SWEET CANE (קָנֶה, H7866, cane; or Qeneh haṭṭôb, good cane).
Isaiah 43:24 says: “You have not bought me sweet cane with money.” The native or wild cane found throughout Pal. in streams and ditches is Saccharum biflorum, and this could have been the one mentioned. Most Bible students feel, however, that the sweet-tasting cane was the true Saccharum officinarum, i.e. sugar cane. The ancient Hebrews prob. did not make sugar from this plant, but it was chewed or used in its natural form for sweetening drinks and food. Honey was, of course, the chief sweetener in the OT days.
In Joshua 16:8 and 19:28, Kanah appears as a name given to a small river, in which sugar canes grew abundantly, i.e., “Sugar Cane River.” Qāneh is a generic word used for all reed-like plants.
It has been said that the “Sweet Cane” Song of Solomon is really Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi), but this is unlikely as the word “spikenard” occurs in the same text. (See Reed.