Gad in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Israel was more wooded very anciently than afterward; the celebrated oaks and terebinths here and there were perhaps relics of a primeval forest on the highlands. But in the Bible the woods appear in the valleys and defiles leading from the highlands to the lowlands, so they were not extensive. "The wood of Ephraim" clothed the sides of the hills which descend to the plain of Jezreel and the plain itself near Bethshah (Joshua 17:15-18), and extended once to Tabor which still has many forest trees. That "of Bethel" lay in the ravine going down to the plain of Jericho. That "of Hareth" on the border of the Philistine plain in the S. of Judah (1 Samuel 22:5). That "of Kirjath Jearim" (1 Samuel 8:2; Psalm 132:6), meaning" town of the woods", on the confines of Judah and Benjamin; "the fields of the wood" from which David brought up the ark to Zion mean this forest town. That "of Ziph-wilderness," where David hid, S.E. of Hebron (1 Samuel 23:15, etc.). Ephraim wood, a portion of the region E. of Jordan near Mahanaim, where the battle with Absalom took place (2 Samuel 18:6; 2 Samuel 18:23), on the high lands, a little way from the valley of the Jordan. frontEPHRAIM WOOD.) "The house of the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 7:2) was so-called as being fitted up with cedar, and probably with forest-like rows of cedar pillars. "Forest" often symbolizes pride doomed to destruction; (Isaiah 10:18; Isaiah 32:19) the Assyrian host dense and lifted up as the trees of the forest; (Isaiah 37:24) "the forest of his Carmel," i.e., its most luxuriant forest, image for their proud army. Forest also symbolizes unfruitfulness as opposed to cultivated lands (Isaiah 29:17; Isaiah 32:15). Besides ya'ar, implying "abundance of trees", there is another Hebrew term, choresh from a root "to cut down," implying a wood diminished by cutting (1 Samuel 23:15; 2 Chronicles 27:4). In Isaiah 17:9 for "bough" translated "his strong cities shall be as the leavings of woods," what the axeman leaves when he cuts down the grove (Isaiah 17:6). In Ezekiel 31:3, "with a shadowing shroud," explain with an overshadowing thicket. A third term is pardeec, related to "paradise" (Nehemiah 2:8), "forest") a park, a plantation under a "keeper." The Persian kings preserved the forests throughout the empire with care, having wardens of the several forests, without whose sanction no tree could be felled.

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