iv. 33). The righteous are represented as growing like
the cedar-trees of Lebanon (Ps. xcii. 12); and Israel like
the cedar-trees beside the waters (Num. xxiv. 6). The
wood of the cedar is reddish white, and is easily worked.
The tree yields a sweet-smelling resin, which is alluded
CEDAR-TREE OF LEBANON. 27
to in Scripture as " the smell of Lebanon " (Song of Sol.
iv. 11 ; Hos. xiv. 6).
It has been supposed that the cedar-wood mentioned
in Leviticus xiv. 4, and Numbers xix. 6, was the produce
of a fragrant species of juniper plentiful in the desert,
and growing in crevices of Sinai. The cedar-wood used
for pencils at the present day is the produce of Juniperus
bermudiana, a native of the West Indies. In some
heathen countries species of juniper are used as incense
on account of their fragrance. Pinus halepensis and
Juniperus excelsa grow along with cedars on Lebanon.
Other cedars are Cedrus deodara of the Himalaya
and Cedrus atlantica of the Atlas Mountains. By some
the three cedars are supposed to belong to one species.
Cedar is also mentioned in the following passages :
2 Kings xix. 23; Ezra iii. 7; Song of Sol. v. 17, viii. 9;
Isa. ix. 10, xiv. 8. xliv. 14; Jer. xxii. 7, 14, 23; Ezek.
xvii. 3, 22, 23, xxvii. 5 ; Amos ii. 9 ; Zech. xi. 1, 2.
(Juniperus Sabina, Linn.)
He shall be like the heath in the desert." JEK. xvii. 6.
| HE Hebrew word arar, translated "heath,"
occurs in two passages in the Bible Jeremiah
xvii. 6, already quoted, and Jeremiah xlviii. 6,
where it is said, " Flee, save your lives, and
be like the heath in the wilderness." The best authorities
refer this to a species of juniper which grows in the
rocky parts of the desert, and is called Juniperus Sabina,
known as savin. It belongs to the natural order
Coniferse, the Cone-bearing family, and the sub-order
Cupressinese (cypresses). It is a stunted shrub, which,
like the other juniper, bears a succulent cone, and has a
strong turpentine flavour. The volatile oil procured
from its branches and leaves has dangerous qualities.
Dr. Tristram remarks : " Its gloomy, stunted appearance,
with its scale-like leaves pressed close to its gnarled
stem, and cropped close by the wild goats, as it clings to
the rocks about Petra, gives great force to the contrast
suggested by the prophet between him that trusteth in
HEATH-TREE. (Juniperus Sabina.)
man, naked and destitute, and the man that trusteth in
the Lord, flourishing as a tree planted by the waters."
CINNAMON-TREE AND CASSIA-TREE.
(Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Breyne; and Cinnamomum Cassia, Bl.)
" Calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense."
SONG OF SOL. iv. 14.
|INNAMON is mentioned in several places in
the Old Testament, under the Hebrew name
of kinnamon. The plant is Cinnamomum
zeylanicum of botanists. It belongs to the
natural order Laurinese, the Laurel family. In this
order are found many aromatic plants, yielding
volatile oils and tonic barks. (See the description of
the Say-tree.) The plant grows in India ; and its bark,
under the name of cinnamon, is imported at the present
day from Ceylon, and also from the Malabar coast, in
bales and chests, the bundles weighing about one pound
each. It was imported into India by the Phoenicians or
the Arabians. It is distinguished from other allied
species by its acuminated tricostate leaves, the ribs com-
ing into contact at the base, but not uniting. The best
cinnamon is procured from branches three years old.
The outer bark is of a whitish-gray colour, and is nearly
CINNAMON-TREE AND CASSIA-TREE.
tasteless, while the inner bark constitutes the cinnamon,
which is imported in a quilled form into Britain. Oil
of cinnamon is obtained from the bark by distillation,
after it has been macerated in sea- water ; and a fatty
matter is procured from the fruit by boiling. This fat
was used by the Portuguese in making candles.
