Glossary: Thorns/Briers

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Useless. Either in the sense of having no profit or in the sense of being idle, still and inutile. Used as the opposite of fruit. 


Jeremiah 12:13 (KJV)  They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.

  • Thorns used synonymously with a fool, as unproductive.

Ecclesiastes 7:3 (KJV) Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. Verse 6) For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

  • In Romans, Paul says that creation was subjected to “inutility or uselessness,” but when you look at the curse that God subjected creation to in Genesis, it does not in fact say “inutility,” but “thorns.”

Romans 8:20 (KJV) For the creature was made subject to vanity [lit. inutility, uselessness], not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope…

Genesis 3:17-18 (KJV) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles [instead of saying inutility] shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field…

  • Used as the opposite of fruit (see Fruit).

Isaiah 32:13, 15 (KJV)  Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city… Verse 15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.

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