|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Hebrews ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all the great primeval forests of Syria (Ecclesiastes 2:6; Isaiah 44:14; Jeremiah 5:6; Micah 5:8). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic forest of Ephraim (2 Samuel 18:6, 8; Joshua 17:15, 18), which is probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Psalm 132:6), some part of the great forest of Gilead. It was in this forest that Absalom was slain by Joab. David withdrew to the forest of Hareth in the mountains of Judah to avoid the fury of Saul (1 Samuel 22:5). We read also of the forest of Bethel (2 Kings 2:23, 24), and of that which the Israelites passed in their pursuit of the Philistines (1 Samuel 14:25), and of the forest of the cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 19:23; Hosea 14:5, 6).
"The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2 Chronicles 9:16) was probably Solomon's armoury, and was so called because the wood of its many pillars came from Lebanon, and they had the appearance of a forest. (see BAALBEC.)
Hebrews horesh, denoting a thicket of trees, underwood, jungle, bushes, or trees entangled, and therefore affording a safe hiding-place. place. This word is rendered "forest" only in 2 Chronicles 27:4. It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the "wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself (1 Samuel 23:15), which lay south-east of Hebron. In Isaiah 17:19 this word is in Authorized Version rendered incorrectly "bough."
Hebrews pardes, meaning an enclosed garden or plantation. Asaph is (Nehemiah 2:8) called the "keeper of the king's forest." The same Hebrew word is used Ecclesiastes 2:5, where it is rendered in the plural "orchards" (R.V., "parks"), and Cant. 4: 13, rendered "orchard" (R.V. marg., "a paradise").
"The forest of the vintage" (Zechariah 11:2, "inaccessible forest, " or R.V. "strong forest") is probably a figurative allusion to Jerusalem, or the verse may simply point to the devastation of the region referred to.
The forest is an image of unfruitfulness as contrasted with a cultivated field (Isaiah 29:17; 32:15; Jeremiah 26:18; Hosea 2:12). Isaiah (10:19, 33, 34) likens the Assyrian host under Sennacherib (q.v.) to the trees of some huge forest, to be suddenly cut down by an unseen stroke.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) An extensive wood; a large tract of land covered with trees; in the United States, a wood of native growth, or a tract of woodland which has never been cultivated.
2. (n.) A large extent or precinct of country, generally waste and woody, belonging to the sovereign, set apart for the keeping of game for his use, not enclosed, but distinguished by certain limits, and protected by certain laws, courts, and officers of its own.
3. (a.) of or pertaining to a forest; sylvan.
4. (v. t.) To cover with trees or wood.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
EPHRAIM, FOREST OF
The word ya`ar (Hebrew) probably agrees in meaning with the Arabic wa`r, which indicates a rough country, abounding in rocks, stones and scrub, with occasional trees; not a "forest," as we understand the term. Here Absalom was defeated and slain (2 Samuel 18:6, the King James Version "wood of Ephraim"). It must be sought, therefore, East of the Jordan, in the neighborhood of Mahanaim; but no identification is yet possible.
(1) choresh (compare proper name Harosheth), 2 Chronicles 27:4. In 1 Samuel 23:15 translated "wood"; in Isaiah 17:9, "wood"; in Ezekiel 31:3, "forest-like shade." Applied to any thick growth of vegetation but not necessarily so extensive as (3).
(2) pardec: Nehemiah 2:8, margin "park"; Ecclesiastes 2:5, the King James Version "orchards," the Revised Version (British and American) "parks"; Songs 4:13, English Versions of the Bible "orchard," the Revised Version, margin "paradise." A word of Persian origin signifying probably an enclosure.
