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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Cam´phire occurs twice in the Song of Solomon (; ). The Hebrew word is Kopher, and has been supposed by some to denote in these places a bunch of grapes, and by others camphor. The word camphire is the old mode of spelling camphor; but this substance does not appear to have been known to ancient commerce. The word Kopher is certainly very like Kafoor, the Eastern name for camphor, but it also closely resembles the Greek Kupros, usually written Cypros. Indeed, as has been observed, it is the same word, with the Greek pronunciation and termination. The Kupros of the Greeks is, no doubt, the Lawsonia inermis of botanists. If we examine the works of Oriental travelers and naturalists, we shall find that this plant is universally esteemed in Eastern countries, and appears to have been so from the earliest times, both on account of the fragrance of its flowers, and the coloring properties of its leaves.

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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Camphire'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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