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EBD: Terebinth
ISBE: TEREBINTH
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Terebinth


NET Glossary: a small tree (up to about 30 feet or 9 meters in height) occurring frequently in the hills of Palestine also known as the pistachio nut tree (pistachio nuts are mentioned in Gen 43:11); several species are found in Israel (Pistacia lentiscus, Pistacia terebinthus) along with the much larger Atlantic terebinth (Pistacia atlantica) which resembles an oak (some English Bible translations use "oak" and "terebinth" interchangeably, but note Hos 4:13 where they are mentioned together)

Terebinth [EBD]

(R.V. marg. of Deut. 11:30, etc.), the Pistacia terebinthus of botanists; a tree very common in the south and east of Palestine. (See OAK.)

TEREBINTH [ISBE]

TEREBINTH - ter'-e-binth: (1) 'elah (Isa 6:13, the King James Version "teil tree"; Hos 4:13, the King James Version "elms"); in Gen 35:4 (the King James Version "oak"); Jdg 6:11,19; 9:6 (the King James Version "plain"); 2 Sam 18:9,10,14; 1 Ki 13:14; 1 Ch 10:12; Isa 1:30; Ezek 6:13, translated "oak," and in margin "terebinth"; "vale of Elah," margin "the terebinth" in 1 Sam 17:2,19; 21:9. (2) 'elim (Isa 1:29, "oaks," margin "terebinths"). (3) 'allah (Josh 24:26, English Versions of the Bible have "oak," but the Septuagint terebinthos). (4) 'elon, "oak (margin, "terebinth") of Zaanannim" (Josh 19:33; Jdg 4:11); "oak (the Revised Version margin "terebinth," the King James Version "plain") of Tabor" (1 Sam 10:3); also Gen 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 1 Sam 10:3; Dt 11:30; Jdg 6:19 all translated "oak" or "oaks," with margin "terebinth" or "terebinths." (5) In Gen 14:6 Septuagint has terebinthos, as the translation of the el of El-paran. (6) In Ecclesiasticus 24:16 terem (b)inthos, the King James Version turpentine tree," the Revised Version (British and American) "terebinth."

It is clear that the translators are uncertain which translation is correct, and it would seem not improbable that then there was no clear distinction between oak and terebinth in the minds of the Old Testament. writers; yet the two are very different trees to any but the most superficial observation.

The terebinth--Pistacia terebinthus (Natural Order, Anacardiaceae), Arabic Butm]--is a tree allied to the P. vera, which produces the pistachio nut, and to the familiar "pepper tree" (Schinus molle) so extensively cultivated in modern Palestine. Like the latter the terebinth has red berries, like small immature grapes. The leaves are pinnate, four to six pairs, and they change color and fall in autumn, leaving the trunk bare (compare Isa 1:30). The terebinth is liable to be infected by many showy galls, some varieties looking like pieces of red coral. In Palestine, this tree assumes noble proportions, especially in situations when, from its association with some sacred tomb, it is allowed to flourish undisturbed. It is in such situations not infrequently as much as 40 ft. high and spreads its branches, with their thick, dark-green foliage, over a wide area (compare 2 Sam 18:9 f,14; Ecclesiasticus 24:16). Dwarfed trees occur among the brushwood all over the land.

From this tree a kind of turpentine is obtained, hence, the alternative name "turpentine tree" (Ecclesiasticus 24:16 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "terebinth").

E. W. G. Masterman


Also see definition of "Terebinth" in Word Study


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