From: Jim West (
Date: Wed Oct 06 1999 - 10:14:18 EDT

At 02:38 PM 10/6/99 +0100, you wrote:
> What she hid the spies under were stalks of the flax plant
>laid out on her roof (EPI TOU DWMATOS, as the LXX says), perhaps to dry
>after they had been soaked to remove the outer layer of the stalk to reveal
>and soften the spinnable fibres inside.

Perhaps. Indeed that is a lively possibility. I am not disputing that at
all. I simply suggested that the context here seems to require some sort of
roofing thatch.

Your supposition that Rahab's "day job" (what an excellent, excellent
euphemism... much better than my paltry "ceiling inspector")was
supplemented as a spinner is pure speculation. Its a possibility- but sadly
there is no way to know for sure (unless one presses the issue of the
scarlet thread let down from her window- in which case you might have
something on your side... Perhaps an angle worth pursuing...)

>Not many people today spin flax for pleasure (I think I've only ever met one
>person who's tried it) as the plants are messy to prepare and the fibres are
>hard on the hands.

I have only seen spinning demonstrated and I have never attempted it myself.

> But it does make very strong and durable cloth. Apart
>from her day job, so to speak, Rahab probably helped to support the family
>whose safety she was so concerned for, and my guess would be that like the
>woman in Proverbs 31 she spun and wove her flax to make clothes for them and
>perhaps to sell too.

hmm.. a tad eisegetical here I think. At any rate, The Hebrew phrase here
is "pishtey ha'etz" = flax branches. The phrase is ambiguous and can mean
either roofing material or flax for spinning.

So, in sum, we dont know for sure if the stuff she hid them under was just
roofing stuff or is she was going to spin it sometime. I opt for the first



Jim West, ThD
web page-

'Mythology is what never was but always is.' Stephen of Byzantium

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