Smith's Bible DictionarySponge
a soft, porous marine substance. Sponges were for a long time supposed to be plants, but are now considered by the best naturalists to belong to the animal kingdom. Sponge is mentioned only in the New Testament. (Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29) The commercial value of the sponge was known from very early times; and although there appears to be no notice of it in the Old Testament, yet it is probable that it was used by the ancient Hebrews, who could readily have obtained it good from the Mediterranean, where it was principally found.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaSPONGE
spunj (spoggos): The word "sponge," the King James Version "spunge," occurs only in the accounts of our Lord's crucifixion in Matthew 27:48 Mark 15:36 John 19:29. Sponges have been known from the earliest periods. They are mentioned by Homer, Aeschylus, Aristophanes and other ancient writers. The sponge fisheries of the Eastern Mediterranean are still among the most important in the world. Sponges are animals of a very simple organization, fixed to rocks or other objects in the sea or in fresh water. The marketable sponge consists of a mass of soft interlacing fibers which constituted the skeleton of the living animal. The sponge fishers of the Levant dive from boats, with or without diving apparatus, and tear the sponges from the rocks with their hands. The sponges are allowed to die and rot in the air and are then thoroughly washed until nothing but the skeleton remains. Sponges which have calcareous or silicious skeletons are unfit for use.
Alfred Ely Day
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Occurs only in the narrative of the crucifixion (Matthew 27:48
; Mark 15:36
; John 19:29
). It is ranked as a zoophyte. It is found attached to rocks at the bottom of the sea.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) Any one of numerous species of Spongiae, or Porifera. See Spongiae
2. (n.) The elastic fibrous skeleton of many species of horny Spongiae (keratosa), used for many purposes, especially the varieties of the genus Spongia. The most valuable sponges are found in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and on the coasts of Florida and the West Indies.
3. (n.) One who lives upon others; a pertinaceous and indolent dependent; a parasite; a sponger.
4. (n.) Any spongelike substance.
5. (n.) Dough before it is kneaded and formed into loaves, and after it is converted into a light, spongy mass by the agency of the yeast or leaven.
6. (n.) Iron from the puddling furnace, in a pasty condition.
7. (n.) Iron ore, in masses, reduced but not melted or worked.
8. (n.) A mop for cleaning the bore of a cannon after a discharge. It consists of a cylinder of wood, covered with sheepskin with the wool on, or cloth with a heavy looped nap, and having a handle, or staff.
9. (n.) The extremity, or point, of a horseshoe, answering to the heel.
10. (v. t.) To cleanse or wipe with a sponge; as, to sponge a slate or a cannon; to wet with a sponge; as, to sponge cloth.
11. (v. t.) To wipe out with a sponge, as letters or writing; to efface; to destroy all trace of.
12. (v. t.) Fig.: To deprive of something by imposition.
13. (v. t.) Fig.: To get by imposition or mean arts without cost; as, to sponge a breakfast.
14. (v. i.) To suck in, or imbile, as a sponge.
15. (v. i.) Fig.: To gain by mean arts, by intrusion, or hanging on; as, an idler sponges on his neighbor.
16. (v. i.) To be converted, as dough, into a light, spongy mass by the agency of yeast, or leaven.