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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Oak

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OAK

(1) ’çlâh , Genesis 35:4 , Judges 6:11; Judges 6:19 , 2 Samuel 18:9 f., 2 Samuel 18:14 , 1Ki 13:14 , 1 Chronicles 10:12 , Isaiah 1:30 , Ezekiel 6:13 , Hosea 4:13; (Vale of) Elah’ [RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘terebinth’], 1 Samuel 17:2; 1Sa 17:19; 1 Samuel 21:9 , Isaiah 6:13 [AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘teil tree’]; ’çlâh elsewhere always tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘oak’ [RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘terebinth’]; ’allâh , a slight variant, Joshua 24:26 .

2 . ’çlîrn , perhaps pi. of çlâh , Isaiah 1:29 , ‘oaks’ [RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘terebinths’] Isaiah 57:5 [AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘idols,’ mg. ‘oaks,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘oaks’] Isaiah 61:3 ‘trees.’ The meaning of ’çlîm in Ezekiel 31:14 is obscure, if the text be correct. These words, ’çlâh , ’allâh , and ’çlîm , all apparently refer to the terebinth (wh. see).

3 . ’allôn , cannot be the same as ’çlâh , because it occurs with it in Isaiah 6:13 , Hosea 4:13; see also Genesis 35:8 , Isaiah 44:14 , Amos 2:9 . In Isaiah 2:13 , Ezekiel 27:8 , Zechariah 11:2 the ‘allônîm (‘oaks’) of Bashan are mentioned. In Joshua 19:33 (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ) ’allôn is treated as a proper name.

4 . ’çlôn , probably merely a variation of ’allôn , is in Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:18; Genesis 14:13; Genesis 18:1 , Deuteronomy 11:30 , Judges 4:11; Judges 9:6; Jdg 9:37 , 1 Samuel 10:3 (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ) tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘plain’ or ‘plains,’ but in RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘oak’ or oaks,’ mg. ‘terebinth’ or ‘terebinths.’ ‘allôn and ’çlôn apparently refer to the oak.

Oaks have always been relatively plentiful in Palestine-Even to-day, in spite of the most reckless destruction, groves of oaks survive on Carmel, Tabor, around Banias, and in ancient Bashan; while whole miles of country are covered with shrub-like oaks produced from the roots of trees destroyed every few years for fuel. Among the nine recognized varieties of oak in Syria, the evergreen Quercus coccifera or ‘holm oak’ is the finest it is often 30 to 35 feet high. Its preservation is usually due to its being situated at some sacred wely . ‘Abraham’s oak’ at Hebron is of this kind. Other common oaks are the Valonia oak ( Q. Ægilops ), which has large acorns with prickly cups, much valued for dyeing; and the Oriental gall oak ( Q. cerris ), a comparatively insignificant tree, especially noticeable for the variety of galls which grow on it. Both these latter are deciduous, the leaves falling from late autumn to early spring. Oak wood is used for tanning skin bottles and also as fuel, while the acorn cups of the Valonia oak and the galls of the various oak trees are both important articles of commerce in N. Syria.

E. W. G. Masterman.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Oak'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/o/oak.html. 1909.

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