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Wild Gourds

WILD GOURDS (גֶּ֣פֶן שָׂדֶ֔ה, wild; פַּקֻּעֹת, H7226, gourd). The word sādeh means “level place” or “open land.” Thus “wild” means a plant growing in level, open land. It is used rather in the same way we now refer to “wild flowers.”

The vine and the gourds it bore were Citrullus colocynthus, though one expert claims that it could be “the Apple of Sodom” or “Vine of Sodom” (q.v.), this being Cototropis procera.

The plant could be the squirting cucumber, Ecballium elatrium, which would have been found in the region referred to in 2 Kings 4:39, but the reader must ask himself: Would the student prophet have gathered such a prickly, spiny, squirty fruit for a stew?