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NAVE: Cucumber
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Cucumber [NAVE]

Num. 11:5; Isa. 1:8.


CUCUMBER - ku'-kum-ber (qishshu'im; sikuos): One of the articles of food for which Israel in the wilderness looked back with longing to Egypt (Nu 11:5). Cucumbers are great favorites with all the people of Palestine. Two varieties occur, Cucumis sativus (Arabic, Khyar), originally a product of Northwest India, which is smooth-skinned, whitish and of delicate flavor, and requires much water in its cultivation, and Cucumis chate (Arabic, faqqus), which is long and slender but less juicy than the former. Probably the Biblical reference is to this latter as it is a plant much grown in Egypt where it is said to attain unusual excellence.

A "garden of cucumbers" or more literally a "place of cucumbers" (miqshdh), is mentioned in Isa 1:8; Baruch 6:70. "A lodge in a garden of cucumbers" (Isa 1:8) is the rough wooden booth erected by the owner from which he keeps guard over his ripening vegetables. It is commonly raised upon poles and, when abandoned for the season, it falls into decay and presents a dreary spectacle of tottering poles and dead leaves.

E. W. G. Masterman

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