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Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Pomegranate

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Pomegranate. The pomegranate tree, Punicu granatum, derives its name from the Latin, pomum granatum, "grained apple". The Romans gave it the name of Punica, as the tree was introduced from Carthage. It belongs to the natural order Myrtaceae, (Myrtle), being, however, rather a tall bush than a tree.

The foliage is dark green, the flowers are crimson, the fruit, which is about the size of an orange, is red when ripe, which, in Palestine, is about the middle of October. It contains a quantity of juice. Mention is made in Song of Solomon 8:2, of spiced wine of the juice of the pomegranate. The rind is used in the manufacture of morocco leather, and together with the bark, is sometimes used medicinally.

Mr. Royle, (Kitto's Cyclopedia, article "Rimmon"), states that this tree is a native of Asia and is to be traced from Syria through Persia, even to the mountains of northern India. The pomegranate was early cultivated in Egypt; hence, the complaint of the Israelites in the wilderness of Zin, Numbers 20:5, this "is no place of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates."

Carved figures of the pomegranate adorned the tops of the pillars in Solomon's Temple, 1 Kings 7:18; 1 Kings 7:20; etc.; and worked representations of this fruit, in blue, purple and scarlet, ornamented the hem of the robe of the ephod. Exodus 28:33-34. A fragment of the fruit with its pearly seeds, imbedded in ruby liquid, is very beautiful. "Thy cheeks are like a piece of pomegranate" is the allusion of the poet to the fine transparent tint. Song of Solomon 4:3.

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Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Pomegranate'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/sbd/p/pomegranate.html. 1901.

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