thorns in the Bible

Various Hebrew words are translated as “thorns.”

  1. chedeq or chedek

    Hebrew: חֵדֶק —transliteration: chedeq or chedek

    “thorns” —Proverbs 15:19

    “brier” —Micah 7:4

    This refers to some thorny plant, of the Solanum family, suitable for hedges.

    Some believer this is the so-called “apple of Sodom,” which grows very abundantly in the Jordan valley. “It is a shrubby plant, from 3 to 5 feet high, with very branching stems, thickly clad with spines, like those of the English brier, with leaves very large and woolly on the under side, and thorny on the midriff.”

  2. qots or kotz

    Hebrew: קוֹץ —transliteration: qots or kotz —meaning: a thorn, thornbush —occurrences: 12

    “thorns” —Genesis 3:18 and Hosea 10:8

    The word seems to denote any thorny or prickly plant (Jeremiah 12:13).

    Some identify it as the Ononis spinosa.

    This word is translated in Greek as akantha by the Septuagint.

  3. akantha

    Greek: ἄκανθα —transliteration: akantha —occurrences: 14

    In the New Testament this word akantha is also rendered “thorns” (Matthew 7:16; 13:7; Hebrews 6:8).

  4. naatsuts or na'atzutz

    Hebrew: נַעֲצוּץ —transliteration: naatsuts or na'atzutz —meaning: a thorn bush —occurrences: 2

    “thorn bushes” —Isaiah 7:19; 55:13

    This word has been interpreted as denoting the Zizyphus spina Christi, or the jujube-tree.

    It is supposed by some that the crown of thorns placed in wanton cruelty by the Roman soldiers on our Savior’s brow before his crucifixion was plaited of branches of this tree.

    It overruns a great part of the Jordan valley. It is sometimes called the lotus-tree.

    “The thorns are long and sharp and recurved, and often create a festering wound.” It often grows to a great size. (See Crown of Thorns)

  5. atad

    Hebrew: אָטָד —transliteration: atad —meaning: a bramble, buckthorn or similar —occurrences: 6

    “bramble” —Judges 9:14-15; Judges 9:15

    “thorns” —Psalm 58:9

    Some say this is the Lycium Europoeum, a thorny shrub, which is common all over Israel.

    Due to its resemblance to the box, it is frequently called the box-thorn.

    A place in the Bible is named Atad due to its thorns.

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Article Version: September 29, 2021