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Oil-tree

(Isa. 41:19; Revised Version margin note: “oleaster”)

Hebrew: 'etz shemen, translated “olive tree”; in 1 Kings 6:23, 31-33 (Revised Version, “olive wood”) and “pine branches” in Neh. 8:15 (Revised Version, “branches of wild olive”), was some tree distinct from the olive

It was probably the oleaster (Eleagnus angustifolius), which grows abundantly in almost all parts of Israel, especially about Hebron and Samaria. “It has a fine hard wood,” says Tristram, “and yields an inferior oil, but it has no relationship to the olive, which, however, it resembles in general appearance.”

Author: Matthew G. Easton, with minor editing by Paul S. Taylor.