a tree from the wood of which Noah was directed to build the ark
(Gen. 6:14). It is mentioned only there. The LXX. render this
word by "squared beams," and the Vulgate by "planed wood." Other
versions have rendered it "pine" and "cedar;" but the weight of
authority is in favour of understanding by it the cypress tree,
which grows abundantly in Chaldea and Armenia.
(Heb. tirzah, "hardness"), mentioned only in Isa. 44:14 (R.V.,
"holm tree"). The oldest Latin version translates this word by
ilex, i.e., the evergreen oak, which may possibly have been the
tree intended; but there is great probability that our
Authorized Version is correct in rendering it "cypress." This
tree grows abundantly on the mountains of Hermon. Its wood is
hard and fragrant, and very durable. Its foliage is dark and
gloomy. It is an evergreen (Cupressus sempervirens). "Throughout
the East it is used as a funereal tree; and its dark, tall,
waving plumes render it peculiarly appropriate among the tombs."
the uniform rendering in the Authorized Version (marg. R.V.,
"cypress") of _berosh_ (2 Sam. 6:5; 1 Kings 5:8, 10; 6:15, 34;
9:11, etc.), a lofty tree (Isa. 55:13) growing on Lebanon
(37:24). Its wood was used in making musical instruments and
doors of houses, and for ceilings (2 Chr. 3:5), the decks of
ships (Ezek. 27:5), floorings and spear-shafts (Nah. 2:3, R.V.).
The true fir (abies) is not found in Israel, but the pine
tree, of which there are four species, is common.
The precise kind of tree meant by the "green fir tree" (Hos.
14:8) is uncertain. Some regard it as the sherbin tree, a
cypress resembling the cedar; others, the Aleppo or maritime
pine (Pinus halepensis), which resembles the Scotch fir; while
others think that the "stone-pine" (Pinus pinea) is probably
meant. (See PINE ¯T0002956.)
Heb. tidhar, mentioned along with the fir-tree in Isa. 41:19;
60:13. This is probably the cypress; or it may be the
stone-pine, which is common on the northern slopes of Lebanon.
Some suppose that the elm, others that the oak, or holm, or
ilex, is meant by the Hebrew word. In Neh. 8:15 the Revised
Version has "wild olive" instead of "pine." (See FIR ¯T0001333.)
mentioned only in Rev. 18:12 among the articles which would
cease to be purchased when Babylon fell. It was called citrus,
citron wood, by the Romans. It was the Callitris quadrivalvis of
botanists, of the cone-bearing order of trees, and of the
cypress tribe of this order. The name of this wood is derived
from the Greek word _thuein_, "to sacrifice," and it was so
called because it was burnt in sacrifices, on account of its
fragrance. The wood of this tree was reckoned very valuable, and
was used for making articles of furniture by the Greeks and
Romans. Like the cedars of Lebanon, it is disappearing from the
forests of Israel.
(Heb. copher), mentioned in Cant. 1:14 (R.V., "henna-flowers");
4:13 (R.V., "henna"), is the al-henna of the Arabs, a native of
Egypt, producing clusters of small white and yellow odoriferous
flowers, whence is made the Oleum Cyprineum. From its leaves is
made the peculiar auburn dye with which Eastern women stain
their nails and the palms of their hands. It is found only at
Engedi, on the shore of the Dead Sea. It is known to botanists
by the name Lawsonia alba or inermis, a kind of privet, which
grows 6 or 8 feet high. The margin of the Authorized Version of
the passages above referred to has "or cypress," not with
reference to the conifer so called, but to the circumstance that
one of the most highly appreciated species of this plant grew in
the island of Cyprus.