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Dictionaries :: Forest

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


Heb. ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all the great primeval forests of Syria (Ecc 2:6; Isa 44:14; Jer 5:6; Mic 5:8). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic forest of Ephraim (2Sa 18:6,8; Jos 17:15,18), which is probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Psa 132:6), some part of the great forest of Gilead. It was in this forest that Absalom was slain by Joab. David withdrew to the forest of Hareth in the mountains of Judah to avoid the fury of Saul (1Sa 22:5). We read also of the forest of Bethel (2Ki 2:23,24), and of that which the Israelites passed in their pursuit of the Philistines (1Sa 14:25), and of the forest of the cedars of Lebanon (1Ki 4:33; 2Ki 19:23; Hsa 14:5,6).

"The house of the forest of Lebanon (1Ki 7:2; 10:17; 2Ch 9:16) was probably Solomon's armoury, and was so called because the wood of its many pillars came from Lebanon, and they had the appearance of a forest. (See BAALBEC.)

Heb. horesh, denoting a thicket of trees, underwood, jungle, bushes, or trees entangled, and therefore affording a safe hiding-place. place. This word is rendered "forest" only in 2Ch 27:4. It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the "wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself (1Sa 23:15), which lay south-east of Hebron. In Isa 17:19 this word is in Authorized Version rendered incorrectly "bough."

Heb. pardes, meaning an enclosed garden or plantation. Asaph is (Neh 2:8) called the "keeper of the king's forest." The same Hebrew word is used Ecc 2:5, where it is rendered in the plural "orchards" (R.V., "parks"), and Sgs 4:13, rendered "orchard" (R.V. marg., "a paradise").

"The forest of the vintage" (Zec 11:2, "inaccessible forest," or R.V. "strong forest") is probably a figurative allusion to Jerusalem, or the verse may simply point to the devastation of the region referred to.

The forest is an image of unfruitfulness as contrasted with a cultivated field (Isa 29:17; 32:15; Jer 26:18; Hsa 2:12). Isaiah (Isa 10:19,33,34) likens the Assyrian host under Sennacherib (q.v.) to the trees of some huge forest, to be suddenly cut down by an unseen stroke.

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia



(1) choresh (compare proper name Harosheth), 2Ch 27:4. In 1Sa 23:15 fftranslated "wood"; in Isa 17:9, "wood"; in Eze 31:3, "forest-like shade." Applied to any thick growth of vegetation but not necessarily so extensive as (3).

(2) pardec: Ne 2:8, margin "park"; Ec 2:5, the King James Version "orchards," the Revised Version (British and American) "parks"; So 4:13, English Versions of the Bible "orchard," the Revised Version, margin "paradise." A word of Persian origin signifying probably an enclosure.


(3) ya?ar from root meaning "rugged"; compare Arabic wa?ar, "a rugged, stony region." It is sometimes rendered "forest" and sometimes (but less often in the Revised Version (British and American)) "wood." It is used of certain definite wooded tracts: "the forest in Arabia" (Isa 21:13, margin "thickets"); "the forest of Carmel" (2Ki 19:23 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "of his fruitful field"); "the forest of Hereth" (1Sa 22:5); "the forest of Lebanon" (1Ki 7:2 f; 10:17-21; 2Ch 9:16-20); "the forest of Ephraim," East of the Jordan (2Sa 18:6,8,17). The word ya?ar appears also in well- known Kiriath-jearim, "the city of forests," and Mr. Jearim (Jos 15:10). Among numerous other references the following may be cited: De 19:5; Jos 17:15,18; 1Ch 16:33; 2Ki 2:24; Ps 80:13; 83:14; 96:12; 132:6; Ec 2:6; So 2:3; 1Sa 7:2; 14:25,26; Jer 4:29; 46:23; Eze 34:29; Mic 3:12; 7:14.

(4) cebhakh, from root meaning "to interweave." A "thicket" (Ge 22:13; Jer 4:7); "thicket of trees" (Ps 74:5); "thickets of the forest" (Isa 9:18; 10:34).

(5) ?adbhim, "thicket" (Jer 4:29).

From many references it is evident that Palestine had in Old Testament times much more extensive forests and woodlands than today.

Written by E. W. G. Masterman


Smith's Bible Dictionary


Although Palestine has never been in historical times a woodland country, yet there can be no doubt that there was much more wood formerly than there is a t present, and that the destruction of the forests was one of the chief causes of the present desolation.


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