(3) ya`ar from root meaning "rugged"; compare Arabic wa`ar, "a rugged, stony region." It is sometimes rendered "forest" and sometimes (but less often in the Revised Version (British and American)) "wood." It is used of certain definite wooded tracts: "the forest in Arabia" (Isaiah 21:13, margin "thickets"); "the forest of Carmel" (2 Kings 19:23 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "of his fruitful field"); "the forest of Hereth" (1 Samuel 22:5); "the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 7:2; 1 Kings 10:17-21 2 Chronicles 9:16-20); "the forest of Ephraim," East of the Jordan (2 Samuel 18:6, 8, 17). The word ya`ar appears also in well-known Kiriath-jearim, "the city of forests," and Mt. Jearim (Joshua 15:10). Among numerous other references the following may be cited: Deuteronomy 19:5 Joshua 17:15, 18 1 Chronicles 16:33; 2 Kings 2:24 Psalm 80:13; Psalm 83:14; Psalm 96:12; Psalm 132:6 Ecclesiastes 2:6 Songs 2:3 1 Samuel 7:2; 1 Samuel 14:25, 26; Jeremiah 4:29; Jeremiah 46:23 Ezekiel 34:29 Micah 3:12; Micah 7:14.
(4) cebhakh, from root meaning "to interweave." A "thicket" (Genesis 22:13 Jeremiah 4:7); "thicket of trees" (Psalm 74:5); "thickets of the forest" (Isaiah 9:18; Isaiah 10:34).
(5) 'adbhim, "thicket" (Jeremiah 4:29).
From many references it is evident that Palestine had in Old Testament times much more extensive forests and woodlands than today. For a discussion of the subject see BOTANY.
E. W. G. Masterman
HERETH, THE FOREST OF
he'-reth (ya`-ar chareth; Septuagint polis Sareik; the King James Version Hareth): David (1 Samuel 22:5) was told by the prophet Gad to depart from Mizpah of Moab and go to the land of Judah, and he "came into the forest of Hereth." The Septuagint has "city" instead of forest; see also Josephus, Ant, VI, xii, 4. The village Kharas, on an ancient high road, 3 miles Southeast of Aid el ma, probably David's stronghold ADULLAM (which see), may possibly answer to the place (PEF, III, 305, Sh XXI). "Horesh" has been suggested as an alternative reading.
E. W. G. Masterman
FOREST OF EPHRAIM
Forest (67 Occurrences)
James 3:5 So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! (WEB WEY NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 19:5 as when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to chop wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle, and lights on his neighbor, so that he dies; he shall flee to one of these cities and live: (WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 17:15 Joshua said to them, "If you are a great people, go up to the forest, and clear land for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim; since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you." (WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 17:18 but the hill country shall be yours. Although it is a forest, you shall cut it down, and it's farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong." (WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Samuel 14:25 All the people came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground. (WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV)
1 Samuel 14:26 When the people were come to the forest, behold, the honey dropped: but no man put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath. (WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV)
1 Samuel 22:5 The prophet Gad said to David, "Don't stay in the stronghold. Depart, and go into the land of Judah." Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hereth. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Samuel 23:15 And David seeth that Saul hath come out to seek his life, and David 'is' in the wilderness of Ziph, in a forest. (YLT)
1 Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan son of Saul riseth, and goeth unto David to the forest, and strengtheneth his hand in God, (YLT)
1 Samuel 23:18 And they make a covenant both of them before Jehovah; and David abideth in the forest, and Jonathan hath gone to his house. (YLT)
1 Samuel 23:19 And the Ziphites go up unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, 'Is not David hiding himself with us in fortresses, in the forest, in the height of Hachilah, which 'is' on the south of the desolate place? (YLT)
2 Samuel 18:6 So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim. (WEB JPS ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 18:8 For the battle was there spread over the surface of all the country; and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. (WEB JPS ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 18:17 They took Absalom, and cast him into the great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of stones. Then all Israel fled everyone to his tent. (WEB JPS ASV 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 DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 10:17 he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 10:21 All king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 2:24 And he looketh behind him, and seeth them, and declareth them vile in the name of Jehovah, and two bears come out of the forest, and rend of them forty and two lads. (YLT)
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. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 16:33 Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before Yahweh, for he comes to judge the earth. (WEB DBY YLT NAS NIV)
2 Chronicles 9:16 he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 9:20 All king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: silver was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Nehemiah 2:8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertains to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. The king granted me, according to the good hand of my God on me. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 50:10 For every animal of the forest is mine, and the livestock on a thousand hills. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 74:5 They behaved like men wielding axes, cutting through a thicket of trees. (See NAS)
Psalms 80:13 The boar out of the forest doth waste it, and the beast of the field doth feed off it. (DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 83:14 As the fire that burns the forest, as the flame that sets the mountains on fire, (WEB JPS ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 96:12 Let the field exult and all that is therein. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy, (DBY YLT NAS NIV)
