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Fitches (Isa 28:25, Isa 28:27), the rendering of the Hebrew ketsah, "without doubt the Nigella sativa, a small annual of the order Ranunculacece, which grows wild in the Mediterranean countries, and is cultivated in Egypt and Syria for its seed." It is rendered in margin of the Revised Version "black cummin." The seeds are used as a condiment. In Eze 4:9 this word is the rendering of the Hebrew kussemeth (incorrectly rendered "rye" in the Authorized Version of Exo 9:32 and Isa 28:25, but "spelt" in the Revised Version). The reading "fitches" here is an error; it should be "spelt."

Flag (Heb., or rather Egyptian, ahu, Job 8:11), rendered "meadow" in Gen 41:2, Gen 41:18; probably the Cyperus esculentus, a species of rush eaten by cattle, the Nile reed. It also grows in Palestine. In Exo 2:3, Exo 2:5, Isa 19:6, it is the rendering of the Hebrew suph, a word which occurs frequently in connection with yam; as yam suph, to denote the "Red Sea" (q.v.) or the sea of weeds (as this word is rendered, Jon 2:5). It denotes some kind of sedge or reed which grows in marshy places. (See PAPER, REED.)

Flagon Heb. ashishah , (Sa2 6:19; Ch1 16:3; Sol 2:5; Hos 3:1), meaning properly "a cake of pressed raisins." "Flagons of wine" of the Authorized Version should be, as in the Revised Version, "cakes of raisins" in all these passages. In Isa 22:24 it is the rendering of the Hebrew nebel, which properly means a bottle or vessel of skin. (Compare Sa1 1:24; Sa1 10:3; Sa1 25:18; Sa2 16:1, where the same Hebrew word is used.)

Flame of Fire Is the chosen symbol of the holiness of God (Exo 3:2; Rev 2:18), as indicating "the intense, all-consuming operation of his holiness in relation to sin."

Flax Heb. pishtah , i.e., "peeled", in allusion to the fact that the stalks of flax when dried were fact that the stalks of flax when dried were first split or peeled before being steeped in water for the purpose of destroying the pulp). This plant was cultivated from earliest times. The flax of Egypt was destroyed by the plague of hail when it "was bolled", i.e., was forming pods for seed (Exo 9:31). It was extensively cultivated both in Egypt and Palestine. Reference is made in Jos 2:6 to the custom of drying flax-stalks by exposing them to the sun on the flat roofs of houses. It was much used in forming articles of clothing such as girdles, also cords and bands (Lev 13:48, Lev 13:52, Lev 13:59; Deu 22:11). (See LINEN.)

Flea David at the cave of Adullam thus addressed his persecutor Saul (Sa1 24:14): "After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea?" He thus speaks of himself as the poor, contemptible object of the monarch's pursuit, a "worthy object truly for an expedition of the king of Israel with his picked troops!" This insect is in Eastern language the popular emblem of insignificance. In Sa1 26:20 the LXX. read "come out to seek my life" instead of "to seek a flea."

Fleece The wool of a sheep, whether shorn off or still attached to the skin (Deu 18:4; Job 31:20). The miracle of Gideon's fleece (Jdg 6:37) consisted in the dew having fallen at one time on the fleece without any on the floor, and at another time in the fleece remaining dry while the ground was wet with dew.

Flesh In the Old Testament denotes (1.) a particular part of the body of man and animals (Gen 2:21; Gen 41:2; Psa 102:5, marg.); (2.) the whole body (Psa 16:9); (3.) all living things having flesh, and particularly humanity as a whole (Gen 6:12, Gen 6:13); (4.) mutability and weakness (Ch2 32:8; compare Isa 31:3; Psa 78:39). As suggesting the idea of softness it is used in the expression "heart of flesh" (Eze 11:19). The expression "my flesh and bone" (Jdg 9:2; Isa 58:7) denotes relationship. In the New Testament, besides these it is also used to denote the sinful element of human nature as opposed to the "Spirit" (Rom 6:19; Mat 16:17). Being "in the flesh" means being unrenewed (Rom 7:5; Rom 8:8, Rom 8:9), and to live "according to the flesh" is to live and act sinfully (Rom 8:4, Rom 8:5, Rom 8:7, Rom 8:12). This word also denotes the human nature of Christ (Joh 1:14, "The Word was made flesh." Compare also Ti1 3:16; Rom 1:3).

Flesh-hook A many-pronged fork used in the sacrificial services (Sa1 2:13, Sa1 2:14; Exo 27:3; Exo 38:3) by the priest in drawing away the flesh. The fat of the sacrifice, together with the breast and shoulder (Lev 7:29), were presented by the worshipper to the priest. The fat was burned on the alter (Lev 3:3), and the breast and shoulder became the portion of the priests. But Hophni and Phinehas, not content with this, sent a servant to seize with a flesh-hook a further portion.

Flint Abounds in all the plains and valleys of the wilderness of the forty years' wanderings. In Isa 50:7 and Eze 3:9 the expressions, where the word is used, means that the "Messiah would be firm and resolute amidst all contempt and scorn which he would meet; that he had made up his mind to endure it, and would not shrink from any kind or degree of suffering which would be necessary to accomplish the great work in which he was engaged." (Compare Eze 3:8, Eze 3:9.) The words "like a flint" are used with reference to the hoofs of horses (Isa 5:28).