(1.) Jonah's gourd (Jonah 4:6-10), bearing the Hebrew name _kikayon_ (found only here), was probably the kiki of the Egyptians, the croton. This is the castor-oil plant, a species of ricinus, the palma Christi, so called from the palmate division of its leaves. Others with more probability regard it as the cucurbita the el-keroa of the Arabs, a kind of pumpkin peculiar to the East. "It is grown in great abundance on the alluvial banks of the Tigris and on the plain between the river and the ruins of Nineveh." At the present day it is trained to run over structures of mud and brush to form boots to protect the gardeners from the heat of the noon-day sun. It grows with extraordinary rapidity, and when cut or injured withers away also with great rapidity.
(2.) Wild gourds (2 Kings 4:38-40), Heb. pakkuoth, belong to the family of the cucumber-like plants, some of which are poisonous. The species here referred to is probably the colocynth (Cucumis colocynthus). The LXX. render the word by "wild pumpkin." It abounds in the desert parts of Syria, Egypt, and Arabia. There is, however, another species, called the Cucumis prophetarum, from the idea that it afforded the gourd which "the sons of the prophets" shred by mistake into their pottage.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
You've successfully created your account! For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!