(לוּז, lûz, of doubtful etymology [see Luz]; Sept. καρυϊvνη, Vulgate tamygdalinus), apparently a nut bearing tree, which occurs in Ge 30:37, where it indicates one of the kinds of rod from which Jacob peeled the bark, and which he placed in the water-troughs of the cattle. Authorities are divided between the hazel or walnut and the almond-tree, as representing the lûz; in favor of the former we have Kimchi, Jarchi, Luther, and others; while the Vulgate, Saadias, and Gesenius adopt the latter view. The rendering in the Sept. is equally applicable to either. On the one hand is adduced the fact that in the Arabic we have louz, which is indeed the same word, and denotes the almond. Thus Abu'l-Fadli, as quoted by Celsius (Hierobot. 1, 254), says, "Louz est arbor nota, et magna, foliis mollibus. Species duae, hortensis et silvestris. Hortensis quoque duse sunt species, dulcis et amara;" where reference is evidently made to the sweet and bitter almond. Other Arab authors also describe the almond under the name of louz. But this name was well known to the Hebrews as indicating the almond; for R. Saadias, in Ab. Esra's Comment., as quoted by Celsius (p. 253), remarks: "Lus est amygdalus, quia ita eam appellant Arabes; nam hne duse linguae, et Syriaca, ejusdem sunt familiae." It is also alleged that there is another word in the Hebrew language, egoz (אגֵוֹז), which is applicable to the hazel or walnut. SEE NUT. The strongest argument on the other side arises from the circumstance of another word, shaked (שָׁקֵד), having reference to the almond; it is supposed, however, that the latter applies to the fruit exclusively, and the word munder discussion to the tree; Rosenmüller identifies the shaked with the cultivated, and lûz with the wild almond-tree. SEE FRUIT.
The almond is diffused by culture from China to Spain, and is found to bear fruit well on both sides of the Mediterranean; but there is no region where it thrives better than Syria, or where it is so truly at home. Accordingly, when Jacob was sending a present of those productions of Canaan which were likely to be acceptable to an Egyptian grandee, "the best fruits of the land," besides balm, and myrrh, and honey, he bade his sons take "nuts and almonds" (Ge 43:11); and the original name of that place so endeared to his memory as Bethel, originally called Luz, was probably derived from some well-known tree of this species. To this day "Jordan almonds" is the recognized market-name for the best samples of this fruit, in common with Tafilat dates, Eleme figs, etc. The name, however, is little more than a tradition. The best "Jordan almonds" come from Malaga. SEE ALMOND.