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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Poplar ( libneh [root meaning ‘white’]   Genesis 30:37 ’ RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘storax’;   Hosea 4:13 . The Heb. is very similar to Arab [Note: Arabic.] , lubna meaning ‘storax,’ which is the LXX [Note: Septuagint.] tr. [Note: translate or translation.] in   Genesis 30:37; on the other hand, in   Hosea 4:12 the LXX [Note: Septuagint.] has leukç [‘white’], i.e. the ‘poplar’). The poplar may easily have furnished Jacob with white rods. There are two kinds of poplar in Syria, Populus alba and P [Note: Priestly Narrative.] . euphratica  ; they both flourish round Damascus, where their trunks are much used in making supports for the mud roofs.

E. W. G. Masterman.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Poplar. This is the rendering of the Hebrew word, libneh , which occurs in  Genesis 30:37 and  Hosea 4:13. Several authorities are in favor of the rendering of the Authorized Version, and think that "white poplar," ( Populus alba ), is the tree denoted: others understand the "storax tree" ( Styrax officinale ).

Both poplars and storax or styrax trees are common in Palestine, and either would suit the passages where the Hebrew term occurs. Storax is mentioned in  Sirach 24:15, together with other aromatic substances. The Styrax officinale is a shrub, from nine to twelve feet high, with ovate leaves, which are white underneath; the flowers are in racemes, and are white or cream-colored.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

Libneh , from Laban "to be white," namely, in wood and the under side of the leaves ( Genesis 30:37;  Hosea 4:13). Others, from Septuagint and the Arabic Lubnah , make the Libnah the Storax or Styrax , Styrax Officinale , a small tree with scented white blossoms and fragrant gum.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

libneh. It was probably the white poplar (Populus alba) which Jacob employed: it was 'green' in the sense of being fresh, moist. The poplar affords a grateful shade from the heat of the sun and was therefore one of the trees chosen under which the Israelites burnt incense.  Genesis 30:37;  Hosea 4:13 . Some judge the Hebrew word libneh to refer to the 'storax tree' (the styrax officinale ) which also grows in Palestine.

Webster's Dictionary [5]

(1): ( n.) Any tree of the genus Populus; also, the timber, which is soft, and capable of many uses.

(2): ( n.) The timber of the tulip tree; - called also white poplar.

King James Dictionary [6]

POP'LAR, n. L. populus. A tree of the genus Populus, of several species, as the abele, the white poplar,the black poplar, the aspen-tree, &c. It is numbered among the aquatic trees.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 Genesis 30:37 Hosea 4:13Willow

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

Plants In The Bible

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [9]

The word thus rendered (Libneh) occurs in two places of Scripture, viz.; , and is supposed to indicate either the white poplar or the storax tree. The arguments in support of the respective claims of these are nearly equally balanced, although those in favor of the storax appear to us to preponderate. The white poplar is said to be called white, not on account of the whiteness of its bark, but of that of the under surface of its leaves. It may perhaps be so designated from the whiteness of its hairy seeds, which have a remarkable appearance when the seed-covering first bursts. The poplar is certainly common in the countries where the scenes are laid of the transactions related in the above passages of Scripture. Lubne, both in Arabic and in Persian, is the name of a tree, and of the fragrant resin employed for fumigating, which exudes from it, and which is commonly known by the name of Storax. This resin was well known to the ancients, and is mentioned by Hippocrates and Theophrastus. Dioscorides describes several kinds, all of which were obtained from Asia Minor; and all that is now imported is believed to be the produce of that country. But the tree is cultivated in the south of Europe, though it does not there yield any storax. It is found in Greece, and is supposed to be a native of Asia Minor, whence it extends into Syria, and probably farther south. It is therefore a native of the country which was the scene of the transaction related in the above passage of Genesis.

From the description of Dioscorides, and his comparing the leaves of the styrax to those of the quince, there is no doubt of the same tree being intended: especially as in early times, as at the present day, it yielded a highly fragrant balsamic substance which was esteemed as a medicine, and employed in fumigation. From the similarity of the Hebrew name libneh to the Arabic lubne, and from the Septuagint having in Genesis translated the former by styrax, it seems most probable that this was the tree intended. It is capable of yielding white wands as well as the poplar; and it is also well qualified to afford complete shade under its ample foliage, as in the passage of . We may also suppose it to have been more particularly alluded to, from its being a tree yielding incense. 'They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under the terebinth and the storax trees, because the shadow thereof is good.'

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

pop´lar ( לבנה , libhneh , "whiteness"; στυράκινος , sturákinos , "storax" (  Genesis 30:37 ), λεύκη , leúkē , "poplar" ( Hosea 4:13 ) ( libhneh is so similar to the Arabic libna , the storax, that the latter certainly has the first claim to be the true translation)): "Jacob took him rods of fresh poplar," margin "storax tree" ( Genesis 30:37 ). "They ... burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and terebinths, because the shadow thereof is good" ( Hosea 4:13 ). In the latter reference the conjunction of the shrub, storax, with two great trees like the oak and terebinth - even though they all grow in the mountains - is strange. The storax cannot give a shade comparable with these trees. Had we other evidence of the storax being a sacred tree among the Hebrews, it might explain the difficulty.

The storax, Styrax officinalis (Natural Order Styraceae ), is a very common shrub in Palestine which occasionally attains the height of 20 feet. The under surfaces of its oval leaves are covered with whitish hairs, and it has many beautiful pure-white flowers like orange blossoms - hence, its name "whiteness."

The poplar, the traditional translation in  Hosea 4:13 , flourishes in many parts of Palestine. The white poplar, Populus alba , Arabic Haur , is common everywhere; Euphratica occurs especially in the Jordan valley; the black poplar, Populus nigra , and the Lombardy poplar, Populus pyramidalis - probably an importation - are both plentiful in the plain of Coele-Syria, around Damascus and along the river banks of Syria.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Poplar'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/poplar.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.