From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Hedge —This word belongs to the vocabulary of the parables of Jesus. It occurs in that of the Vineyard ( Matthew 21:33,  Mark 12:1), and in that of the Great Supper ( Luke 14:23).

1 . Literal application .—The hedge is a detail in the outfit of a vineyard, one of many other properties ( Matthew 21:33 ||) in such a possession. It is a feature in the landscape of Palestine in the other case (‘highways and hedges,’  Luke 14:23). There is a connexion between the uses and the associations of the word. The contour of the land is controlled by the tillage of the soil. Vines need hedges. The word (φραγμός) used for a hedge in the Gospels ‘denotes a fence of any kind, whether hedge, or wall, or palings’ (Hastings, D B [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] ii. 340a). Another word might rather have called up a stone wall. φραγμός includes all the different kinds of hedges to be found in a country so furrowed with hills and valleys as is Palestine.

2 . The parabolical use of the ‘hedge’ is rooted in the education of Israel. God made sea and desert a hedge of Palestine. Cf. Ellerton’s hymn—

‘Praise to our God, whose hounteous hand

Prepared of old our glorious land,

A garden fenced with silver sea.’ …

He hedged the people. He gave them individuals, institutions, the whole national economy, as hedges to protect their life and to restrain it. Enemies raided the land and broke down the hedges (Psalms 79, 80). Patriots and prophets saw and sang their gaps, and did their best to repair the historic institutional hedges. The tragedy of Jesus and the hedges was that He wanted them rooted up, while the chief priests hated the idea of their removal ( Matthew 21:45). Through the tragedy gleams the philanthropic import of the hedge ( Luke 14:23). The eye of love sees humanity submerged. ‘Them also he would bring.’ He would make hedge-row people happy. He had seen their misery as He stole to silent midnight prayer, up the hillsides with their mosaic of fields, along whose hedges and through the gaps of which He passed to pray to the Father in secret. It is humanity’s ragged regiment whom He would see housed by the compulsion of ‘the love ( Luke 14:23) that will not let them go.’

Literature.—Geikie, Life of Christ , i. ch. 17; Thomson, Land and Book , ch. 14; Philochristus , chs. 1–3 for ‘Hedge of the Law.’

John R. Legge.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [2]

 Job 1:10 (b) This figure represents GOD's protection and care for Job, His servant.

 Psalm 80:12 (b) This is an illustration of the way GOD took care of Israel, and hindered her enemies from overcoming her. He removed His protection later on because of her disobedience and wickedness.

 Proverbs 15:19 (a) The word describes the hateful and hurtful ways of some people who thus injure and harm others. The wicked words, ways and works of the ungodly are as thorns and briers in the lives of those they intend to injure.

 Ecclesiastes 10:8 (b) By this figure we understand that if one breaks down the fence of the neighbor or in any way trespasses on his neighbor's rights, he will be made to suffer for it.

 Isaiah 5:5 (b) This is a picture of the protective measures taken by GOD to preserve Israel from their enemies when they came to dwell in the promised land. The hedge is the fence that is mentioned in verse2. When Israel became disobedient and rebelled against GOD's law, He removed every hindrance and His protecting arm, and gave them over to their enemies. (See also  Psalm 80:12;  Psalm 89:40;  Matthew 21:33;  Mark 12:1).

 Job 3:23 (a) This represents those hindrances which GOD puts around a man to close him in and prevent progress. (See  Lamentations 3:7).

 Jeremiah 49:3 (c) We may learn from this that the enemies of GOD will seek hiding places from GOD and from His anger poured out. They find, however, that these places of refuge prove to be places of thorns, briers and hardship. (See  Nahum 3:17).

 Ezekiel 13:5 (a) By this figure we understand that the prophets were not protecting GOD's people as they should by proper teaching, leading and example.

 Ezekiel 22:30 (a) This unusual passage teaches us that while GOD gives divine interference in order to protect and guard His people, He also needs godly men who will stand with Him and on His side to prevent the entrance of evil doctrines, evil programs, and evil teachings among the people of GOD.

 Hosea 2:6 (a) This type reveals that GOD will surround the people with troubles, sorrows, griefs and pains so that they can hardly escape and must be punished.

