Heb. ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all the great primeval forests of Syria (Eccl. 2:6; Isa. 44:14; Jer. 5:6; Micah 5:8). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic forest of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:6, 8; Josh. 17:15, 18), which is probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Ps. 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 Sam. 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 Sam. 14:25), and of the forest of the cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 19:23; Hos. 14:5, 6).
"The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2 Chr. 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.)
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