Pimpinella spinosa Gaertn.; Poterium spinosum L.; Sanguisorba spinosa (L.) Bertol.; HH2 Notes (Thorny Burnet):
Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.
Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns; and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths.
Therefore here I am hedging your way about with thorns; and I will heap up a stone wall against her, so that her own roadways she cannot find.
There are multitudes of thorny plants in the desert, and Zohary has accepted this as the best candidate for the thorn in the path of the harlot in Hosea 2:6, noting that it is one of the most common dwarf shrubs, the dominant species in what the Flora of Palestine calls the batha communities. The batha(h) is a name for a vegetation type dominated by this and others such as Gymnocarpus decander, Noea mucronata, and Traganum nudatum. It is widely used there for fuels, for cooking and lime kilns, and for broom manufacturing and hedging, including (dare I say) "harlot hedging" (FP2). Local peasants customarily hedge their gardens and courtyards with spiny dwarf shrubs like this one. Zohary says the thorny burnet best fits the Hebrew sir (plural sirim). Abundant in Jerusalem, it might have been used to fashion the crown of thorns plaited by the Romans as recounted in Matthew, Mark, and John. In modern Hebrew, it is still called bathah meaning "waste" (garigue), a name adopted according to Zohary from Isaiah 5:6: "I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up."
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