The Bible

Bible Usage:


  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: No
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary

1. Heb. hedek (Proverbs 15:19), rendered "brier" in Micah 7:4. Some thorny plant, of the Solanum family, suitable for hedges. This is probably 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. Heb. kotz (Genesis 3:18; Hosea 10:8), rendered akantha by the LXX. In the New Testament this word akantha is also rendered "thorns" (Matthew 7:16; 13:7; Hebrews 6:8). The word seems to denote any thorny or prickly plant (Jeremiah 12:13). It has been identified with the Ononis spinosa by some.

3. Heb. na'atzutz (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 Saviour'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.)

4. Heb. atad (Psalms 58:9) is rendered in the LXX. and Vulgate by Rhamnus, or Lycium Europoeum, a thorny shrub, which is common all over Palestine. From its resemblance to the box it is frequently called the box-thorn.

Naves Topical Index

The ground cursed with
Genesis 3:18

Used as an awl
Job 41:2

Used for fuel
Psalms 58:9; Psalms 118:12; Ecclesiastes 7:6

Hedges formed of
Hosea 2:6; Micah 7:4

Crown of, mockingly put on Jesus' head
Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2; John 19:5


Of afflictions
Numbers 33:55; 2 Corinthians 12:7

Of the adversities of the wicked
Proverbs 22:5

Of the evils that spring from the heart to choke the truth
Matthew 13:7; Matthew 13:22

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

THORN, noun

1. A tree or shrub armed with spines or sharp ligneous shoots; as the black thorn; white thorn etc. The word is sometimes applied to a bush with prickles; as a rose on a thorn

2. A sharp ligneous or woody shoot from the stem of a tree or shrub; a sharp process from the woody part of a plant; a spine. thorn differs from prickle; the latter being applied to the sharp points issuing from the bark of a plant and not attached to the wood, as in the rose and bramble. But in common usage, thorn is applied to the prickle of the rose, and in fact the two words are used promiscuously.

3. Any thing troublesome. St. Paul had a thorn in the flesh. 2 Corinthians 12:7. Numbers 33:55.

4. In Scripture, great difficulties and impediments.

I will hedge up thy way with thorns. Hosea 2.

5. Worldly cares; things which prevent the growth of good principles. Matthew 13:7.

THORN'-APPLE, noun [thorn and apple.] A plant of the genus Datura; a popular name of the Datura Stramonium, or apple of Peru.

THORN'-BACK, noun [thorn and back.] A fish of the ray kind, which has prickles on its back.

THORN'-BUSH, noun A shrub that produces thorns.

THORN'-BUT, noun A fish, a but or turbot.

THORN'-HEDGE, noun [thorn and hedge.] A hedge or fence consisting of thorn

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Thorn In the Flesh

(2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Many interpretations have been given of this passage.

1. Roman Catholic writers think that it denotes suggestions to impiety.

2. Luther, Calvin, and other Reformers interpret the expression as denoting temptation to unbelief.

3. Others suppose the expression refers to "a pain in the ear or head," epileptic fits, or, in general, to some severe physical infirmity, which was a hindrance to the apostle in his work (comp. 1 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 10:10; 11:30; Galatians 4:13, 14; 6:17). With a great amount of probability, it has been alleged that his malady was defect of sight, consequent on the dazzling light which shone around him at his conversion, acute opthalmia. This would account for the statements in Galatians 4:14; 2 Corinthians 10:10; also Acts 23:5, and for his generally making use of the help of an amanuensis (comp. Romans 16:22, etc.).

4. Another view which has been maintained is that this "thorn" consisted in an infirmity of temper, to which he occasionally gave way, and which interfered with his success (comp. Acts 15:39; 23:2-5). If we consider the fact, "which the experience of God's saints in all ages has conclusively established, of the difficulty of subduing an infirmity of temper, as well as the pain, remorse, and humiliation such an infirmity is wont to cause to those who groan under it, we may be inclined to believe that not the least probable hypothesis concerning the thorn' or stake' in the flesh is that the loving heart of the apostle bewailed as his sorest trial the misfortune that, by impatience in word, he had often wounded those for whom he would willingly have given his life" (Lias's Second Cor., Introd.).

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

THORN'LESS, adjective Destitute of thorns; as a thornless shrub or tree.

Smith's Bible Dictionary

and Thistles. There appear to be eighteen or twenty Hebrew words which point to different kinds of prickly or thorny shrubs. These words are variously rendered in the Authorized Version By "thorns," "briers," "thistles," etc. Palestine abounded in a great variety of such plants. ("Travellers call the holy land 'a land of thorns.' Giant thistles, growing to the height of a man on horseback, frequently spread over regions once rich and fruitful, as they do on the pampas of South America; and many of the most interesting historic spats and ruins are rendered almost inaccessible by thickets of fiercely-armed buckthorns. Entire fields are covered with the troublesome creeping stems of the spinous ononis , while the bare hillsides are studded with the dangerous capsules of the puliuris and tribulus . Roses of the most prickly kinds abound on the lower slopes of Hermon; while the sub-tropical valleys of Judea are choked up in many places by the thorny lycium ."

Biblical Things not generally Known.) Crown of thorns.

The crown which was put in derision upon our Lord's head before his crucifixion, is by some supposed to have been the Rhamnus , or Spina Christi ; but although abundant in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, it cannot be the plant intended, because its thorns are so strong and large that it could not have been woven into a wreath. The large-leaved acanthus (bear's-foot) is totally unsuited for the purpose. Had the acacia been intended, as some suppose, the phrase would have been ex akanthes . Obviously some small, flexile, thorny shrub is meant; perhaps Cappares spinos' . Hasselquist ("Travels," p. 260) says that the thorn used was the Arabian nabk . "It was very suitable for their purpose, as it has many sharp thorns, which inflict painful wounds; and its flexible, pliant and round branches might easily be plaited in the form of a crown." It also resembles the rich dark crown green of the triumphal ivy-wreath, which would give additional pungency to its ironical purpose.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

THORN'Y, adjective Full of thorns or spines; rough with thorns; as a thorny wood; a thorny tree; a thorny diadem or crown.

1. Troublesome; vexatious; harassing; perplexing; as thorny care; the thorny path of vice.

2. Sharp; pricking; vexatious; as thorny points.

THORN'Y REST-HARROW, noun A plant.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

THORN'Y-TREFOIL, noun A plant of the genus Fagonia.