CINNAMON-TREE. (Cinnamomum zeylanicum.')
Cinnamon was highly valued as a spice and perfume.
It was one of the principal spices employed in the manu-
facture of precious ointment for the tabernacle (Ex.
xxx. 2225). Solomon speaks of it also as one of the
frankincense plants : " Calamus and cinnamon, with all
CINNAMON-TREE AND CASSIA-TREE.
trees of frankincense" (Song iv. 14). Its use as a per-
fume is referred to in Prov. vii. 17: "I have perfumed
my bed with myrrh, aloes [Aquilaria Agallochum], and
cinnamon." And the merchandise of it is noticed in the
account of the destruction of the Apocalyptic Babylon:
CASSIA-TREE. (Cinnamomum Cassia.)
" Cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankin-
cense" (Kev. xviii. 13).
Besides the true cinnamon plant, we must also refer
to another species known under the name of cassia. It
is mentioned in Scripture as kiddah. It constituted one
of the ingredients in the holy ointment already referred
to (Ex. xxx. 24) ; and it is -recorded by Ezekiel among
CINNAMON-TREE AND CASSIA-TREE. 33
the merchandise of Tyre (Ezek. xxvii. 19). The plant
referred to in these passages appears to be the Cinna-
momum Cassia of botanists, which is distinguished from
the Cinnamomum zeylanicum by its oblong-lanceolate
triplicostate leaves, the three ribs uniting together for
some extent at the base of the leaf. The bark of the
tree is known as cassia-bark. It is inferior to cinnamon,
being coarser and more pungent, with a certain amount
of bitterness. The leaves when chewed have a true
cinnamon flavour, while the leaves of Cinnamomum
zeylanicum when similarly treated taste like cloves.
Cassia-oil and cassia-buds appear to be produced by the
same tree. It grows in India and China.
The word Jcetzioth, translated " cassia," in Ps. xlv. 8, is
by Boyle conjectured to mean the costus of the ancients,
the boost of the Arabs, and the Aplotaxis auricula of
(Cupressus sempervirens, Linn,)
" I am like a green fir tree." Hos. xiv. 8.
1HE fir- tree is noticed in the Bible under the
Hebrew names of berosh and beroth. Most
commentators believe that the tree alluded to
is the cypress, Cupressus sempervirens of
botanists. It belongs to the natural order Coniferse,
the Cone-bearing family, sub-order Cupressinese. These
coniferous trees are resinous in their nature; their leaves
are very narrow and sharp-pointed (hence called needle-
trees by the Germans) ; their staminate flowers are in
deciduous catkins ; and their pistillate flowers in cones,
the scales of which cover one, two, or more naked seeds.
The wood of the tree is marked with remarkable dots or
discs, which are easily seen under the microscope. The
tree has a tapering form not unlike that of the Lombardy
poplar ; and in southern latitudes it attains a height of
fifty or sixty feet. Its fruit is a more or less rounded
cone, flattened at the apex, and composed of peltate
(shield-like) scales, covering numerous winged seeds. Its
timber is durable. The gates of Constantinople, which
stood for more than a thousand years, were made of it.
The tree is a native of Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, and
Palestine. The Mohammedans plant it in their burying-
Allusion is frequently made in the Bible to the vigorous
BRANCH OF CYPRESS-TREE. (Fir-tree of Scripture.)
growth of the fir-tree. Thus Ezekiel, when describing'
the power of the Assyrian, selects the fir-tree on account
of its noble growth, and says, " The fir-trees were not
like his boughs" (xxxi. 8). For the same reason it is
associated with the cedar of Lebanon. Sennacherib, the
king of Assyria, is represented as saying, " With the
multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of
the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut
down the tall cedar trees thereof, and the choice fir trees
thereof" (2 Kings xix. 23 ; Isa. xxxvii. 24).
