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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Cedar

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A noble evergreen-tree greatly celebrated in the Scriptures, Psalm 92:12 Ezekiel 31:3-6 . These trees are remarkably thick and tall; some among them are from thirty-five to forty feet in girth, and ninety feet in height. The cedar-tree shoots out branches at ten of twelve feet from the ground, large and almost horizontal; its leaves are an inch long, slender and straight, growing in tufts. The tree bears a small cone, like that of the pine. This celebrated tree is not peculiar to mount Lebanon, but grows also upon mounts Amanus and Taurus in Asia Minor, and in other parts of the Levant, but does not elsewhere reach the size and height of those on Lebanon. It has also been cultivated in the gardens of Europe; two venerable individuals of this species exist at Chiswick in England; and there is a very beautiful one in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. The beauty of the cedar consists in the proportion and symmetry of its wide-spreading branches and cone-like top. The gum, which exudes both from the trunk and the cones or fruits, is soft like balsam of Mecca. Every thing about this tree has a strong balsamic odor; and hence the whole grove is so pleasant and fragrant, that it is delightful to walk in it, Song of Song of Solomon 4:11 Hosea 14:6 . The wood is peculiarly adapted to building, because it is not subject to decay, nor to be eaten of worms; hence it was much used for rafters, and for boards with which to cover houses and form the floors and ceilings of rooms. It was of a red color, beautiful, solid, and free from knots. The palace of Persepolis, the temple at Jerusalem, and Solomon's palace, were all in this way built with cedar; and "the house of the forest of Lebanon," was perhaps so called from the quantity of this wood used in its construction, 1 Kings 7:2 10:17 .

Of the forests of cedars which once covered Lebanon, comparatively few are now left, Isaiah 2:13 10:19; though there are still many scattered trees in various parts, resembling the genuine cedar. The largest and most ancient trees, generally thought to be the only ones, are found in a grove, lying a little off from the road which crosses mount Lebanon from Baalbek to Tripole, at some distance below the summit of the mountain on the western side, at the foot indeed of the highest summit or ridge of Lebanon. This grove consists of a few very old trees, perhaps as old as the time of Christ, intermingled with 400 or 500 younger ones. See LEBANON .

Besides the true cedar of Lebanon, the word cedar in the Bible appears to mean sometimes the juniper and sometimes the pine.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Cedar'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ats/c/cedar.html. 1859.

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