 Luke 14:23 (b) This type represents the difficult places in our cities and villages where it is hard to find people for the Lord, and one is quite apt to have his feelings hurt, and sometimes his body as well, he seeks to reach hearts for Christ in the ungodly districts of the city.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

Geder and Mesukah . It was customary to surround vineyards with a wall of loose stones or mud, often crowned with thorns to keep off wild beasts; so Israel fenced by God ( Psalms 80:12;  Matthew 21:33). The haunt of serpents ( Ecclesiastes 10:8; "whoso breaketh an hedge a serpent shall bite him," i.e., maliciously pulling down his neighbour's hedge wall he brings on himself his own punishment;  Deuteronomy 19:14;  Amos 5:19), and of locusts in cold weather ( Nahum 3:17), "which camp in the hedges in the cold day (the cold taking away their power of flight), but when the sun ariseth ... fleeaway;" so the Assyrian hosts shall suddenly disappear, not leaving a trace behind.

Maundrell describes the walls round the gardens of Damascus, they are built of great pieces of earth hardened in the sun, placed on one another in two rows, making a cheap, expeditious, and in that dry country a durable wall. Isaiah ( Isaiah 5:5) distinguishes the "hedge" ( Mesukah ) and the "wall" ( Geder ); the prickly tangled "hedge" being an additional fence ( Micah 7:4).  Proverbs 15:19, "the way of the slothful is as an hedge of thorns"; it seems to lain as if a hedge of thorns were in his way ( Proverbs 20:4;  Proverbs 22:13;  Proverbs 26:13), whereas all is clear to the willing. The narrow path between the hedges of vineyards is distinct from the "highways" ( Luke 14:23;  Numbers 22:24).

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): ( v. t.) To surround so as to prevent escape.

(2): ( v. t.) To surround for defense; to guard; to protect; to hem (in).

(3): ( v. t.) To obstruct, as a road, with a barrier; to hinder from progress or success; - sometimes with up and out.

(4): ( v. t.) To inclose or separate with a hedge; to fence with a thickly set line or thicket of shrubs or small trees; as, to hedge a field or garden.

(5): ( n.) A thicket of bushes, usually thorn bushes; especially, such a thicket planted as a fence between any two portions of land; and also any sort of shrubbery, as evergreens, planted in a line or as a fence; particularly, such a thicket planted round a field to fence it, or in rows to separate the parts of a garden.

(6): ( v. i.) To use reservations and qualifications in one's speech so as to avoid committing one's self to anything definite.

(7): ( v. i.) To reduce the risk of a wager by making a bet against the side or chance one has bet on.

(8): ( v. i.) To shelter one's self from danger, risk, duty, responsibility, etc., as if by hiding in or behind a hedge; to skulk; to slink; to shirk obligations.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [5]

1: Φραγμός (Strong'S #5418 — Noun Masculine — phragmos — frag-mos' )

denotes any sort of fence, hedge, palings or wall (akin to phrasso, "to fence in, stop"). It is used (a) in its literal sense, in  Matthew 21:33 , lit. "(he put) a hedge (around);"  Mark 12:1;  Luke 14:23; (b) metaphorically, of the "partition" which separated Gentile from Jew, which was broken down by Christ through the efficacy of His expiatory sacrifice,  Ephesians 2:14 .

King James Dictionary [6]

HEDGE, n. hej. Eng. haw Properly, a thicket of thorn-bushes or other shrubs or small trees but appropriately, such a thicket planted round a field to fence it, or in rows, to separate the parts of a garden.

Hedge, prefixed to another word, or in composition, denotes something mean, as a hedge-priest, a hedge-press, a hedge-vicar, that is, born in or belonging to the hedges or woods, low, outlandish. Not used in American.

HEDGE, hej. To inclose with a hedge to fence with a thicket of shrubs or small trees to separate by a hedge as, to hedge a field or garden.

1. To obstruct with a hedge, or to obstruct in any manner.

I will hedge up thy way with thorns.  Hosea 2

2. To surround for defense to fortify.

England hedged in with the main.

3. To inclose for preventing escape.

That is a law to hedge in the cuckow.

Dryden, Swift and Shakespeare have written hedge, for edge, to edge in, but improperly.

HEDGE, hej. To hide, as in a hedge to hide to skulk.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

HEDGE . (1) mesûkah , a thorn hedge (  Isaiah 5:5 ). (2) gâdçr or gedçrah probably a stone wall (  Psalms 89:40 etc.). (3) phragmos (Gr.),   Matthew 21:33 ,   Mark 12:1 ,   Luke 14:23 a ‘partition’ of any kind.

