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What is Gourd?
     Jon 4:6. Probably the plant which shaded the prophet was either the castor-oil plant (Ricinus communis), which in the East grows rapidly to the height of even 15 feet, or, according to rapidly-prevailing opinion, it was a vine of the cucumber family (Cucurbita pepo), similar to our gourd, and still used for shade in Palestine. " In the gardens about Sidon many an arbor Castor-Oil Plant. (Ricinus communis) of gourds may be seen. But the plant withers as rapidly as it shoots, and after a storm or any injury to the stem its fruit may be seen hanging to the leafless tendrils which so lately concealed it-a type of melancholy desolation."-Tristram. Some have regarded the expression, "It came up in a night and perished in a night," as literal, others as indicating merely rapid growth. The declaration that the Lord prepared a gourd, and prepared a worm, and prepared an east wind, indicates the direct and special interposition of his providence to teach the prophet a lesson of submission to the divine will. Gourd, Wild. The wild gourds eaten by the sons of the prophets, 2 Kgs 4:38-41, were doubtless the handsome yet poisonous fruit of the colocynth (Citrullus colocynthis), from which the medicine of that name is obtained. This vine is not common in Palestine, yet may be found about Gilgal, and bears a fruit resembling an orange in size and shape, but very hard and having its yellow rind marbled with green and Colocynthus, or Wild Gourd. (Citrullus colocynthis. After Tristram.) white. The plant resembles the watermelon, and belongs to the same family. For various reasons it is thought that the "knops" used in the ornamental work of Solomon's temple were imitations of the colocynth. 1 Kgs 6:18.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'gourd' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

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