fir in the Bible

Hebrew: בְּרוֹשׁ —transliteration: berosh —meaning: fir and/or cypress

The Hebrew word berosh may also refer to cypress, juniper or pines in general.

The Cicilian fir (Cicilia fir) or Taurus fir (Abies cilicica) is a species of conifer in the family Pinaceae (pine tree family). It is found in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. In ancient times, the number of these trees was very great. They were reduced by thousands of years of logging, burning and grazing. It is now a “Near Threatened” species (International Union for Conservation of Nature, 3.1).

The true fir (abies) is not found in Israel, but the pine tree, of which there are at least 4 species, is common in Israel (Brutia, Pinea, Canary, Aleppo).

The wood of fir trees had many uses…

Resin and oil

In ancient times, the fir tree resin (Abies cilicica) and its “oil derivative were used in mummification, as an antiseptic, a diuretic, to treat wrinkles, extract worms and promote hair growth.”

Green Fir Tree

The precise kind of tree meant by the “green fir tree” in Hosea 14:8 KJV is uncertain. Some regard it as the sherbin tree, a cypress resembling the cedar; others, the Aleppo or maritime pine (Pinus halepensis), which resembles the Scotch fir; while others think that the “stone-pine” (Pinus pinea) is probably meant.

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Article Version: August 25, 2019