From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

חדס ,   Nehemiah 8:15;  Isaiah 41:19;  Isaiah 55:13 :

 Zechariah 1:8-10; a shrub, sometimes growing to a small tree, very common in Judea. It has a hard woody root that sends forth a great number of small flexible branches, furnished with leaves like those of box, but much less, and more pointed: they are soft to the touch, shining, smooth, of a beautiful green, and have a sweet smell. The flowers grow among the leaves, and consist of five white petals disposed in the form of a rose: they have an agreeable perfume, and ornamental appearance. Savary, describing a scene at the end of the forest of Platanea, says, "Myrtles, intermixed with laurel roses, grow in the valleys to the height of ten feet. Their snow-white flowers, bordered with a purple edging, appear to peculiar advantage under the verdant foliage. Each myrtle is loaded with them, and they emit perfumes more exquisite than those of the rose itself. They enchant every one, and the soul is filled with the softest sensations." The myrtle is mentioned in Scripture among lofty trees, not as comparing with them in size, but as contributing with them to the beauty and richness of the scenery. Thus  Isaiah 41:19 , intending to describe a scene of varied excellence: "I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, and the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree;" that is, I will adorn the dreary and barren waste with trees famed for their stature and the grandeur of their appearance, the beauty of their form, and also the fragrance of their odour. The apocryphal Baruch, 5:8, speaking of the return from Babylon, expresses the protection afforded by God to the people by the same image: "Even the woods and every sweet-smelling tree shall overshadow Israel by the commandment of God."

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

Used (as it is still by the modern Jews) on the return from Babylon to adorn booths for the feast of tabernacles ( Nehemiah 8:15). It then grew on the hills about Jerusalem and Olivet, where now there are only the olive and the fig tree. Hereafter about to grow in what was a wilderness ( Isaiah 41:19;  Isaiah 4:18). The myrtle in  Zechariah 1:8;  Zechariah 1:10-11, symbolizes the Jewish church, not a stately cedar but a lowly though fragrant myrtle. Its depression made the Jews despond; the Angel of Jehovah standing (as in His abiding place,  Psalms 132:14) among the myrtles guarantees her safety, lowly though she be. The myrtle was probably imported into Palestine from Babylon in the time of Isaiah who first mentions it. It is a native of Persia. Esther received her name Ηadassah , "the myrtle," in the Persian court ( Esther 2:7). In Samaria and Galilee on the banks of rivers it still abounds. Its starry blossoms amidst dark and odorous leaves, and flexible branches, furnish a beautiful garland, so that in Greece it was held sacred to Venus the goddess of beauty.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Myrtle. A plant mentioned in  Nehemiah 8:15;  Isaiah 41:19;  Isaiah 55:13;  Zechariah 1:8;  Zechariah 1:10-11. The modern Jews still adorn, with myrtle, the booths and sheds at the Feast of Tabernacles . Formerly, as we learn from Nehemiah,  Nehemiah 8:15, myrtles grew on the hills about Jerusalem.

"On Olivet," says Dean Stanley, "nothing is now to be seen, but the olive and the fig tree:" on some of the hills near Jerusalem, however, Hasselquist observed the myrtle.

Dr. Hooker says it is not uncommon in Samaria and Galilee. The Myrtus communis is the kind denoted by the Hebrew word. (It is a shrub or low tree, sometimes ten feet high, with green shining leaves, and snow-white flowers bordered with purple, "which emit a perfume more exquisite than that of the rose." The seeds of the myrtle, dried before they are ripe, form our allspice. - Editor).

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [4]

 Isaiah 41:19 (c) The seven kinds of trees mentioned in this verse may be taken as types of seven kinds of Christian experience. The myrtle tree usually represents the happy, radiant Christian life which remains green and beautiful even through the winter months.

 Isaiah 55:13 (b) No doubt our Lord is teaching us that when we walk with Him, believe His Word, and live for His glory, our lives will be filled with joy and gladness, instead of with sorrow, grief and pain such as the thorns produce. The brier represents the sorrows, pains and griefs of life, while the myrtle represents the joys the beauty and happiness of life.

 Zechariah 1:8 (b) By this picture we may understand that our Lord coming forth in power and having upon Him the blood of His enemies because He trod the winepress alone is found mingling and mixing among a happy, radiant people of GOD in GOD's country.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

The well-known tree bearing this name, the myrtus communis. Branches were to be taken from this tree, among others, to make booths when the feast of tabernacles was kept. During the millennium, 'instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree,' so that it seems to be a type of peace and blessing.  Nehemiah 8:15;  Isaiah 41:19;  Isaiah 55:13 . In  Zechariah 1:8,10,11 a man (that is, an angel of Jehovah) was seen standing among the myrtle trees, when all the earth was sitting still and was at rest — emblem of the blessing of Jerusalem, for which the angel was interceding. Under the rule of the second Gentile empire, the nations were indifferent to the condition of Jerusalem.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

Myrtle ( hădas ,   Isaiah 41:18;   Isaiah 55:13 , Zee 1:8, 10,   Nehemiah 8:15; also as a name Hadassah = ‘Esther’ [  Esther 2:7 ]). Myrtus communis is an evergreen shrub much prized in Palestine. It grows wild in the mountains, especially on Carmel and in Gilead, but is also widely cultivated. It sometimes reaches a height of ten feet, but is usually much less. Its dark green leaves, pretty white flowers, and dark berries, which are eaten, are all much admired. It is still regularly used by the Jews in the Feast of Tabernacles (  Nehemiah 8:15 ).

