|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(Hebrews e'rez, Gr. kedros, Lat. cedrus), a tree very frequently mentioned in Scripture. It was stately (Ezek. 31:3-5), long-branched (Psalm 80:10; 92:12; Ezek. 31:6-9), odoriferous (Cant. 4:11; Hosea 14:6), durable, and therefore much used for boards, pillars, and ceilings (1 Kings 6:9, 10; 7:2; Jeremiah 22:14), for masts (Ezek. 27:5), and for carved images (Isaiah 44:14).
It grew very abundantly in Palestine, and particularly on Lebanon, of which it was "the glory" (Isaiah 35:2; 60:13). Hiram supplied Solomon with cedar trees from Lebanon for various purposes connected with the construction of the temple and the king's palace (2 Samuel 5:11; 7:2, 7; 1 Kings 5:6, 8, 10; 6:9, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20; 7:2, 3, 7, 11, 12; 9:11, etc.). Cedars were used also in the building of the second temple under Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:7).
Of the ancient cedars of Lebanon there remain now only some seven or eight. They are not standing together. But beside them there are found between three hundred and four hundred of younger growth. They stand in an amphitheatre fronting the west, about 6,400 feet above the level of the sea.
The cedar is often figuratively alluded to in the sacred Scriptures. "The mighty conquerors of olden days, the despots of Assyria and the Pharaohs of Egypt, the proud and idolatrous monarchs of Judah, the Hebrew commonwealth itself, the war-like Ammonites of patriarchal times, and the moral majesty of the Messianic age, are all compared to the towering cedar, in its royal loftiness and supremacy (Isaiah 2:13; Ezek. 17:3, 22, 23, 31:3-9; Amos 2:9; Zechariah 11:1, 2; Job 40:17; Psalm 29:5; 80:10; 92:12, etc).", Groser's Scrip. Nat. Hist. (see BOX-TREE.)
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) The name of several evergreen trees. The wood is remarkable for its durability and fragrant odor.
2. (a.) of or pertaining to cedar.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
se'-dar, se'-der ('erez, from Hebrew root meaning "to be firm"; kedros): The 'erez was in almost all the Old Testament references the true cedar, Cedrus libani, but the name may have been applied in a loose way to allied trees, such as junipers and pines. In Numbers 24:6 -"as cedar-trees beside the waters"-the reference must, as is most probable, be purely poetical (see ALOES) or the 'arazim must signify some other kind of tree which flourishes beside water.
1. Cedar for Ritual Cleansing:
Cedar is twice ment Leviticus 14:4 the cleansed leper was sprinkled with the blood of a "clean bird" into which had been put "cedar-wood, and scarlet, and hyssop." In Numbers 19:6 "cedar-wood, and hyssop, and scarlet" were to be cast into the holocaust of the red heifer. (For the symbolical meaning see CLEAN.) Here it is very generally considered that the cedar could not have been the wood of Cedrus libani, which so far as we know never grew in the wilderness, but that of some species of juniper-according to Post, Juniperis phoenicea, which may still be found in the wilderness of Edom.
2. Cedar Trees in the Old Testament:
Cedar trees are everywhere mentioned with admiration in the Old Testament. Solomon made the cedar the first of trees (1 Kings 4:33). They are the "glory of Lebanon" (Isaiah 35:2; Isaiah 60:13). The most boastful threat of Sennacherib was that he would cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon (Isaiah 37:24). They were strong, as is implied in-"The voice of Yahweh is powerful;. The voice of Yahweh breaketh the cedars; Yea, Yahweh breaketh in pieces the cedars of Lebanon" (Psalm 29:4, 5). The cedars are tall-"whose height was like the height of the cedars"-(Amos 2:9 2 Kings 19:23); majestic (2 Kings 14:9), and excellent (Songs 5:15). The Assyrian power is compared to-"a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, an high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs. its stature was exalted above all the trees of the field; and its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long" (Ezekiel 31:3-5). They are in particular God's trees-"The trees of Yahweh are filled with moisture, The cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted" (Psalm 104:16). Doubtless as a reminiscence of this the Syrians today call the cedar `ars er rubb, "the cedar of the Lord." The growth of the cedar is typical of that of the righteous man (Psalm 92:12).
