The King James Version of the Bible mentions thirty-seven differently named trees.  Some species, such as cypress, shittah, ash, and teil, appear only once. Others, notably the palm, olive, fig, and cedar, occur many times.

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Trees of the Bible
The King James Version of the Bible mentions thirty-seven differently named trees. Some species, such as cypress, shittah, ash, and teil, appear only once. Others, notably the palm, olive, fig, and cedar, occur many times.
The King James Version of the Bible mentions thirty-seven differently named trees.  Some species, such as cypress, shittah, ash, and teil, appear only once. Others, notably the palm, olive, fig, and cedar, occur many times.

This version was completed in 1611, long before botany became an exact science.   It was a translation by many brilliant scholars, who were not botanists, and chose to identify some of the trees  of the bible with familiar plants of England.   This may have been done to assist our greater understanding of the scriptures.


Consequently, the terebinth was called an elm or a teil, aspens were called mulberries, a mulberry was called "sycamine, " a species of fig was called "sycomore. "  The Oriental planetree, related to the sycamore, was called a chestnut.  The apricot became an apple, and the native Aleppo pine was called a fir or even, in Isaiah 44:14, an ash. The words fir, pine, cypress, juniper, and sometimes the cedar, are so used that it is almost impossible to  determine what trees are referred to in certain passages.

In Isaiah 6:13 is the phrase: as a teil tree, and as an oak.  Teil is an obsolete English name for the linden or lime tree, related to our basswood, which is not native in Palestine.  Undoubtedly, this passage refers to the Terebinth, a good-sized deciduous tree that is common on the dry lower slopes of hills in the Holy Land.  All parts of the Terebinth contain a fragrant resinous juice and turpentine is obtained from slashes made on the trunk and branches.

In Genisis 6:14, God commands Noah, "Make thee an ark of gopher wood."   Modern scholars believe it means the extremely durable wood of the tall massive evergreen cypresses that, together with towering cedars and oaks, clothed the slopes of the Lebanon and other mountain ranges in Biblical times.  Gopher is very similar to the Hebrew and Greek words for cypress.

In Genisis 25:10, God commands Moses to build a tabernacle, an ark of testimony and table, using shittim wood.   Shittim is the plural of shittah, the Hebrew name (Isaiah 41:19) for an acacia that grows on Mt Sinai, the most common tree in the Arabian desert where the Israelites wandered for 40 years.  The shittim is a legume, its branches are armed with spines, and the fruit is a pod.  Here it is gnarled, twisted and shrubby, elsewhere it becomes 25 feet tall,  its hard, orange-brown wood valuable for cabinet work.

Another legume, very common in the Holy Land, is the evergreen carob or locust-tree.   Its seed pods, from 6 to 10 inches long, full of a sticky pulp and honey-like syrup when ripe, are used as food for livestock as well as people.  Those were the husks eaten by the prodigal son (Luke 15:16) and possibly the locusts eaten by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4).  A third legume, native to Palestine is the famous Judas-tree, upon which, according to legends, Judas Iscariot hanged himself.

The Holy Land, 3000 years ago, was a land of palm trees, especially the date palm that not only produces bread, wine, and honey, but has, the Arabs say, as many uses as there are days in the year. Outside the walls of cities, wealthy people had gardens in which grew olive and fig trees, spices, and perhaps a few trees such as apricot, pomegranate, almond, pistachio, and Persian walnut.

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The Village of Euxton, Lancashire, England.


The modified Shield of Arms of the
Ancient Village of Euxton, Lancashire, England. Euxton dot com (TM) an ancient village.

The Village of Euxton, Lancashire, England.The Village of Euxton, Lancashire, England.
Euxton dot com

The Village of Euxton, Lancashire, England.



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