The wood was used for various purposes, such as in
house-building, ship -building, the formation of musical
instruments, etc. It was one of the kinds of timber
sent by Hiram to Solomon for the construction of the
temple (1 Kings v. 8, 10, ix. 11 ; 2 Chron. ii. 8). The
floor of the house was covered with planks of fir; and the
two doors at the entrance of the temple, and the ceiling,
were made of the same kind of wood (1 Kings vi. 15, 34;
2 Chron. iii. 5). Eafters of berosh are also referred to
(Song i. 17). David and all the house of Israel played
on musical instruments made of berosh wood.
Fir-trees are mentioned in connection with the future
renovated earth. Isaiah says, " I \vill set in the desert
the fir tree" (xli. 19); "Instead of the thorn shall
come up the fir tree" (Iv. 13); "The glory of Lebanon
shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the
box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary"
The word tirzah, translated "cypress" in Isa. xliv. 14,
is supposed by many to mean the evergreen oak, Quercus
.Ilex, the wood of which was constantly employed by the
ancients in making images. (See Oak-tree.)
The gopher-wood of which the ark was constructed
(Gen. vi. 14) is supposed to be the produce of the
cypress, or of some other tree belonging to the pine tribe.
Along with the cedars on Lebanon there is found a
fir-tree called Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine), and it may
CYPRESS-TREE (FIR-TREE OF SCRIPTURE).
be referred to in some passages in the Bible. It is
common in Western Palestine, and is one of the charac-
teristic trees of Lower Lebanon. It is said to be espe-
cially the fir-tree of Palestine, and is only inferior to the
cedar in size. Another fir, Pinus maritima, is found
on the sandy plains near the coast, and helps to keep
the loose sand from being blown over the country.
(Ficus Carica, Linn.)
" Learn a parable of the fig tree." MATT. xxiv. 32.
" Now from the fig tree learn her parable." New Translation.
[HE Hebrew word teenah, and the Greek word
syce or suce, are translated " fig" and "fig-tree"
in Scripture. The tree is called by botanists
Ficus Carica. It belongs to the natural
order Artocarpacese, the Bread-fruit family, and the sub-
order Morese, which includes also the mulberry. The
tree is characterized by its fruit, which is formed by
an enlarged succulent hollow receptacle, containing the
flowers in its interior. Hence the flowers of the fig-tree
are not visible until the receptacle is cut open. The
tree is a native of the East, and has been transported
into Europe. It is grown in the south of Europe, in-
cluding Greece and Italy ; and in Northern and Western
Africa. A wild type is known in Italy by the name of
Figs have been cultivated from the earliest times.
The fig is the first tree mentioned by name in Scripture
(Gen. iii. 7). The figs of Athens were celebrated for
their flavour. Figs at the present day are brought to
this country from Smyrna in small boxes called drums ;
the quantity imported in 1858 was nearly seventeen
The fig-tree was common in Palestine, which was
BRANCH OF FIG-TREE.
described as being " a land of wheat, and barley, and
vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates" (Deut. viii. 8).
The parties who went from the wilderness of Paran to
search the land "brought of the pomegranates and of
the figs" (Num. xiii. 23). The fig-tree is employed to
indicate the peace and prosperity of a nation, 1 Kings
iv. 25; also Micah iv. 4, where it is said, "They
shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-
tree." Sennacherib, king of Assyria, employs the
same metaphor in order to induce the inhabitants of
Jerusalem to surrender (2 Kings xviii. 31 ; Isa.
xxxvi. 16). No tree furnishes better protection from
the rays of the sun in Eastern countries than the fig-tree.