That cedars were once very abundant in the Lebanon is evident (1 Kings 6:9-18; 1 Kings 10:27). What they contributed to the glory and beauty of that district may be seen in Zechariah 11:1-2: "Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. Wail, O fir-tree, for the cedar is fallen, because the glorious (Revised Version margin) ones are destroyed: Wail, O ye oaks of Bashan, for the strong forest is come down." 3. Cedar Timber:
The wood of the cedar has always been highly prized-much more so than the sycamore (1 Kings 10:27 Isaiah 9:10). David had a house of cedar built for him by Hiram, king of Tyre (2 Samuel 5:11), and he prepared "cedar-trees without number" for the temple which his son was to build (1 Chronicles 22:4). Cedar timber was very much used in the construction of Solomon's temple and palace, the trees being cut in the Lebanon by Sidonians by orders of the king of Tyre-"Hiram gave Solomon timber of cedar and timber of fir according to all his desire" (1 Kings 5:6-10). One of Solomon's most important buildings was known as "the house of the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 7:2; 1 Kings 10:17 2 Chronicles 9:16), on account of the source of its materials. While cedar was well adapted for beams (1 Kings 6:9 Songs 1:17), boards (Songs 8:9), pillars (1 Kings 7:2) and ceilings (Jeremiah 22:14), it was suited as well for carved work, such as idols (Isaiah 44:14, 15). It was also used for ships' masts (Ezekiel 27:5).
4. Cedars in Modern Syria:
The Cedrus libani still survives in the mountains of Syria and flourishes in much greater numbers in the Taurus mountains. "There are groves of cedars above el-Ma`acir, Baruk, `Ain Zehaltah, Hadith, Besherri, and Sir" (Post, Flora, 751). Of these the grove at Besherri is of world-wide renown. It consists of a group of about 400 trees, among them some magnificent old patriarchs, which lies on the bare slopes of the Lebanon some 6,000 ft. above the sea. Doubtless they are survivors of a forest which here once covered the mountain slopes for miles. The half a dozen highest specimens reach a height of between 70 and 80 ft., and have trunks of a circumference of 40 ft. or more. It is impossible to estimate with any certainty their age, but they may be as much as 800, or even 1,000, years old. Though magnificent, these are by no means the largest of their kind. Some of the cedars of Amanus are quite 100 ft. high and the Himalayan cedar, Cedrus deodara, a variety of Cedrus libani, reaches a height of 150 ft. The impressiveness of the cedar lies, however, not so much in its height and massive trunk, as in the wonderful lateral spread of its branches, which often exceeds its height. The branches grow out horizontally in successive tiers, each horizontal plane presenting, when looked at from above, the appearance of a green sward. The leaves are about an inch long, arranged in clusters; at first they are bright green, but they change with age to a deeper tint with a glaucous hue; the foliage is evergreen, the successive annual growths of leaves each lasting two years. The cones, 4 to 6 inches long, are oval or oblong-ovate, with a depression at times at the apex; they require two years to reach maturity and then, unlike other conifers, they remain attached to the tree, dropping out their scales bearing the seeds.
The wood of the cedar, specially grown under the conditions of its natural habitat, is hard, close grained, and takes a high polish. It is full of resin (Psalm 92:14) which preserves it from rot and from worms. Cedar oil, a kind of turpentine extracted from the wood, was used in ancient times as a preservative for parchments and garments.
