forest Summary and Overview
forest in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Heb. ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all the great primeval forests of Syria (Eccl. 2:6; Isa. 44:14; Jer. 5:6; Micah 5:8). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic forest of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:6, 8; Josh. 17:15, 18), which is probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Ps. 132:6), some part of the great forest of Gilead. It was in this forest that Absalom was slain by Joab. David withdrew to the forest of Hareth in the mountains of Judah to avoid the fury of Saul (1 Sam. 22:5). We read also of the forest of Bethel (2 Kings 2:23, 24), and of that which the Israelites passed in their pursuit of the Philistines (1 Sam. 14:25), and of the forest of the cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 19:23; Hos. 14:5, 6). "The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2 Chr. 9:16) was probably Solomon's armoury, and was so called because the wood of its many pillars came from Lebanon, and they had the appearance of a forest. (See BAALBEC T0000386.) Heb. horesh, denoting a thicket of trees, underwood, jungle, bushes, or trees entangled, and therefore affording a safe hiding-place. place. This word is rendered "forest" only in 2 Chr. 27:4. It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the "wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself (1 Sam. 23:15), which lay south-east of Hebron. In Isa. 17:19 this word is in Authorized Version rendered incorrectly "bough." Heb. pardes, meaning an enclosed garden or plantation. Asaph is (Neh. 2:8) called the "keeper of the king's forest." The same Hebrew word is used Eccl. 2:5, where it is rendered in the plural "orchards" (R.V., "parks"), and Cant. 4: 13, rendered "orchard" (R.V. marg., "a paradise"). "The forest of the vintage" (Zech. 11:2, "inaccessible forest," or R.V. "strong forest") is probably a figurative allusion to Jerusalem, or the verse may simply point to the devastation of the region referred to. The forest is an image of unfruitfulness as contrasted with a cultivated field (Isa. 29:17; 32:15; Jer. 26:18; Hos. 2:12). Isaiah (10:19, 33, 34) likens the Assyrian host under Sennacherib (q.v.) to the trees of some huge forest, to be suddenly cut down by an unseen stroke.
forest in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Although Israel has never been in historical times a woodland country, yet there can be no doubt that there was much more wood formerly than there is a t present, and that the destruction of the forests was one of the chief causes of the present desolation.
forest in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
FOR'EST . 1 Sam 22:5. Several tracts of country were designated in this way; as, "the forest of Hareth," that of "Ephraim," "the wood of Ziph," etc. It is known that in the tenth century a.d. there was a fir-wood between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Not a trace of these forests remains. One of the chief causes of the present desolation of the Holy Land is the disappearance of forests. The "house of the forest of Lebanon," which was built by Solomon, and which was magnificent in size and style, 1 Kgs 7:2, was so called probably from the great quantity of cedar which was used in the construction of it. FORGIVE'NESS is an act of God toward man, and of man toward his fellow. To forgive sin is the exclusive prerogative of God, of whose law sin is the transgression. Ps 130:4. Our Lord, by virtue of his divine nature, assumed the prerogative and exercised the power of forgiving sins, which the scribes and Pharisees, viewing him merely as a man, made the occasion of a charge of blasphemy, Mark 2:5. The gospel makes known not only that there is forgiveness with God, but also how such forgiveness is made compatible with the divine justice. Forgiveness, full, free, and everlasting, is offered to all who will believe and obey the gospel. Acts 13:38-39; 1 John 2:12. The duty of mutual forgiveness is urged upon man with the most solemn sanctions. Matt 6:14-15; Josh 18:22; Luke 17:3-4.
forest 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.