Figs constitute an important article of food in Eastern
countries, and are eaten both in a fresh and in a dried
condition. In the latter state they are spoken of as
being made into cakes, called debelim. Abigail brought
two hundred cakes of figs to David and his men (1 Sam.
xxv. 18) ; and the armies that came to David in Hebron
brought cakes of figs (1 Chron. xii. 40). A piece of a
cake of figs was given to the Egyptian who was found in
a famishing state in the field (1 Sam. xxx. 12). Good
and bad figs are used by Jeremiah as emblems of good
and evil (Jer. xxiv.). Tristram mentions that in the
island of Cyprus there are clumps of fig-trees round
each door, and that he enjoyed rest and food beneath
the shade of the Cyprian fig-tree. Under such a fig-
tree, he remarks, Nathanael had wrestled in prayer, and
was convinced at once of the Messiahship of Jesus by
His knowledge of his retirement (John i. 48, 49).
The failure, destruction, and falling of the figs are
mentioned as indications of the judgments of the Lord
(Ps. cv. 33; Isa. xxxiv. 4; Jer. v. 17, viii. 13; Hosea
ii. 12; Joel i. 7, 12; see also Eev. vi. 13). Figs were
used as a laxative, and also as a poultice. Thus Isaiah
ordered a lump of figs to be laid on the boil with which
Hezekiah was afflicted, and he recovered (2 Kings xx. 7 ;
Isa. xxxviii. 21).
Different crops of figs are produced during the year.
Early figs appeared in spring before the leaves ex-
panded (Jer. xxiv. 2). Isaiah, Hosea, and Nahum
refer to the early or first ripe figs [bikhurah], or the
hasty fruits before the summer (Isa. xxviii. 4 ; Hosea
ix. 10; Nahum iii. 12). "When his branch is yet
tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is
nigh" (Matt. xxiv. 32). The early green fruit is alluded
to in the Song of Solomon, ii. 13. Besides the forward
figs of spring, there were also summer and autumn figs.
When Jesus was proceeding from Bethany to Jerusalem,
"he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the
way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon,, but
leaves only" (Matt. xxi. 18, 19). The period was
early (end of March or beginning of April), and, accord-
ing to Mark, " the time of figs was not yet " (Mark xi.
13); still, as the tree was in full leaf, it might have
been expected that some early figs would have been
found. Finding no appearance whatever of fruit, how-
ever, our Saviour said to the tree, " Let no fruit grow
on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig
tree withered away."
(Capparis spinosa, Linn.; Caper-plant and Us variety, Capparis
He spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, even unto the
hyssop that springeth out of the wall." 1 KINGS iv. 33.
I HE Hebrew word esobh or ezob and the Greek
hyssopos are translated "hyssop" in the Bible.
There have been great differences of opinion
regarding the nature of the plant thus men-
tioned by the sacred writers of the Old and New Tes-
taments. Some have thought that it was a minute moss
or fern, or some other wall-plant; others, that it was
the plant called hyssop at the present day, or one allied
to it, such as rosemary, marjoram, or thyme. Some
authors (as Eoyle) think that the word abizonah (trans-
lated "desire"), which only occurs in Ecclesiastes xii. 5, is
the caper-plant. The passage is as follows : " When
the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper
shall be a burden, and desire [abizonah] shall fail:
because man goeth to his long home." The rabbins
apply the term abunott to the small fruit of trees
and to berries as well as to that of the caper-bush,
which is common in Syria and Arabia. The fruit
was apparently calculated to excite desire. Celsius,
however, in his " Hierobotanicum," does not agree with
this interpretation of "desire." He remarks that Solomon
never speaks of capers, but of wine and perfumes. After
a careful examination, Dr. Eoyle has come to the con-
BRANCH OF HYSSOP.
elusion that the hyssop of the Bible is the caper-plant
(Capparis spinosa of botanists) ; that the name of the
plant in Arabic, azaf, corresponds with the Hebrew
esobh ; and that the shrub is fitted for all the purposes
mentioned in the Scriptures.
The caper-bush belongs to the natural order Cappari-
dacese, or the Caper family. The plants of this order
have pungent, stimulant, and antiscorbutic qualities.