E. W. G. Masterman
Cedar (61 Occurrences)
Leviticus 14:4 then the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 14:6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 14:49 To cleanse the house he shall take two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 14:51 He shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 14:52 He shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, with the living bird, with the cedar wood, with the hyssop, and with the scarlet; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 19:6 and the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 24:6 As valleys they are spread forth, as gardens by the riverside, as aloes which Yahweh has planted, as cedar trees beside the waters. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 5:11 Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons; and they built David a house. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 7:2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 7:7 In all places in which I have walked with all the children of Israel, did I say a word to any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of my people Israel, saying,'Why have you not built me a house of cedar?'"' (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 4:33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, and of birds, and of creeping things, and of fish. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 5:6 Now therefore command that they cut me cedar trees out of Lebanon. My servants shall be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you shall say. For you know that there is not among us any who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 5:8 Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, "I have heard the message which you have sent to me. I will do all your desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 5:10 So Hiram gave Solomon timber of cedar and timber of fir according to all his desire. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:9 So he built the house, and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:10 He built the stories against all the house, each five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:15 He built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar: from the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood; and he covered the floor of the house with boards of fir. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:16 He built twenty cubits on the hinder part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls of the ceiling : he built them for it within, for an oracle, even for the most holy place. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:18 There was cedar on the house within, carved with buds and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:20 Within the oracle was a space of twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in its height; and he overlaid it with pure gold: and he covered the altar with cedar. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:36 He built the inner court with three courses of cut stone, and a course of cedar beams. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 7:2 For he built the house of the forest of Lebanon; its length was one hundred cubits, and its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits, on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on the pillars. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 7:3 It was covered with cedar above over the forty-five beams, that were on the pillars; fifteen in a row. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 7:7 He made the porch of the throne where he was to judge, even the porch of judgment: and it was covered with cedar from floor to floor. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 7:11 Above were costly stones, even cut stone, according to measure, and cedar wood. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 7:12 The great court around had three courses of cut stone, and a course of cedar beams; like as the inner court of the house of Yahweh, and the porch of the house. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 9:11 (now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire), that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV
1 Kings 10:27 The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 14:9 Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, "The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying,'Give your daughter to my son as wife. Then wild animal that was in Lebanon passed by, and trampled down the thistle. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:23 By your messengers you have defied the Lord, and have said,'With the multitude of my chariots, I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon; and I will cut down its tall cedars, and its choice fir trees; and I will enter into his farthest lodging place, the forest of his fruitful field. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 14:1 Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and masons, and carpenters, to build him a house. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 17:1 It happened, when David lived in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, "Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of Yahweh is under curtains." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 17:6 In all places in which I have walked with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of my people, saying,'Why have you not built me a house of cedar?'"' (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 22:4 and cedar trees without number: for the Sidonians and they of Tyre brought cedar trees in abundance to David. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 1:15 The king made silver and gold to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 2:3 Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As you dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build him a house in which to dwell, even so deal with me. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 2:8 Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon; for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon: and behold, my servants shall be with your servants, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 9:27 The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 25:18 Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife: and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 3:7 They gave money also to the masons, and to the carpenters; and food, and drink, and oil, to them of Sidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Job 40:17 He moves his tail like a cedar. The sinews of his thighs are knit together. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil. (See RSV)
Psalms 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree. He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 1:17 The beams of our house are cedars. Our rafters are firs. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 8:9 If she is a wall, we will build on her a turret of silver. if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 41:19 I will put cedar, acacia, myrtle, and oil trees in the wilderness. I will set fir trees, pine, and box trees together in the desert; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 22:7 I will prepare destroyers against you, everyone with his weapons; and they shall cut down your choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 22:14 who says, I will build me a wide house and spacious chambers, and cuts him out windows; and it is ceiling with cedar, and painted with vermilion. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 22:15 Shall you reign, because you strive to excel in cedar? Didn't your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? then it was well with him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 22:23 Inhabitant of Lebanon, who makes your nest in the cedars, how greatly to be pitied you will be when pangs come on you, the pain as of a woman in travail! (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 17:3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A great eagle with great wings and long feathers, full of feathers, which had various colors, came to Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 17:22 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also take of the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 17:23 in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all birds of every wing; in the shade of its branches shall they dwell. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 27:5 They have made all your planks of fir trees from Senir; they have taken a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 27:24 These were your traffickers in choice wares, in wrappings of blue and embroidered work, and in chests of rich clothing, bound with cords and made of cedar, among your merchandise. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS)
Ezekiel 31:3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with beautiful branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Hosea 14:5 I will be like the dew to Israel. He will blossom like the lily, and send down his roots like Lebanon. (See NAS NIV)
Hosea 14:6 His branches will spread, and his beauty will be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon. (See NAS NIV)
Amos 2:9 Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Zephaniah 2:14 Herds will lie down in the midst of her, all the animals of the nations. Both the pelican and the porcupine will lodge in its capitals. Their calls will echo through the windows. Desolation will be in the thresholds, for he has laid bare the cedar beams. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Zechariah 11:2 Wail, fir tree, for the cedar has fallen, because the stately ones are destroyed. Wail, you oaks of Bashan, for the strong forest has come down. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)