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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

FIR ( berôsh , RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] cypress [wh. see],   2 Samuel 6:5 ,   1 Kings 5:8;   1 Kings 5:10;   1 Kings 6:15;   1 Kings 6:34 etc.). It was a tree of large growth (  2 Kings 19:23 ,   Ezekiel 31:8 ); evergreen (  Hosea 14:8 ); a chief element in the glory of Lebanon (  Isaiah 60:13 ); associated with cedars (  Psalms 104:16-17 ,   Isaiah 14:8 ,   Zechariah 11:2 ). The timber of the berôsh ranked with the cedar for house- and ship-building (  1 Kings 5:8;   1 Kings 5:10 etc.). Cypress is accepted by most modern authorities, but berôsh may have also included several varieties of pine. ‘Fir’ is also RV [Note: Revised Version.] tr. [Note: translate or translation.] of ôren in   Isaiah 44:14 (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] wrongly ‘ash’).

E. W. G. Masterman.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

Βerosh (from Barash , "to cut up into planks") and Beroth ; including the Scotch fir, Ρi Inus Silvestris ; the lurch, the cypress: all found in Lebanon, according to the Imperial Dictionary. Used for musical instruments, for its softness of grain and sonorous property ( 2 Samuel 6:5), doors ( 1 Kings 6:34), ceilings ( 2 Chronicles 3:5), decks of ships ( Ezekiel 27:5). But Smith's Bible Dictionary Appendix (from Septuagint Arkeuthos) and Kedros) ) identifies Berowsh with the tall fragrant juniper of Lebanon, and denies that the lurch and Scotch fir exist in Syria or Palestine.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Fir.  Isaiah 14:8;  Ezekiel 27:5; etc. As the term "cedar" is in all probability applicable to more than one tree, so also "fir" in the Authorized Version represents probably one or other of the following trees:

1. Pinus sylvestris , or Scotch fir;

2. Larch;

3. Cupressus sempervirens , or cypress,

all which are at this day found in the Lebanon. The wood of the fir was used for ship-building,  Ezekiel 27:5, for musical instruments,  2 Samuel 6:5, for beams and rafters of houses.  1 Kings 5:8;  1 Kings 5:10;  2 Chronicles 2:8. It was a tall evergreen tree of vigorous growth.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [4]

Berosh   2 Samuel 6:5 1 Kings 5:8,10 6:15,34 9:11 Isaiah 55:13 2 Chronicles 3:5 Ezekiel 27:5 Nahum 2:3

The precise kind of tree meant by the "green fir tree" ( Hosea 14:8 ) is uncertain. Some regard it as the sherbin tree, a cypress resembling the cedar; others, the Aleppo or maritime pine (Pinus halepensis), which resembles the Scotch fir; while others think that the "stone-pine" (Pinus pinea) is probably meant. (See Pine .)

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

An evergreen tree, of beautiful appearance, whose lofty height and dense foliage afford a spacious shelter and shade. The Hebrew word often seems to mean the  Ezekiel 27:5; for musical instruments,  2 Samuel 6:5; for beams and rafters of houses,  1 Kings 5:8,10   9:11 Song of   Song of Solomon 1:17 .

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(n.) A genus (Abies) of coniferous trees, often of large size and elegant shape, some of them valued for their timber and others for their resin. The species are distinguished as the balsam fir, the silver fir, the red fir, etc. The Scotch fir is a Pinus.

King James Dictionary [7]

FIR, n.

The name of several species of the genus Pinus as the Scotch fir, the silver fir, spruce fir, hemlock fir, and oriental fir.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [8]

Fig. 181—Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens

Fir occurs in several passages of Scripture, in;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; . There is great difference of opinion as to the precise tree referred to in these passages. Some suppose it to be the cedar of Lebanon, others the box, ash, juniper, etc. In Scripture the terms Eres and Berosh, the one rendered 'cedar' and the other 'fir,' are very frequently associated together, and it is probable that the former may indicate the cedar with the wild pine-tree, while the latter may comprehend the juniper and cypress tribe.

The different species of juniper have by some botanists been ranked under Cedar. Of juniper there are several species in Syria. Of these the only species which could have been the Berosh of Scripture are the prickly or brown-berried juniper, an evergreen shrub from 10 to 12 feet high, and the Phoenician juniper, a native of the south of Europe, Russia, and Syria. Some are of opinion that the wood of the prickly juniper, rather than that of the so-called cedar of Lebanon, is the cedar-wood so famed in ancient times for its durability, and which was therefore employed in making statues. It is to the wood of certain species of juniper that the name of cedar-wood is now specially applied.

The evergreen cypress of botanists is a tree well known as being tapering in form, in consequence of its branches growing upright and close to the stem. In its general appearance it resembles the Lombardy poplar, so that the one is often mistaken for the other when seen in Oriental drawings. In southern latitudes it usually grows to a height of 50 or 60 feet. Its branchlets are closely covered with very small imbricated leaves, which remain on the tree for five or six years. Du Hamel states that he has observed on the bark of young cypresses small particles of a substance resembling gum tragacanth, and that he has seen bees taking great pains to detach these particles, probably to supply some of the matter required for forming their combs. This cypress is a native of the Grecian Archipelago, particularly of Candia (the ancient Crete) and Cyprus, and also of Asia Minor, Syria, and Persia. It may be seen on the coast of Palestine as well as in the interior, as the Muhammadans plant it in their cemeteries. It is also found on the mountains of Syria. 'The wood of the cypress is hard, fragrant, and of a remarkably fine close grain, very durable, and of a beautiful reddish hue, which Pliny says it never loses.' As to the opinion respecting the durability of the cypress-wood entertained by the ancients, it may be sufficient to adduce the authority of Pliny, who says 'that the statue of Jupiter in the Capitol, which was formed of cypress, had existed above 600 years without showing the slightest symptom of decay, and that the doors of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, which were also of cypress, and were 400 years old, had the appearance of being quite new.' This wood was used for a variety of purposes, as for wine-presses, poles, rafters, and joists. In all the passages of Scripture, therefore, the cypress will be found to answer completely to the descriptions and uses of the Berosh; for it is well adapted for building, is not subject to destruction, and was therefore very likely to be employed in the erection of the Temple, and also for its gates and flooring; for the decks of ships, and even for musical instruments and lances.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