The caper-bush grows in Lower Egypt, in the deserts
of Sinai, and in Palestine. The localities in which the
plant delights are barren soils, rocky precipices, and the
sides of walls. The caper-plant grows on walls in many
southern countries. I have gathered it on walls in Italy.
Tristram saw it hanging from the walls of Jerusalem,
also in steep rocks in the gorge of the Kidron. He
also says that the variety called cegyptiaca has a trail-
ing habit on the sandy plain between Jericho and Jordan,
as well as at the south-east end of the Dead Sea, and
on the plains of Shittim.
Hyssop is mentioned in several passages of the Old
Testament in connection with cleansing and purification.
The first mention of it is in Exodus xii. 22, at the in-
stitution of the passover, where it is directed that the
blood of the lamb shall be sprinkled by means of hyssop
on the dwellings of the Israelites. In the cleansing of
the leper and of the house affected with the plague of
leprosy, hyssop was also employed in a similar way
(Lev. xiv. 4-7, 4952). It was also used in the burn-
ing of the heifer from the ashes of which the water of
separation was prepared, as well as in the sprinkling of
the water (Num. xix. 6). It seems to be in allusion to
this sprinkling that the psalmist says, "Purge me with
hyssop, and I shall be clean " (Ps. li. 7). Royle, however,
thinks that David here refers to the detergent quality
of the flower-buds of the plant, which constitute the
capers of commerce, and are supposed to have cleansing
Reference is made to hyssop in the New Testament
also. Thus St. Paul alludes to the use of it in purifica-
tion (Heb. ix. 1921). The evangelist John, in the
account which he gives of the crucifixion of our Lord,
says, " Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar : and
they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop,
and put it to his mouth " (John xix. 29). Here we have
vinegar mentioned along with hyssop, probably as being
the material used in the preparation of capers. It is
obvious, also, from this passage, that the hyssop must
have been a plant capable of furnishing a rod of moderate
length, so that the sponge might be raised to the Saviour's
lips. Such a statement, then, seems to exclude all those
translations which would make the hyssop a minute plant
or a small herb. The caper-bush would suit the purpose,
as a stick of three or four feet long could be obtained
from it. In the parallel passages of the Gospels accord-
ing to Matthew and Mark, it is said that the sponge was
put on a reed (Matt, xxvii. 48 ; Mark xv. 36), and the
word hyssop is not introduced. This may be explained
either by supposing that the word kalamos, translated
" reed," was a stick of hyssop, or that part of a hyssop-
bush was fastened upon the end of a reed or stick, and
the sponge placed on it.
ASPEN, OR TREMBLING POPLAR.
(Populus tremula, Linn. )
' The sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." 2 SAM. v. 24.
JHE Hebrew word becalm has been translated
" mulberry trees." It is the plural of the word
baca, which occurs in Psalm Ixxxiv. 6. It is
supposed by able commentators that the trees
noticed under these names were poplars, several species
of which occur in the Holy Land. Kitto says : " We
know that the black poplar, the aspen, and the Lom-
bardy poplar grew in Palestine. The aspen, whose long
and flat leaf-stalks cause the leaves to tremble with
every breath of wind, unites with the willow and oak
in overshadowing the water-courses of Lower Lebanon,
and with the oleander and acacia in adorning the ravines
of Southern Palestine. The Lombardy poplar is de-
scribed as growing with the walnut-trees and weeping-
willow under the deep torrents of the Upper Lebanon."
The Arabic word bale, which means "poplar," is very
similar to the Hebrew baca.
The aspen (Populus tremula of botanists) is supposed
ASPEN, OR TREMBLING POPLAR.
to be the tree indicated by the Hebrew words we have
noticed. The quaking of its leaves has given origin to
the name " trembling poplar " which is applied to it.
The moving of the leaves seems to be referred to in the
following passage : " And the Philistines came up yet
again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
ASPEN, OK TREMBLING POPLAR. (Mulberry -tree of Scripture.)
