Correspondence -- By: C. E. Stowe

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 012:46 (Apr 1855)
Article: Correspondence
Author: C. E. Stowe


C. E. Stowe

Dear Sir,—I wish to express to you my thanks for the perusal of a valuable Article on Jonah, which, though it appeared in the Bibliotheca Sacra a year since, reached Mosûl but a few weeks ago.

“The confidence with which you state that the plant which shielded the prophet while seated in his booth outside the city walls, was the Ricinus Communis, leads me to suppose that you deem the question finally settled.

If it is, will you be kind enough to give me the grounds of the decision? Of course, there are no longer fierce controversies over the question, as in the early history of the Christian church; yet is it universally conceded, as one would infer from your Article, that the Egyptianκίκι is necessarily the קִיקָיוֹן of Jonah 4:6-10.

“I am aware that Jerome, and some of the Hebrew commentators, regard the Palma Christi as the representative of the plant of Jonah. But is the authority of the Fathers and the Talmudical writers to be regarded as unquestionable on every point of fact connected with the Old Testament?

“Hoping to receive from you a brief digest of the proofs of your position, I will, at present, simply give you a statement of the views of the modern Ninevites on this subject.

“The Mohammedans, Christians and Jews — all agree in referring the plant to the ker’a, a kind of pumpkin peculiar to the East. The

leaves are large, and the rapidity of the growth of the plant is astonishing. Its fruit is, for the most part, eaten in a fresh state, and is somewhat like the squash. It has no more than a generic resemblance to the gourd of the United States, though I suppose that both are species of the cucurbita. It is grown in great abundance on the alluvial banks of the Tigris, and on the plain between the river and the ruins of Nineveh, which is about a mile wide.

“A passage in the Korân — Suret es-Saffat — reads: ‘We caused a tree

from the yekteen

to grow over him It can hardly.’

be questioned that yekteen invariably means, as Freytag says, Planta omnis erecto caule carens, Shejreh, without doubt, may mean, an herb, a plant. Is this no ar...

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