Wood (usually עֵ, also rendered "tree;" ζῦλον). The East, especially Egypt (Hasselquist, p. 70; Norden, p. 361), is remarkably destitute of forests, and Palestine. is nearly as barren of them, except in some of the northern and eastern districts. SEE TREE. Consequently the inhabitants are obliged to use, instead of fire-wood, dried grass (Mt 6:30; Lu 12:28), or plants, leaves, straw (Mt 3; Mt 12; Mishna, Shabb. 3, 1)', and, in the absence of these, dung (Eze 4:12,15; see Prokesch, Erinner. 2, 248), and in Babylon mineral pitch (Diod. Sic. 2, 12). Comp. Korte, Reis. p. 577; Taverner, 1, 280; Arvieux, 1, 152; Robinson, 1, 342; 3, 293; Wellsted, 2, 60. SEE FUEL.
An unusual supply was required for the sacrificial fire. SEE BURNT- OFFERING. Charcoal was also used. SEE COAL. That the advantage of forests was a common property does not follow from La 4:4, and is of itself very improbable in a land where a strict system of proprietorship was in vogue. For the various fabrics of this material SEE HANDICRAFT. The chief trades concerned were carpenters (Ex 35:30 sq.), cabinetmakers (25, 10 sq.; 37:1, 10, 15, 25, etc.), wheelwrights, (Jg 4:13; 1Sa 6:7; 1Ki 7:33; 1Ki 9:19; Ho 10:11, etc.), basket-weavers (Nu 6:15 sq.; De 26:2,4; Jg 6:19), and (unlawfully) image carvers. SEE IDOL. On the other hand, we find no trace of cooperage (not even in Jer 48:12, where כֵּלַי denotes not casks, but vessels generally). Anciently, as still, the Orientals used leather bottles, horns, and jars, instead of barrels; but pails (wooden buckets) were probably unknown (Le 15:12 ?). The tools of wood-workers were the axe or hatchet (קִרדֹּם or גִּרזֶן), the saw (מִשּׂוֹר), the plane (מִקצוּעָה), and the auger (Talm. מקרח, Mishna, Chel. 13:4). See, generally, Bellerman, Handb. 1, 232 sq. As ships were not built by the Hebrews, and stone was the ready material for building, architecture had little use for wood. SEE. HOUSE.