more properly sycomore (Heb. shikmoth and shikmim, Gr. sycomoros), a tree which in its general character resembles the fig-tree, while its leaves resemble those of the mulberry; hence it is called the fig-mulberry (Ficus sycomorus). At Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed a sycomore-tree to see Jesus as he passed by ( Luke 19:4 ). This tree was easily destroyed by frost ( Psalms 78:47 ), and therefore it is found mostly in the "vale" ( 1 Kings 10:27 ; 2 Chr 1:15 : in both passages the RSV has properly "lowland"), i.e., the "low country," the shephelah, where the climate is mild. ( Amos 7:14 ) refers to its fruit, which is of an inferior character; so also probably ( Jeremiah 24:2 ). It is to be distinguished from our sycamore (the Acer pseudo-platanus), which is a species of maple often called a plane-tree.
(Heb. shikmah ). Although it may be admitted that the sycamine is properly, and in ( Luke 17:6 ) the mulberry, and the sycamore the mulberry, or sycamore-fig (Ficus sycomorus ), yet the latter is the tree generally referred to in the Old Testament and called by the Septuagint sycamine, as ( 1 Kings 10:27 ; 1 Chronicles 27:28 ; Psalms 78:47 ; Amos 7:14 ) The Sycamore or fig-mulberry, is in Egypt and Palestine a tree of great importance and very extensive use. It attains the size of a walnut tree has wide-spreading branches and affords a delightful shade. On this account it is frequently planted by the waysides. Its leaves are heart-shaped, downy on the under side, and fragrant. The Fruit grows directly from the trunk itself on little sprigs, and in clusters like the grape. To make It eatable, each fruit, three or four days before gathering, must, it is said, be punctured with a sharp instrument or the finger-nail. This was the original employment of the prophet Amos, as he says. ( Amos 7:14 ) So great was the value of these trees that David appointed for them in his kingdom a special overseer, as he did for the olives ( 1 Chronicles 27:28 ) and it is mentioned as one of the heaviest of Egypts calamities that her sycamore were destroyed by hailstones.