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groves in the Bible

Three different Hebrew words may be translated as as “grove.”

In the earliest times groves are mentioned in connection with religious worship. The heathen consecrated groves to particular false gods, and for this reason they were forbidden to the Israelites (Jeremiah 17:3; Ezek. 20:28).

  1. Asherah

    Hebrew: 'asherah, usually a wooden image, or a pillar representing Asherah (Ashtoreth), a sensual Canaanitish goddess, usually usually set up in a grove (2 Kings 21:7; 23:4) or high place

    Plural: Asherim

    “They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree,” —2 Kings 17:10 NASB

    In the Revised King James Version the word “Asherah” is introduced as a proper noun, the name of the wooden symbol of a goddess, with the plurals Asherim (Exodus 34:13) and Asheroth (Judges 3:13).

    The Septuagint have rendered asherah in 2 Chronicles 15:16 by “Astarte.” The Vulgate has done this also in Judges 3:7.

  2. Eshel

    Hebrew: 'eshel (Genesis 21:33). In 1 Samuel 22:6 KJV and 1 Sam. 31:13 KJV, the King James Version renders this word by “tree.” In all these passages the Revised King James Version renders by “tamarisk tree.” It has been identified with the Tamariscus orientalis, five species of which are found in Israel.

  3. Elon

    The Hebrew word 'elon is uniformly rendered in the King James Version as “plain” (Genesis 13:18 KJV; Gen. 14:13 KJV; Gen. 18:1 KJV; Gen. 12:6 KJV; Deuteronomy 11:30 KJV).

    However the proper translation signifies a natural grove of trees or a plantation. The New American Standard Bible and the Revised King James Version translate the above verses as oaks (Genesis 13:18 NASB; Gen. 14:13 NASB; Gen. 18:1 NASB; Gen. 12:6 NASB; Deuteronomy 11:30 NASB; Joshua 19:33 NASB).

    The New King James version calls it “terebinth trees” (Genesis 13:18 NKJV; Gen. 14:13 NKJV; Gen. 18:1 NKJV; Gen. 12:6 NKJV; Deuteronomy 11:30 NKJV; Joshua 19:33 NKJV).

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Article Version: July 13, 2021