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Cupressus sempervirens. Pella, Jordan. Cupressaceae

There is uncertainty about the proper identity of the plant variously translated as pine, fir, and cypress. A helpful verse is Isaiah 41:19 where pines, fir, and cypress are mentioned together. In this verse the Hebrew word is tirzah, a word found only here. The most likely candidate is Cupressus sempervirens, a native tree widely planted in the Middle East. Like the cedar of Lebanon, it is a conifer-- that is, a cone bearing tree with hard, durable wood. The cones are round and resemble those of the common bald cypress to which cypress is related. The tree is narrow in form with branches usually close to the ground. Because of this as well as its attractive green color, it is a popular tree for planting along roads, parks, and homesites. In the Bible it is not always possible to distinguish which wood or tre is intended, whether cypress and pines. However, archaeological evidence from buildings in Jerusalem suggests that cypress was more widely used as a structural timber than pine. There is also evidence for the importance of cypress from mosaics (see figure below). For this reason, it is likely that it was an important part of Solomon's temple and other buildings of the time.

Cupressus sempervirens. Cones. University of Jordan campus, Amman, Jordan. Cupressaceae Cupressus sempervirens. Seeds. Cupressaceae Cupressus sempervirens Cypress. Mosaic, Medaba. Cupressaceae

 Cypress References