(עֵוֹ שֶׁמֶן, ets-shemen; Sept. κυπάρισσος, ξύλα κυπαρίσσινα; Vulg. lignum olivse, frondes ligni pulcherrimi; A. V. "oil-tree" in Isa 41:19, but in 1Ki 11:23, "olive-tree," and in Ne 13:15, "pine-branches"). From the passage in Nehemiah, where it is mentionedas distinct from the zaith or "olive-tree," writers have sought to identify it with the Elceagnus angustifoliuzs, Linn., sometimes called "the wildolivetree," or "narrow-leaved oleaster," on the supposition that this is the zucckun-tree of the Arabs. But Dr. Hooker has shown that the properties and characteristics of the elceagnus do not accord with what travelers have related of the famed zuckum-tree of Palestine, and that the latter is the Balanites AEgyptiaca, a well-known and abundant shrub or small tree in the plain of Jordan. It is found all the way from the peninsula of India and the Ganges to Syria, Abyssinia, and the Niger. The zuckum-oil is held in high repute by the Arabs for its medicinal properties. It is said to be very valuable against wounds and contusions. Comp. Maundrell (Journ. p. 86) and Robinson (Bib. Res. 1:560). SEE BALM. Celsius (Hierob. 1:309) understood by the Hebrew words any "fat or resinous tree;" but the passage in Nehemiah clearly points to some specific tree.

Several other trees have been adduced, as the different kinds of pine, including the cedar of Lebanon, the cypress, the citrus, the balsam-tree; but there is no special proof in favor of any of these. In the passage in Isaiah the tree in question is mentioned in distinction from the pine; but it is possible that the latter word does not correctly represent the תַּדהָר Dr. Post, in the Amer. ed. of Smith's Dict. of the Bible, objects to the zuckum- tree that it is too small to furnish wood for carved figures, as required by the passage in Kings, or to be classed with the other magnificent trees mentioned in the passage in Isaiah; and that it is only found in the plain of the Jordan, whereas the tree in question is spoken of in the passage in Nehemiah as growing on the mountains. He therefore proposes the "stone- pine" of Palestine, or Pinus pinea, called snodbar by the Arabs, as fulfilling the required conditions. Dr. Thomson, however, who describes this latter tree, expressly says, "It is not found on the mountains of Palestine, because that peculiar sandy formation [required for its growth] is not found there" (Land and Book, 2:265). SEE PINE.

"Oil." topical outline.

Bible concordance for OIL.

Definition of oil

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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

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