And when David enquired of the Lord, he said, Thou
shalt not go up, but fetch a compass behind them, and
come upon them over against the mulberry trees [beeaim].
And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in
the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir
thyself" (2 Sam. v. 23, 24; 1 Chron. xiv. 14, 15).
The poplar gave the name to the valley of Baca, which
50 ASPEN, OR TREMBLING POPLAR.
is sometimes called the Valley of Weeping. Here the
tree was associated with the willow and other plants
which delight in a moist soil : " Who passing through the
valley of Baca make it a well ; the rain also filleth the
pools " (Ps. Ixxxiv. 6). In this shady valley the trav-
eller to Zion was refreshed by the wells and pools of
The aspen belongs to the natural order Salicinese, the
Willow family. The plants of the order have their
flowers in catkins, and their seeds covered with silky
hairs. The trembling of the aspen leaf in the slightest
breeze seems to depend on the flattening of the petiole
or leaf-stalk in a vertical direction. The tree extends
to northern countries, and is found in the alpine dis-
tricts of Scotland. The sycamine-tree is the black
mulberry. (See Sycamine.)
(Quercus jffigilops, Linn.)
"And he [the Amorite] was strong as the oaks." AMOS ii. 9.
I HE Hebrew word allon has been translated
" oak." It is probable that under this name
were included several species, such as Quer-
cus Ilex or evergreen oak, Quercus cocci/era
or kermes oak, Quercus pseudo-coccifera or prickly
evergreen oak, Quercus infectoria or dyer's oak. A very
abundant oak in Palestine is Quercus pseudo-coccifera.
It covers the rocky hills with a dense brushwood eight to
twelve feet high. It abounds on Mount Carmel and on
the west flank of Anti-Lebanon, and in many of the
valleys and slopes of Lebanon. The so-called Abraham's
oak, near Hebron, is the species. Tristram says that
this has for several centuries taken the place of the
once renowned terebinth or teil-tree, which marked the
site of Mam re on the other side of the city. The tere-
binth existed at Marnre in the time of Vespasian ; and
under it the captive Jews were sold for slaves. It
disappeared about A.D. 330. The Abraham oak is the
finest tree in Farther Palestine, being twenty-three feet
in girth. Quercus jEgilops, or valonia oak, the great
prickly-cupped oak, is another species, which we have
figured. It is a handsome tree, common in the Levant.
It is found on Carmel and Tabor, and is the true oak of
Bashan. It belongs to the natural order Corylaceae or
OAK-TREE. (Quercus JZgilops.)
Cupuliferse, the Hazel and Oak family. The plants of
this order have their flowers in catkins, and their fruit
is a nut having a cup-like covering, as in the acorn ; or
a husk-like covering, as in the hazel nut. The cups of
the Quercus ^Egilops are used by dyers under the name
of valonia. Yalonia is largely imported into Britain.
Another Hebrew word, elah or ailah, has also been
translated " oak" in the Bible, but it is more properly con-
sidered as meaning the terebinth-tree. Our translators
have also rendered other Hebrew words by the name
oak. The word translated " plain," for instance, in some
passages, means an oak-grove. Thus, in 1 Samuel x. 3,
in place of " the plain of Tabor," the translation ought
to be, a grove of oaks at Tabor. Also in Judges ix. 37,
instead of " plain of Meonenim," we should read an oak
or oak-grove of the magicians. Other texts in which
"plain" occurs in place of "oak" are Gen. xii. 6,
xiii. 18, xiv. 13, xviii. 1; Deut. xi. 30; Judges iv.
11, ix. 6. f
In some parts of Palestine, oaks must have occupied
a conspicuous place in the landscape. We read of the
oaks of Bashan as being famous for strength, beauty,
and utility. When the children of Israel departed from
the Lord, they appear to have performed idolatrous rites
in oak-groves. Thus we read in Hosea iv. 13 of the
burning of incense upon the hills and under oaks. Isaiah