(the -name. of an extensive family of coniferous evergreens; see Penny Cyclopaedia, s.. v.. Abies) is the uniform rendering in the Auth.Vers. of בְּרוֹשׁ , Beroesh (from its being cut into planks, Gesenius, Thees. Heb. p, 246), which frequently occurs ( 2 Samuel 6:5;  1 Kings 5:8;  1 Kings 5:10;  1 Kings 6:15;  1 Kings 6:34;  1 Kings 9:11;  2 Kings 9:23;  2 Chronicles 2:8;  2 Chronicles 3:5;  Psalms 104:17;  Isaiah 14:8;  Isaiah 37:24;  Isaiah 41:19;  Isaiah 55:13;  Isaiah 60:13;  Ezekiel 27:5;  Ezekiel 31:8;  Hosea 14:8;  Nahum 2:3;  Zechariah 11:2), and בְּרוֹת Beroth', which is said to be only the Aramsean form of the same cord (in  Song of Solomon 1:17). In most of the passages. the terms rendered cedar and fir in the Auth.Vers. are mentioned together. Berosh is: translated variously in the Sept. Πίτυς , Πεν῎Κη , Κνπάρισσος , and ( Ezekiel 27:5) Κέδρος; in  Isaiah 14:8, Ξύλα Διβάνου; in thee Vulg. chiefly abies, Cupressals. It was a lofty tree ( Isaiah 55:13), growing on Lebanon ( Isaiah 37:24), and of an ornamental figure ( Isaiah 60:13). The passages from which any special account of its use can be derived are,

1. Of musical instruments ( 2 Samuel 6:5);

2. Of doors ( 1 Kings 6:34);

3. Of gilded ceilings ( 2 Chronicles 3:5);

4. Boards or decks of ships ( Ezekiel 27:5), or planks for flooring, ( 1 Kings 6:15). Rosenmuller says "In most of the passages where the Hebrew word occurs, it is by the oldest Greek sand the Syriac translators rendered cypress." Celsius, on the contrary, is 'of opinion that beroshk indicates the cedar of Lebanon, and that es-z, which is usually considered to have that meaning, is the common pine (Pinus syrestris), apparently because hue conceives berosh to be changed from sherbin, the Arabic name of pine' J. E. Faber, as quoted by Rosenmuller, conjectures that the Hebrew sname berosh included three different trees which resemble each other, viz, the evergreen cypress, the thyine, and; the savine. The last, Jenaiperua soabi/a, is so like the cypress that the ancients often called it by that name, and the moderns have noticed the resemblance, especially as to the leaves. "Hence, even among the Greeks, both trees bore the old Eastern names - of berash, learoth, brutha, or brathy" (Rosesmuller Bot. of the Bible, ta- ansl. p. 260). The word berosh 'or beroth is slightly varied in the Syriac and Chaldee versions, being written berutha in the former, and berath in the latter. All these are closely allied to' breta, a name of the sacsnea plat, which is the Βράθυ , Βράθυν , and Βαράθους of the Greeks, and which the 'Arabs have converted into burasi and busratl.' By them it is applied to a species of juniper, which they call abhul and ases or oss. It appears that man' of these terms must be considered generic rather than specific in the modern sense, when so much care is bestowed on the accurate discrimination of one species from another. Thus arus, applied by the Arabs to a juniper, indicates a pine-tree in Scripture, whether we follow the common acceptation and consider it the cedar, or adopt the opinion of Celsius, that the Pinus sylvestris is indicated. So bursal' may have been applied by the Arabs, etc. not only to the sasvine and other species of juniper, but also to plants, such as the cypress, which resemble these. In many of those 'cases, therefore, where we are unable to discover any absolute identity or similarity of name, we must be guided by the nature of the trees, the uses to which they were applied, and the situations in which they are said to have been found. Thus, as we find erez and berosh so constantly associated in Scripture, the former may indicate the cedar with the wild pine-tree, while the latter may comprehend the juniper and cypress tribe. (See Cedar); (See Cypress);. (See Juniper). All these were extensively used for architecture, and are at this day found in Lebanon (Balfour, Trees Of Scripture, p. 11; Thenius On  1 Kings 6:34; Saalschutz, Hebr. Arch. i, 280, note 4; Miller, Gardener's Dict. s.v. Cupressus;. Stephens, Thes. Ling. Gr. s.v. Πεύκη ; Belon, Obs. C. 110, p. 165; Loudon, Arboretum, 4:2163). In  Hosea 14:8, the " stone-pine " (Pinus pinea), which has a cone containing an edible nut, seems to be intended (Kitto, Pict. Bible, in loc.), although Henderson (Comment. in loc.) thinks that a fruitless tree is there referred to by way of contrast. (See Tree).