(1) tirzah (Isaiah 44:14, the King James Version "cypress"):
The name, from the root meaning (compare Arabic taraza) "to be hard," implies some very hard wood. Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) has ilex, which is Latin for holm oak, so named from its holly-like leaves (hollen in Old English = "holly"); this translation has now been adopted, but it is doubtful.
(2) prinos, Susanna verse 58. This is the ilex or holm oak. There is a play on the words prinos and prisai (literally, "saw") in verses 58 and 59 (see SUSANNA). The evergreen or holm oak is represented by two species in Palestine, Quercus ilex and Q. coccifera. The leaf of both species is somewhat like a small holly leaf, is glossy green and usually spiny. The Q. ilex is insignificant, but Q. coccifera is a magnificent tree growing to a height of 40 ft. or more, and often found in Palestine flourishing near sacred tombs, and itself not infrequently the object of superstitious veneration.
E. W. G. Masterman
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