Heb. 'eshel ( Genesis 21:33 ; 1 Samuel 22:6 ; 31:13 , in the RSV; but in A.V., "grove," "tree"); Arab. asal. Seven species of this tree are found in Palestine. It is a "very graceful tree, with long feathery branches and tufts closely clad with the minutest of leaves, and surmounted in spring with spikes of beautiful pink blosoms, which seem to envelop the whole tree in one gauzy sheet of colour" (Tristram's Nat. Hist.).
(1) 'eshel (Genesis 21:33, the King James Version "grove," margin "tree"; 1 Samuel 22:6, the King James Version "tree," margin "grove"; 1 Samuel 31:13, the King James Version "tree"). The Revised Version (British and American) translation is due to the similarity of 'eshel to the Arabic 'athl, "the tamarisk."
The tamarisk (Tamarix, with various species in Palestine, chiefly T. Syriaca) is a very characteristic tree of Palestine, especially in the Maritime Plain, near the sea itself, and in the Jordan Valley. Eight species are described. They are characterized by their brittle, feathery branches and by their tiny scale-like leaves. Some varieties flourish not infrequently in salty soil unsuited to any ordinary vegetation.
E. W. G. Masteran
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