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Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Apple Tree

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Apple Tree. (Hebrew, tappuach). Mention of the apple tree occurs in the Authorized Version in Song of Solomon 2:3; Song of Solomon 8:5 and Joel 1:12. The fruit of this tree is alluded to in Proverbs 25:11 and Song of Solomon 2:5; Song of Solomon 7:8. It is a difficult matter to say what is the specific tree denoted by the Hebrew word, tappuach. ("The apple proper is rare in Syria, and its fruit inferior.").

Most modern writers maintain that it is either the quince or the citron; (others speak of the apricot, which is abundant and deliciously perfumed). The quince had some plausible arguments in its favor. Its fragrance was held in high esteem by the ancients. The quince was sacred to Venus.

On the other hand, Dr. Royle says, "The rich color, fragrant odor and handsome appearance of the citron, whether in flower or in fruit, are particularly suited to the passages of scripture mentioned above." But neither the quince nor the citron nor the apple appears fully to answer to all the scriptural allusions.

The orange would answer all the demands of the scriptural passages, and orange trees are found in Palestine; but there does not appear sufficient evidence that this tree was known in the earlier times to the inhabitants of Palestine. The question of identification therefore, must still be left an open one.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Apple Tree'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/sbd/a/apple-tree.html. 1901.

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