The Hebrew word erez, invariably rendered "cedar" by the Authorized Version, stands for that tree in most of the passages where the word occurs. While the word is sometimes used in a wider sense, (Leviticus 14:6) for evergreen cone-bearing trees, generally the cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) is intended. (1 Kings 7:2; 10:27; Psalms 92:12; Song of Solomon 5:15; Isaiah 2:13; Ezekiel 31:3-6) The wood is of a reddish color, of bitter taste and aromatic odor, offensive to insects, and very durable. The cedar is a type of the Christian, being evergreen, beautiful, aromatic, wide spreading, slow growing, long lived, and having many uses. As far as is at present known, the cedar of Lebanon is confined in Syria to one valley of the Lebanon range, viz., that of the Kedisha river, which flows from near the highest point of the range westward to the Mediterranean, and enters the sea at the port of Tripoli. The grove is at the very upper part of the valley, about 15 miles from the sea, 6500 feet above that level, and its position is moreover above that of all other arboreous vegetation. ("Of the celebrated cedars on Mount Lebanon, eleven groves still remain. The famous B'Sherreh grove is three-quarters of a mile in circumference, and contains about 400 trees, young and old. Perhaps a dozen of these are very old; the largest, 63 feet in girth and 70 feet high, is thought by some to have attained the age of 2000 years."--Johnson's Encycl.)
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