Goodly Trees

(peri`ets hadhar, "the fruit (the King James Version "boughs") of goodly (= beautiful or noble) trees"): One of the four species of plants used in the Feast of Tabernacles (Le 23:40). In the Talmud (Cukkdh 35a) this is explained to be the citron (Citrus medica) known in Hebrew as 'ethrogh. This tradition is ancient, at least as old as the Maccabees. Josephus (Ant., XIII, xiii, 5) records that Alexander Janneus, while serving at the altar during this feast, was pelted by the infuriated Jews with citrons. This fruit also figures on coins of this period. It is probable that the citron tree (Malum Persica) was imported from Babylon by Jews returning from the captivity. A citron is now carried in the synagogue by every orthodox Jew in one hand, and the lalabh (of myrtle, willow, and palm branch) in the other, on each day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.

Originally the "goodly trees" had a much more generic sense, and the term is so interpreted by the Septuagint and Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.)

See FEASTS AND FASTS; BOOTH.

E. W. G. Masterman

 
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