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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Meadow This word disappears from RV [Note: Revised Version.] in the only two places where it is found in AV [Note: Authorized Version.] (  Genesis 41:2;   Genesis 41:18 ,   Judges 20:33 ). In the former passages the Heb. reads âchû , an Egyptian word which probably means ‘ reed grass ’ (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), and may possibly cover the natural pasture lands of old Egypt. It occurs again in   Job 8:11 (EV [Note: English Version.] ‘rush,’ RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘papyrus’). In   Judges 20:33 , where RV [Note: Revised Version.] simply transliterates ‘ Maareh-geba ,’ it is practically certain that we should read ma’arab , and translate ‘from the west of Gibeah’; see Gibeah, No. 2. In RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘meadows’ stands for ‘ârôth (  Isaiah 19:7 , AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘ paper reeds ’), where it is possible that ‘ârôth may be a misreading for âchôth .

W. Ewing.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

 Genesis 41:2. Αchu ; an Egyptian word, Akh Akh , "verdant," translated therefore rather "in the reed grass." So  Job 8:11 "rush," the paper reed or papyrus of the Nile; "can the achu grow without water?" The fat kine fed on the reed grass which in the plenteous years grew to the very margin of the water, but the lean stood on the dry "brink" ( Genesis 41:2-3). "Out of the meadows of Gibeah" ( Judges 20:38): Ma'Areeh ; rather, "from the naked (from 'Arah 'to strip of trees) plains of Gibeah." Not that the treeless plain was the hiding place of the ambush, but when the men broke from the ambush they came "from the treeless plain toward the town." The Peshito Syriac, reads the vowel points slightly different, Me'Arah , "the cave."

King James Dictionary [3]

MEADOW, n. med'o. A tract of low land. In America, the word is applied particularly to the low ground on the banks of rivers, consisting of a rich mold or an alluvial soil, whether grass land, pasture, tillage or wood land as the meadows on the banks of the Connecticut. The word with us does not necessarily imply wet land. This species of land is called, in the western states, bottoms, or bottom land. The word is also used for other low or flat lands, particularly lands appropriated to the culture of grass.

The word is said to be applied in Great Britain to land somewhat watery, but covered with grass.

Meadow means pasture or grass land, annually mown for hay but more particularly, land too moist for cattle to graze on in winter, without spoiling the sward.

Mead is used chiefly in poetry.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]


1. In  Genesis 41:2;  Genesis 41:18, meadow appears to be an Egyptian term meaning some kind of Flag or Waterplant, as its use in  Job 8:11, (Authorized Version, "Flag" ), seems to show.

2. In  Judges 20:33, the sense of the Hebrew word translated Meadow is doubly uncertain. The most plausible interpretation is that of the Peshito-Syriac, which by a slight difference in the vowel-points makes the word mearah , "The Cave".

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • Heb. ma'areh ( Judges 20:33 ), pl., "meadows of Gibeah" (RSV, after the LXX., "Maareh-geba"). Some have adopted the rendering "after Gibeah had been left open." The Vulgate translates the word "from the west."

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Meadow'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Holman Bible Dictionary [6]

     Genesis 41:2 41:18 Judges 20:33 Psalm 65:13 Isaiah 30:23 Isaiah 44:4 Jeremiah 25:37 Hosea 4:16 Hosea 9:13 Zephaniah 2:6

    Webster's Dictionary [7]

    (1): ( a.) Of or pertaining to a meadow; of the nature of a meadow; produced, growing, or living in, a meadow.

    (2): ( n.) A tract of low or level land producing grass which is mown for hay; any field on which grass is grown for hay.

    (3): ( n.) Low land covered with coarse grass or rank herbage near rives and in marshy places by the sea; as, the salt meadows near Newark Bay.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

    a term used in the A. V. as the translation of two Hebrews words, neither of which seems to have this meaning, although terms otherwise rendered doubtless have. (See Abel).

