Also see definition of "Forest" in Word Study
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EBD: Forest
SMITH: FOREST
ISBE: FOREST
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Forest

Forest [EBD]

Heb. ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all the great primeval forests of Syria (Eccl. 2:6; Isa. 44:14; Jer. 5:6; Micah 5:8). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic forest of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:6, 8; Josh. 17:15, 18), which is probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Ps. 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 (1 Sam. 22:5). We read also of the forest of Bethel (2 Kings 2:23, 24), and of that which the Israelites passed in their pursuit of the Philistines (1 Sam. 14:25), and of the forest of the cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 19:23; Hos. 14:5, 6).

"The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2 Chr. 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 2 Chr. 27:4. It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the "wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself (1 Sam. 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 Eccl. 2:5, where it is rendered in the plural "orchards" (R.V., "parks"), and Cant. 4: 13, rendered "orchard" (R.V. marg., "a paradise").

"The forest of the vintage" (Zech. 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; Hos. 2:12). Isaiah (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.

FOREST [SMITH]

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.

FOREST [ISBE]

FOREST - for'-est:

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

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

See PARADISE.

(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" (2 Ki 19:23 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "of his fruitful field"); "the forest of Hereth" (1 Sam 22:5); "the forest of Lebanon" (1 Ki 7:2 f; 10:17-21; 2 Ch 9:16-20); "the forest of Ephraim," East of the Jordan (2 Sam 18:6,8,17). The word ya`ar appears also in well-known Kiriath-jearim, "the city of forests," and Mr. Jearim (Josh 15:10). Among numerous other references the following may be cited: Dt 19:5; Josh 17:15,18; 1 Ch 16:33; 2 Ki 2:24; Ps 80:13; 83:14; 96:12; 132:6; Eccl 2:6; Song 2:3; 1 Sam 7:2; 14:25,26; Jer 4:29; 46:23; Ezek 34:29; Mic 3:12; 7:14.

(4) cebhakh, from root meaning "to interweave." A "thicket" (Gen 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. For a discussion of the subject see BOTANY.

E. W. G. Masterman


Also see definition of "Forest" in Word Study


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