The expression in the Authorized Version (Isaiah 19:7), "the paper reeds by the brooks," is in the Revised Version more correctly "the meadows by the Nile." The words undoubtedly refer to a grassy place on the banks of the Nile fit for pasturage.
In 2 John 1:12 the word is used in its proper sense. The material so referred to was manufactured from the papyrus, and hence its name. The papyrus (Hebrews gome) was a kind of bulrush (q.v.). It is mentioned by Job (8:11) and Isaiah (35:7). It was used for many purposes. This plant (Papyrus Nilotica) is now unknown in Egypt; no trace of it can be found. The unaccountable disappearance of this plant from Egypt was foretold by Isaiah (19:6, 7) as a part of the divine judgment on that land. The most extensive papyrus growths now known are in the marshes at the northern end of the lake of Merom.