Briars in the Bible

also known as: brier

This word occurs frequently, and is the translation of several different Hebrew and Greek words.

  1. “The best of them is like a briar”

    Micah 7:4 — This refers to a species of thorn shrub used for protective hedges.

    Hebrew: חֵדֶק —transliteration: chedeq or chedek —meaning: stinging, a briar

    In Proverbs 15:19 the word is rendered “hedge of thorns.”

  2. “a prickling brier”

    Ezekiel 28:24 — a prickle such as found on the shoots of some palm trees

    “thistles and thorns are with you” —Ezekiel 2:6

    Hebrew: סִלּוֹן —transliteration: sillon' or sallon' —meaning: prickle —occurrences: 2

  3. “Instead of the thorn bush”

    Isaiah 7:19 and Isaiah 55:13

    This probably simply refers to a thorny bush, but some, following the Vulgate Version, regard it as the “nettle.”

    Hebrew: נַעֲצוּץ —transliteration: naatsuts —meaning: a thorn bush —occurrences: 2

  4. Briars

    Isaiah 5:6; 7:23-25, etc.

    Hebrew: שָׁמִיר —transliteration: shamir —meaning: a thorn or thorny shrubs in general —occurrences: 11

    In Isaiah 10:17; 27:4, it is a metaphor for troublesome men.

  5. Thistles

    Matthew 7:16 and Hebrews 6:8 NASB (and “briars” in Heb. 6:8 KJV

    Greek: τρίβολος —transliteration: tribolos —meaning: a thistle; literally: three-pronged —occurrences: 2

    This denotes the land caltrop, a low throny shrub resembling in its spikes the military “crow-foot.”

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Article Version: September 29, 2021