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The English word thorn is used to translate a number of original Hebrew words of the Old Testament, the two most-occurring (pronounced) cot-seh, meaning pricking, and shaw-yith, meaning weeds, or briars. Neither of the Hebrew words is the name for a specific species or variety of thorny plant. In the New Testament, thorn is used to translate the Greek words (pronounced) skol-ops, meaning withered, or prickly (used by Paul to describe some sort of health problem that he suffered from, his "thorn in the flesh," see verses below), and ak-an-thah meaning a thorn, which was used for a thorn plant, or plants, of some sort - including that which was used to make Christ's "crown of thorns" when He was being gleefully brutalized by the Roman military thugs (all of whom are going to face their "victim" again some day to answer for what they did above and beyond the call of duty) at the time of His crucifixion.


Thorns After they chose to sin, Adam and Eve found thorns to be much more abundant growing in the soil that they themselves were taken from:

"Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:18-19 KJV)

When they entered the land that was given to them (see "Land On Which You Had Not Labored"), The Lord commanded the Israelites to "drive out the inhabitants of the land." Otherwise, if they disobeyed, not only would the Canaanites be "thorns in your sides," but The Lord would also turn His wrath from the source-of-corruption pagans in the land to His people who failed to drive them out, thereby making themselves corrupt:

"But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them." (Numbers 33:55-56 KJV)

Good or evil are not hidden for long; always "Ye shall know them by their fruits":

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." (Matthew 7:16-19 KJV)

The parable of the sower used an analogy of thorns (the influence of evil people) as one of the obstacles to a righteous life:

"And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:4-9 KJV)

The Roman troops mocked the Christ as "the king of the Jews" by making a crown of thorns for Him; come the Judgment Day, they will see Him wearing a very different crown (i.e. Revelation 19:12):

"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of soldiers [see also The Praetorium Guard]. And they stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head. And after that they had mocked Him, they took the robe off from Him, and put His own raiment on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him." (Matthew 27:27-31 KJV)

Paul used the term "thorn in the flesh" for some affliction that he suffered from:

"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations [see also Paul's Ministry], there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV)

Fact Finder: How are those who forsake the Truth compared to thorns?
Hebrews 6:4-8

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