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Shallow waters in Palestine as in the Jordan valley produced several kinds of reed which were used in writing (3 John 13). Cf. 2 Kgs. 18: 21. Reeds were the vegetation motif on the first coins issued by Herod Antipas, who founded his capital city on the border of the Sea of Galilee, where reeds were prolific. Jesus' reference (Matt. 11: 7) to a ‘shaken reed’ may be a title of ridicule and recognition for Herod Antipas, who had a reputation as a waverer. It is a reference that could only have been appreciated in Palestine, and must therefore surely be an authentic utterance of Jesus.

Subjects: Biblical Studies.

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