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Exodus 2:3

    Exodus 2:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch; and she put the child therein, and laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And when she was no longer able to keep him secret, she made him a basket out of the stems of water-plants, pasting sticky earth over it to keep the water out; and placing the baby in it she put it among the plants by the edge of the Nile.

    Webster's Revision

    And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch; and she put the child therein, and laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

    World English Bible

    When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch; and she put the child therein, and laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

    Definitions for Exodus 2:3

    Ark - Box; chest.
    Flags - A plant growing in moist places.
    Pitch - A thick, dark, sticky substance.

    Clarke's Commentary on Exodus 2:3

    An ark of bulrushes - תבת גמא tebath gome, a small boat or basket made of the Egyptian reed called papyrus, so famous in all antiquity. This plant grows on the banks of the Nile, and in marshy grounds; the stalk rises to the height of six or seven cubits above the water, is triangular, and terminates in a crown of small filaments resembling hair, which the ancients used to compare to a thyrsus. This reed was of the greatest use to the inhabitants of Egypt, the pith contained in the stalk serving them for food, and the woody part to build vessels with; which vessels frequently appear on engraved stones and other monuments of Egyptian antiquity. For this purpose they made it up like rushes into bundles, and by tying them together gave their vessels the necessary figure and solidity. "The vessels of bulrushes or papyrus," says Dr. Shaw, "were no other than large fabrics of the same kind with that of Moses, Exodus 2:3, which from the late introduction of planks and stronger materials are now laid aside." Thus Pliny, lib. vi., cap. 16, takes notice of the naves papyraceas armamentaque Nili, "ships made of papyrus and the equipments of the Nile:" and lib. xiii., cap. 11, he observes, Exodus ipsa quidem papyro navigia texunt: "Of the papyrus itself they construct sailing vessels." Herodotus and Diodorus have recorded the same fact; and among the poets, Lucan, lib. iv., ver. 136: Conseritur bibula Memphitis cymba papyro, "The Memphian or Egyptian boat is constructed from the soaking papyrus." The epithet bibula is particularly remarkable, as corresponding with great exactness to the nature of the plant, and to its Hebrew name גמא gome, which signifies to soak, to drink up. See Parkhurst sub voce.

    She laid it in the flags - Not willing to trust it in the stream for fear of a disaster; and probably choosing the place to which the Egyptian princess was accustomed to come for the purpose specified in the note on the following verse.

    Barnes' Notes on Exodus 2:3

    The ark was made of the papyrus which was commonly used by the Egyptians for light and swift boats. The species is no longer found in the Nile below Nubia. It is a strong rush, like the bamboo, about the thickness of a finger, three cornered, and attains the height of 10 to 15 feet. It is represented with great accuracy on the most ancient monuments of Egypt.

    Slime and pitch - The "slime" is probably the mud, of which bricks were usually made in Egypt, and which in this case was used to bind the stalks of the papyrus into a compact mass, and perhaps also to make the surface smooth for the infant. The pitch or bitumen, commonly used in Egypt, made the small vessel water-tight.

    In the flags - This is another species of the papyrus, called tuff, or sufi (an exact equivalent of the Hebrew סוּף sûph), which was less in size and height than the rush of which the ark was made.