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TOW (Heb. ne‘ōreth). The coarse and broken part of flax ready for spinning. In the OT it is used as an example of easily inflammable material (Judg.16.9 kjv; niv “string”; Isa.1.31 kjv; niv “tinder”).

TOW (נְעֹ֫רֶת, H5861). The short and coarse fibers of flax before spinning. Its fragility when touched by fire is indicated (Judg 16:9); and the ease with which it may be consumed by fire (Isa 1:31). In the KJV, the Heb. word פִּשְׁתָּה, H7325, is tr. tow; the ERV renders it flax; whereas the ASV and RSV render it wick.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(ne`oreth (Jud 16:9; Isa 1:31)): The coarser part of flax, with short threads, used as an example of easily inflammable material. Also Isa 43:17 the King James Version for pishtah, the usual word for "flax" (so the English Revised Version), here as used for a wick (so the American Standard Revised Version, the English Revised Version margin).

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