    1.  Genesis 41:2;  Genesis 41:18. Here the word in the original is הָאָחוּ (with the definite article), Ha-Achu . It appears to be an Egyptian term, literally transferred into the Hebrew text, as it is also into that of the Alexandrian translators, who give it as' Τῷ ῎Αχει . (This is the reading- of Codex A. Codex B, if we may accept the edition of Mai, has Ἕλος ; so also the rendering of Aquila and Symmachus, and of Josephus [[[Ant]] . 2:5, 5]. Another version, quoted in the fragments of the Hexapla, attempts to reconcile sound and sense by Ὄχθη . The Veneto-Greek has Λειμών .) The same form is retained. by the Coptic version. Its use in  Job 8:11(A.V. "flag")-where it occurs as a parallel to Gome (A.V. "rush"), a word used in  Exodus 2:3 for the "bulrushes" of which Moses's ark was composed- seems to show that it is not a " meadow," but some kind of reed or water plant. This the Sept. supports, both by rendering in. the latter passage Βούτομον , and also by introducing ῎Αχι as the equivalent of the word rendered "paper reeds" in  Isaiah 19:7. Jerome, in his commentary on the passage, also confirms this meaning. He states that he was informed by learned Egyptians that the word achi denoted in their tongue any green thing that grew in a marsh-omne quod in palude virens nascitur. But, as during high inundations of the Nile-such inundation's as are the cause of fruitful years-the whole of the land on either side is a marsh, and as the cultivation extends up to the very lip of the river, is it not possible that Achu may denote the herbage of the growing crops? The fact that the cows of Pharaoh's vision were feeding there would seem to be as strong a figure as could be presented to an Egyptian of the extreme fruitfulness of the season: so luxuriant was the growth on either side of the stream, that the very cows fed among it unmolested. The lean kine on the other hand, merely stand on the dry brink. (See Nile), No one appears yet to -have attempted to discover on the spot what the Signification of the term is. (See Reed) .

    2.  Judges 20:33 only: "the meadows of Gibeah." Here the word is מִעֲרֶה , Maareh ', which occurs nowhere else with the same vowels attached to it. The sense is thus doubly uncertain. "Meadows" around Gibeah can certainly never have existed: the nearest approach to that sense would be to take maareh as meaning an open plain. This is the dictum of Gesenius (Thesaur. p. 1069), on the authority of the Targum. It is also adopted by De Wette (" Die Plane von G."). But, if an open plain, where could the ambush have concealed itself? (See Plain).

    The Sept., according to the Alex. MS. (the Vatican Codex transfers the word literally- Μαρααγαβέ ), read a different Hebrew word מִעֲרָב "from the west of Gibeah." Tremellius, taking the root of the word in a figurative sense, reads " after Gibeah had been left open," i.e. by the quitting of its inhabitants-post denudationem Gibhoe. This is adopted by Bertheau (Kurzgef. Handb. ad loc.). But the most plausible interpretation is that of the Peshito-Syriac, which by a slight difference in the vowel- points makes the word מְעָרָת , " the cave;" a suggestion quite in keeping with the locality, which is very suitable for caves, and also with the requirements of the ambush. The only thing that can be said against this is that the liers-in-wait were "set round about" Gibeah, as if not in one spot, but several. (See Gibeah).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [9]

    med´ō  : (1) ערות , ‛ārōth , "the meadows (the King James Version "paper reeds") by the Nile" (  Isaiah 19:7 ); מערה־גּבע , ma‛ărēh - gābha‛ , the King James Version "meadows of Gibeah," the Revised Version (British and American) "Maareh-geba," the Revised Version margin "the meadow of Geba, or Gibeah" ( Judges 20:33 ); from ערה , ‛ārāh , "to be naked"; compare Arabic ariya , "to be naked," ‛ara'â' , "a bare tract of land." ‛Ārōth and ma‛ărēh signify tracts bare of trees. (2) אחוּ , 'āḥū , in Pharaoh's dream of the kine, the King James Version "meadow," the Revised Version (British and American) "reed grass" ( Genesis 41:2 ,  Genesis 41:18 ). 'Āḥū is found also in  Job 8:11 , the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "flag," the Revised Version margin "reed-grass." According to Gesenius, 'āḥū is an Egyptian word denoting the vegetation of marshy ground. (3) כּרמים אבל , 'ābhēl kerāmı̄m , "Abel-cheramim," the Revised Version margin "The meadow of vineyards," the King James Version "the plain (the King James Version margin, "Abel") of the vineyards" ( Judges 11:33 ); "Abel-beth-maacah" ( 1 Kings 15:20;  2 Kings 15:29; compare  2 Samuel 20:14 ,  2 Samuel 20:15 ,  2 Samuel 20:18 ); "Abel-shittim" ( Numbers 33:49; compare  Numbers 25:1;  Joshua 2:1;  Joshua 3:1;  Judges 7:22;  Joel 3:18;  Micah 6:5 ); "Abel-meholah" ( Judges 7:22;  1 Kings 4:12;  1 Kings 19:16 ); "Abel-maim" ( 2 Chronicles 16:4 ); "Abel-mizraim" ( Genesis 50:11 ); "stone," the King James Version "Abel," the Revised Version margin "Abel," that is "a meadow" ( 1 Samuel 6:18 ); compare Arabic 'abal , "green grass," and 'abalat , "unhealthy marshy ground," from wabal , "to rain."