Native Tree

Native Tree is probably the meaning of the Heb. word אֶזרָח, ezrach (Sept. κέδρος τοῦ Λιβάνου, Vulg. cedrus Libani), in Ps 37:35. It is difficult to see upon what grounds the translators of the A.V. have understood it to signify a "bay-tree:" such a rendering is entirely unsupported by any kind of evidence. Most of the Jewish doctors understand by the term ezrach "a tree which grows in its own soil" — one that has never been transplanted; which is the interpretation given in the margin of the A.V. Some versions, as the Vulg. and the Arabic, follow the Sept., which reads "cedar of Lebanon," mistaking the Hebrew word for one of somewhat similar form. Celsius (Hierob. 1:194) agrees with the author of the sixth Greek edition, which gives αὐτόχθων (indigqena, "one born in the land") as the meaning of the Hebrew word: with this view rabbi Solomon and Hammond (Comment. on Ps. 28) coincide. Dr. Boyle (Kitto's Cycl. Bib. Lit. art. 'Ezrach") suggests the Arabic Ashruk, which he says is described in Arabic works on materia medica as a tree having leaves like the gharl or "bay- tree." This opinion must be rejected as unsupported by any authority.

Perhaps no specified tree is intended by the word ezrach, which occurs in several passages of the Hebrew Bible, and signifies "a native," in contradistinction to "a stranger" or "a foreigner." Comp. Le 16:29: "Ye shall afflict your souls... whether it be one of your own country (הָאֶזרָח, ha-ezracch) or a stranger that sojourneth among you." The epithet "green," as Celsius has observed, is by no means the only meaning of the Hebrew word; for the same word occurs in Da 4:4, where Nebuchadnezzar uses it of himself — "I was flourishing in my palace." In all other passages where the word ezrach occurs it is evidently spoken of a man (Cels. Hierob. 1:196). In support of this view we may observe that the word translated "in great power" more literally signifies "to be formidable," or "to cause terror," and that the word which the A.V. translates "spreading himself," more properly means to "make bare." The passage then might be thus paraphrased: "I have seen the wicked a terror to others, and behaving with barefaced audacity, just as some proud native of the land." In the Levitical law the oppression of the stranger was strongly forbidden, perhaps therefore some reference to such acts of oppression is made in these words of the Psalmist. SEE BAY-TREE.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.