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Bible Plants

Lign Aloes

Two plants in the Bible are called "aloe." The New Testament plant, used in the burial of Jesus, is without a doubt the well-known Aloe vera . But the Old Testament plant translated aloe is obscure. According to Psalm 45: 8, it is apparently very fragrant as it is associated with myrrh and cassia. This is similar to the perfuming of the harlot's bed in Proverbs 7:17 where myrrh and cinnamon are also mentioned.

Their arboreal habit is referred to in Balaam's oracle in Numbers 24:6: "Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters." For this and other reasons, some scholars think that the Old Testament "aloe" is Aquilaria malaccenis, a tree from the Indo-malaysian region that has a heartwood saturated with a resin.