E. W. G. Masterman.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [8]

Hedge. The Hebrew words, thus rendered, denote simply That Which Surrounds Or Encloses , whether it be a stone wall, geder ,  Proverbs 24:31;  Ezekiel 42:10, or a fence of other materials. The stone walls which surround the sheepfolds of modern Palestine are frequently crowned with sharp thorns.

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

 Psalm 80:12-13 Isaiah 5:5 Job 1:10 Job 3:23 Lamentations 3:7 Hosea 2:6

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

the rendering in the A.V. (besides derivatives from סוּךְ or סָכִךְ ,. rendered as a Verb), 1, of three words from the same root ( גָּדִר ), which, as well as their Greek equivalent ( Φραγμός ), denotes simply that which surrounds or encloses, whether it be a stone wall ( גֵּדֵר Ge'Der,  Proverbs 24:31;  Ezekiel 42:10) or a fence of other materials. גָּדֵר , Gader', and גְּדֵרָה , gederah', are used of the hedge of a vineyard ( Numbers 22:24;  Psalms 89:40;  1 Chronicles 4:23); and the latter is employed to describe the wide walls of stone, or fences of thorn, which served as a shelter for sheep in winter and summer ( Numbers 32:16). The stone walls which surround the sheepfolds of modern Palestine are frequently crowned with sharp thorns (Thomson, Land And Book, 1, 299), a custom at least as ancient as the time of Homer (Od. 14, 10), when a kind of prickly pear ( Ἄχερδος ) was used for that purpose, as well as for the fences of cornfields at a later period (Arist. Eccl. 355). In order to protect the vineyards from the ravages of wild beasts ( Psalms 80:12), it was customary to surround them with a wall of loose stones or mud ( Matthew 21:33;  Mark 12:1), which was a favorite haunt of serpents ( Ecclesiastes 10:8), and a retreat for locusts from the cold ( Nahum 3:17). Such walls are described by Maundrell as surrounding the gardens of Damascus. "They are built of great pieces of earth, made in the fashion of brick and hardened in the sun. In their dimensions they are each two yards long and somewhat more than one broad, and half a yard thick. Two rows of these, placed one upon another, make a cheap, expeditious, and, in this dry country, a durable wall" (Early Travels in Pal. p. 487). A wall or fence of this kind is clearly distinguished in  Isaiah 5:5 from the tangled hedge, 2, מְשׂוּכָה , Mzesukah' 1( מְסוּכָח ,  Micah 7:4), which was planted as an additional safeguard to the vineyard (comp.  Sirach 28:24), and was composed of the thorny shrubs with which Palestine abounds. The prickly pear, a species of cactus, so frequently employed for this purpose in the East at present, is believed to be of comparatively modern introduction. The aptness of the comparison of a tangled hedge of thorn to the difficulties which a slothful man conjures up as an excuse for his inactivity will at once be recognized ( Proverbs 15:19; comp.  Hosea 2:6). The narrow paths between the hedges of the vineyards and gardens,  : with a fence on this side and a fence on that side" ( Numbers 22:24), are distinguished from the ~" highways," or more frequented tracks, in  Luke 14:23 (Hackett, Illustra. Of Scripture, p. 166; Trench, On The Parables, p. 193). Smith, s.v.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

hej  :

(1) מסוּכה , meṣūkhāh , "a thorn hedge," only in   Micah 7:4 .; משׂכּה , mesukkāh , "a hedge" ( Isaiah 5:5 ); משׂכת חדק , mesukhath ḥādheḳ , "a hedge of thorns" ( Proverbs 15:19 ).

(2) גדר , gādhēr , and גּדרה , gedhērāh , translated "hedges" in the Revised Version (British and American) only in   Psalm 89:40 , elsewhere "fence." Gederah (which see) in the Revised Version margin is translated "hedges" ( 1 Chronicles 4:23 ).

(3) נעצוּץ , na‛ăcūc , "thorn-hedges" (  Isaiah 7:19 ).

(4) φραγμός , phragmós , translated "hedge" (  Matthew 21:33;  Mark 12:1;  Luke 14:23 ); "partition" in  Ephesians 2:14 , which is its literal meaning. In the Septuagint it is the usual equivalent of the above Hebrew words.

Loose stone walls without mortar are the usual "fences" around fields in Palestine, and this is what gādher and gedhērāh signify in most passages. Hedges made of cut thorn branches or thorny bushes are very common in the plains and particularly in the Jordan valley.