translated from the Hebrew word, 'ahalim)
This was a fragrant wood (Numbers 24:6; Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17), the Aquilaria agallochum of botanists, or, as some suppose, the costly gum or perfume extracted from the wood.
It is found in China, Siam, and Northern India, and grows to the height sometimes of 120 feet. This species is of great rarity even in India. There is another and more common species, called by Indians aghil. Europeans have given it the name of Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood.
Aloewood was used by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies.
Nicodemus brought it (pounded aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ (John 19:39); but whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is uncertain.
The “bitter aloes” of the apothecary is the dried juice of the leaves Aloe vulgaris.