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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Almug , or Algum (  1 Kings 10:11-12 ,   2 Chronicles 2:8;   2 Chronicles 9:10-11; the two names are probably variants of the same word, caused by transposition of letters, as is common in Heb. and Arabic). This tree was imported by Solomon from Ophir (  1 Kings 10:11-12 ) and from Lebanon (  2 Chronicles 2:8 ) for staircases, balustrades, and musical instruments. There is nothing certain known of the nature of this wood, but as Jewish tradition states that it was a red wood, red sandal wood ( Pterocarpus santalinus ) now used chiefly for its colouring properties has been very generally accepted.

E. W. G. Masterman.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [2]

A kind of tree or wood, which Hiram brought from Ophir for the use of Solomon in making pillars for the temple and his own house, and also musical instruments,  1 Kings 10:11   2 Chronicles 2:8 . The rabbins call it coral; but it could not be this. It was more probably the tree, which furnishes what is now commonly called Brazil wood, which is also a native of the East Indies, Siam, the Molucca islands, and Japan, and has several species. Its wood is very durable, and is used in fine cabinet work. It yields also a dye of a beautiful red color, for which it is much used. Its resemblance in color to coral may have given occasion for the name almug, which in rabbinic still signifies coral; and thus the meaning of the name would be coral-wood.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [3]

Almug Trees,  1 Kings 10:11; or Algum Trees .  2 Chronicles 2:8. Two forms of the same word. One of the kinds of timber which Solomon ordered from Tyre for the building of the temple. Jewish historians describe it as a fine, white, glossy wood, and it was used for musical instruments, and the ornamental work of the temple. Sandal wood answers best to the description in the passage cited. Dr. Shaw supposes it to have been what we call the cypress, which is still used for harpsichords ana other stringed instruments.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [4]

 1 Kings 10:11,12 2 Chronicles 2:8 9:10,11 Almuggim

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]


Webster's Dictionary [6]

(n.) Alt. of Algum

Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

(Hebrew only in the plural almuggim', אִלְמֻגַּים , according to Bohlen, from the Sanscrit Micata, a similar wood, Al- being the Arab. article,  1 Kings 10:11-12; Sept. Τὰ Ξύλα Τὰ Πελεκητά , Vulg. Ligna Thyina, Auth. Vers. "algum-trees"), or ALGUM (See Algum) (Hebrew likewise only in plur. Algummim', אִלְגּוּמִּים , by transposition from the preceding,  2 Chronicles 2:8, Vulg. ligna pinea;  2 Chronicles 9:10-11, Ligna Thyina; Sept. Ξύλα Τὰ Πεύκινα , Auth. Vers. "algum-trees"), a kind of precious wood brought along with gold and precious stones from Ophir by the navy of Hiram in the time of Solomon, and employed by him for the ornaments of the temple and palace, as well as for making musical instruments ( 1 Kings 10:11-12), and previously unknown to the Israelites ( 2 Chronicles 9:10-11), although it is stated to have been also procured from Lebanon ( 2 Chronicles 2:8). The Sept. translators of Kings understand "Hewn Wood" to be meant, but in Chron. it is rendered "Pine Wood," as by the Vulg. in one passage, although elsewhere " Thyine-Wood" (comp.  Revelation 18:12), or citron-wood. (See Thyine) . Its occurrence in  2 Chronicles 2:8 (whence the inference that it was a species of pine, see Biel, De lignis ex Libano petitis, in the Museum Hagan. 4, 1 sq., or cedar, as Abulwalid, in loc.) among the trees procurable from Lebanon (comp. its omission in the parallel passage,  1 Kings 5:8) is probably an interpolation (Rosenmuller, Bib. Bot. p. 245), since it would not in that case have afterward become unknown ( 1 Kings 10:12). Dr. Shaw supposes it to have been the Cypress, because the wood of that tree is still used in Italy and elsewhere for violins, harpsichords, and other stringed instruments. Hiller (Hierophyt. 13, § 7) supposes a gummy or resinous wood to be meant, but this would be unfit for the uses to which the almug-tree is said to have been applied. Josephus (Ant. 8, 7,1) describes the wood as that of a kind of pine, which he distinguishes from the pine of his own days. Many of the rabbins (e.g. R. Tanchum) understand pearls, for which the word in the sing. (almug, אִלְמוּג ) occurs in the Talmud (Mishna, Kelim, 13, 6; comp. Maimonides and Bartinora, in loc.); but these are not a wood ( עֵצִים ), and are obtained from the Red and Mediterranean seas, whence they are even exported to India (Pliny, 32:2); so that we must probably understand the Talmudists as only referring to the red or Coralline hue of the wood. The interpretation of Kimchi (Targum, in loc. 2 Chron.), that it was a red dye-wood, called Albaccum in Arabic, and commonly Brazil- Wood (Abulfadli and Edrisi, ap. Celsius), has been followed by most moderns since Celsius (Hierobot. 1, 171 sq.), who refer it to the Sandal- Wood of commerce (in Sanscrit, Rakta), a view which is corroborated by the position of Ophir (q.v.), probably southward and eastward of the Red Sea, in some part of India (Pict. Bible, 2, 349-366), whence alone the associated products, such as gold, precious stones, ivory, peacocks, apes, and tin, could have been procured. Among those, however, who have been in favor of sandal-wood, many have confounded with the true and far- famed kind what is called "red sandal-wood," the product of Pterocarpus santalinus, as well as of Adenanthera pavonina (Beckmann, Waarenkunde, II, 1, 112 sq.; Wahl, Ostindien, 2, 802; Faber, Archiologie, p. 374). But the most common sandal-wood is that which is best known and most highly esteemed in India. It is produced by the Santalum album, a native of the mountainous parts of the coast of Malabar, where large quantities are cut for export to China, to different parts of India, and to the Persian and Arabian gulfs. The outer parts of this tree are white and without odor; the parts near the root are most fragrant, especially of such trees as grow in hilly situations and stony ground. The trees vary in diame ter from 9 inches to a foot, and are about 25 or 30 feet in height, but the stems soon begin to branch. This wood is white, fine-grained, and agreeably fragrant, and is much employed for making rosaries, fans, elegant boxes, and cabinets. The Chinese use it also as incense both in their temples and private houses, and burn long slender candles formed by covering the ends of sticks with its sawdust mixed with rice-paste. As sandal-wood has been famed in the East from very early times, it is more likely than any other to have attracted the notice of, and been desired by, more northern nations. We do not, however, trace it by its present or any similar name at a very early period in the writings of Greek authors; it may, however, have been confounded with agila-wood, or agallochum, which, like it, is a fragrant wood and used as incense. (See Aloe). Sandal-wood is mentioned in early Sanscrit works, and also in those of the Arabs. Actuarius is the earliest Greek author that expressly notices it, but he does so as if it had been familiarly known. In the Periplus o Arrian it is mentioned as one of the articles of commerce obtainable at Omana, in Gedrosia, by the name Ξύλα Σαγάλινα , which Dr. Vincent remarks may easily have been corrupted from Σανδάλινα . As it was produced on the Malabar coast, it could readily be obtained by the merchants who conveyed the cinnamon of Ceylon and other Indian products to the Mediterranean (comp. Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 93; Penny Cyclopoedia, s.v. Santalaceae, Santalum). (See Botany), and comp. (See Sandal-Wood).