Scroll

SCROLL. The scroll, or roll, was the usual form of a book in Bible times. It had been used in Egypt from very early times, the early ones being made of papyrus, the paperlike tissue taken from the reeds growing along the Nile. As the successive columns (Jer.36.23 leaves kjv, mof) of Jeremiah’s scroll were read, the king cut them off and burned them. Since the burning of skins in an open fire pot would have produced an intolerably bad smell, the roll of a book, mentioned three times in the OT (kjv megillath-sephēr, Jer.36.2, Jer.36.4; Ezek.2.9; scroll for [of] a book niv; megillath[“roll, scroll”] appears by itself another eighteen times, twelve in Jer.36.1-Jer.36.32 alone), was probably made of papyrus. The papyrus was imported from Egypt. Several sheets, glued together to the desired length, were rolled on rods so that the beginning of the scroll was on the right and the end on the left (the Hebrews wrote from right to left).