E. W. G. Masterman.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]

A beautiful and fragrant evergreen tree, growing wild throughout the southern parts of Europe, the north of Africa, and the temperate parts of Asia; principally on the seacoast. The leaves are of a rich and polished evergreen; the flowers white, with sometimes a tinge of red externally; and the berries are of the size of a small pea, violet or whitish, sweetish, and with the aromatic flavor which distinguishes the whole plant. These are used for spices in the Levant. It furnishes a useful tonic medicine,  Nehemiah 8:15;  Isaiah 41:19;  55:13;  Zechariah 1:8,10,11 .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [8]

Myrtle. This plant, Myrtus Communis, grows in the east into a tree of twenty feet in height. The myrtle was an emblem of peace and quietude; hence allusions to it are frequently introduced by the sacred writers.  Isaiah 41:19;  Isaiah 55:13;  Zechariah 1:8-11. Branches of it were used for constructing booths and arbors at the feast of tabernacles.  Nehemiah 8:15.

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(n.) A species of the genus Myrtus, especially Myrtus communis. The common myrtle has a shrubby, upright stem, eight or ten feet high. Its branches form a close, full head, thickly covered with ovate or lanceolate evergreen leaves. It has solitary axillary white or rosy flowers, followed by black several-seeded berries. The ancients considered it sacred to Venus. The flowers, leaves, and berries are used variously in perfumery and as a condiment, and the beautifully mottled wood is used in turning.

King James Dictionary [10]

MYR'TLE, n. L. myrtus. A plant of the genus Myrtus, of several species. The common myrtle rises with a shrubby upright stem, eight or ten feet high. Its branches form a close full head, closely garnished with oval lanceolate leaves. It has numerous small, pale flowers from the axillas, singly on each footstalk.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [11]

 Isaiah 41:19 Nehemiah 8:15 Zechariah 1:8 As

Holman Bible Dictionary [12]

Plants In The Bible

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

mûr´t'l ( הדס , hădhaṣ  ; μυρσίνη , mursı́nē (  Isaiah 41:19;  Isaiah 55:13;  Nehemiah 8:15;  Zechariah 1:8 ,  Zechariah 1:10 ); also as a name in Hadassah in  Esther 2:7 , the Jewish form of Esther (which see)): The myrtle, Myrtus communis (Natural Order Myrtaceae ), is a very common indigenous shrub all over Palestine On the bare hillsides it is a low bush, but under favorable conditions of moisture it attains a considerable height (compare  Zechariah 1:8 ,  Zechariah 1:10 ). It has dark green, scented leaves, delicate starry white flowers and dark-colored berries, which are eaten. In ancient times it was sacred to Astarte. It is mentioned as one of the choice plants of the land  Isaiah 41:19 . "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree"  Isaiah 55:13 , is one of the prophetic pictures of God's promised blessings. It was one of the trees used in the Feast of Tabernacles  Nehemiah 8:15 : "the branches of thick trees " (which see) are interpreted in the Talmud ( Ṣuk .  Nehemiah 3:4; Yer Ṣuk . 3, 53rd) as myrtle boughs; also (id) the "thick trees" of  Nehemiah 8:15 as "wild myrtle." Myrtle twigs, particularly those of the broadleaved variety, together with a palm branch and twigs of willow, are still used in the ritual of the Feast of Tabernacles. For many references to myrtle in Jewish writings see Jewish Encyclopedia , IX, 137.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [14]

Myrtle occurs in several passages of the Old Testament, as in;;;; .

The myrtle has from the earliest periods been highly esteemed in all the countries of the south of Europe. By the Greeks and Romans it was dedicated to Venus, and employed in making wreaths to crown lovers, but among the Jews it was the emblem of justice. The note of the Chaldee Targum on the name Esther, according to Dr. Harris, is, 'they call her Hadassah because she was just, and those that are just are compared to myrtles.'

The repute which the myrtle enjoyed in ancient times it still retains, notwithstanding the great accession of ornamental shrubs and flowers which has been made to the gardens and greenhouses of Europe. This is justly due to the rich coloring of its dark green and shining leaves, contrasted with the white starlike clusters of its flowers, affording in hot countries a pleasant shade under its branches, and diffusing an agreeable odor from its flowers or bruised leaves. It is, however, most agreeable in appearance when in the state of a shrub, for when it grows into a tree, as it does in hot counties, the traveler looks under instead of over its leaves, and a multitude of small branches are seen deprived of their leaves by the crowding of the upper ones. This shrub is common in the southern provinces of Spain and France, as well as in Italy and Greece; and also on the northern coast of Africa, and in Syria. The poetical celebrity of this plant had, no doubt, some influence upon its employment in medicine, and numerous properties are ascribed to it by Dioscorides (i. 127). It is aromatic and astringent, and hence, like many other such plants, forms a stimulant tonic, and is useful in a variety of complaints connected with debility. Its berries were formerly employed in Italy, and still are so in Tuscany, as a substitute for spices, now imported so plentifully from the Far East. A wine was also prepared from them, which was called myrtidanum, and their essential oil is possessed of excitant properties. In many parts of Greece and Italy the leaves are employed in tanning leather. The myrtle, possessing so many remarkable qualities, was not likely to have escaped the notice of the sacred writers, as it is a well-known inhabitant of Judea.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Myrtle'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.