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for'-est (wood, orchards, parks, rugged)
Baalbec, Paradise
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Easton's Bible Dictionary

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

"The house of the forest of Lebanon ( 1 Kings 7:2 ; 10:17 ; 2 Chronicles 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 .)

(2) Hebrew. 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 Chronicles 27:4 . It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the "wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself ( 1 Samuel 23:15 ), which lay south-east of Hebron. In Isaiah 17:19 this word is in Authorized Version rendered incorrectly "bough."

(3) Hebrew. pardes, meaning an enclosed garden or plantation. Asaph is ( Nehemiah 2:8 ) called the "keeper of the king's forest." The same Hebrew word is used Ecclesiastes 2:5 , where it is rendered in the plural "orchards" (RSV, "parks"), and Canticles 4:13 , rendered "orchard" (RSV marg., "a paradise").

"The forest of the vintage" ( Zechariah 11:2 , "inaccessible forest," or RSV "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 ( Isaiah 29:17 ; 32:15 ; Jeremiah 26:18 ; Hosea 2:12 ). ( Isaiah 10:19 , 10:33 , 10:34 ) likens the Assyrian host under Sennacherib (q.v.) to the trees of some huge forest, to be suddenly cut down by an unseen stroke.


Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

(no entry)


Smith's Bible Dictionary

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.


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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

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


(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" (Isaiah 21:13, margin "thickets");

"the forest of Carmel" (2 Kings 19:23 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "of his fruitful field");

"the forest of Hereth" (1 Samuel 22:5);

"the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 7:2 ; 10:17-21 ; 2 Chronicles 9:16-20);

"the forest of Ephraim," East of the Jordan (2 Samuel 18:6 , 8 , 17). The word ya'ar appears also in well- known Kiriath-jearim,

"the city of forests," and Mount Jearim (Joshua 15:10).

Among numerous other references the following may be cited: Deuteronomy 19:5 ; Joshua 17:15 , 18 ; 1 Chronicles 16:33 ; 2 Kings 2:24 ; Psalms 80:13 ; 83:14 ; 96:12 ; 132:6 ; Ecclesiastes 2:6 ; Song of Solomon 2:3 ; 1 Samuel 7:2 ; 14:25 , 26 ; Jeremiah 4:29 ; 46:23 ; Ezekiel 34:29 ; Micah 3:12 ; 7:14.

(4) cebhakh, from root meaning "to interweave." A "thicket" (Genesis 22:13 ; Jeremiah 4:7); "thicket of trees" (Psalms 74:5); "thickets of the forest" (Isaiah 9:18 ; 10:34).

(5) 'adbhim, "thicket" (Jeremiah 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.



bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, define, forest, horesh, pardes, ya'ar



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