Psalms 104:20 You make darkness, and it is night, in which all the animals of the forest prowl. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 132:6 Lo, we have heard it in Ephratah, We have found it in the fields of the forest. (YLT)
Ecclesiastes 2:6 I made myself pools of water, to water from it the forest where trees were reared. (WEB ASV YLT NAS RSV)
Song of Songs 2:3 As a citron among trees of the forest, So 'is' my beloved among the sons, In his shade I delighted, and sat down, And his fruit 'is' sweet to my palate. (YLT NAS NIV)
Isaiah 7:2 It was told the house of David, saying, "Syria is allied with Ephraim." His heart trembled, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest tremble with the wind. (WEB JPS ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 9:18 For wickedness burns like a fire. It devours the briers and thorns; yes, it kindles in the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 10:18 He will consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body. It will be as when a standard bearer faints. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 10:19 The remnant of the trees of his forest shall be few, so that a child could write their number. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 10:34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 17:9 In that day shall his strong cities be as the forsaken places, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel, after the manner of woods and lofty forests; and it shall be a desolation. (Root in JPS YLT NAS)
Isaiah 21:13 The burden on Arabia. In the forest in Arabia you will lodge, you caravans of Dedanites. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Isaiah 22:8 He took away the covering of Judah; and you looked in that day to the armor in the house of the forest. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 29:17 Isn't it yet a very little while, and Lebanon will be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field will be regarded as a forest? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 32:15 Until the Spirit is poured on us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is considered a forest. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 32:19 Though hail flattens the forest, and the city is leveled completely. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:24 By your servants, have you 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. I will cut down its tall cedars and its choice fir trees. I will enter into its farthest height, the forest of its fruitful field. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 44:14 He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak, and strengthens for himself one among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir tree, and the rain nourishes it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 44:23 Sing, you heavens, for Yahweh has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth! Break out into singing, you mountains, O forest, all of your trees, for Yahweh has redeemed Jacob, and will glorify himself in Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 56:9 All you animals of the field, come to devour, yes, all you animals in the forest. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 5:6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall kill them, a wolf of the evenings shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch against their cities; everyone who goes out there shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, and their backsliding is increased. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 10:3 For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 12:8 My heritage is become to me as a lion in the forest: she has uttered her voice against me; therefore I have hated her. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 21:14 I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, says Yahweh; and I will kindle a fire in her forest, and it shall devour all that is around her. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 26:18 Micah the Morashtite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Jeremiah 46:23 They shall cut down her forest, says Yahweh, though it can't be searched; because they are more than the locusts, and are innumerable. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 15:2 Son of man, what is the vine tree more than any tree, the vine-branch which is among the trees of the forest? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 15:6 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 20:46 Son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop your word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the field in the South; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 20:47 and tell the forest of the South, Hear the word of Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt thereby. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
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 ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 31:4 Waters have made it great, The deep hath exalted him with its flowings, Going round about its planting, And its conduits it hath sent forth unto all trees of the field. (See RSV)
Ezekiel 31:5 Therefore higher hath been his stature than all trees of the field, And multiplied are his boughs, and long are his branches, Because of many waters in his shooting forth, (See RSV)
Hosea 2:12 I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, about which she has said,'These are my wages that my lovers have given me; and I will make them a forest,' and the animals of the field shall eat them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Amos 3:4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Micah 3:12 Therefore Zion for your sake will be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem will become heaps of rubble, and the mountain of the temple like the high places of a forest. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Micah 5:8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who, if he goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is no one to deliver. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Micah 7:14 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your heritage, who dwell by themselves in a forest, in the midst of fertile pasture land, let them feed; in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. (WEB JPS ASV DBY YLT 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 DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)