Cedrus libani, Cedar of Lebanon, Lebanon Cedar, Erez Helevanon,
Hebrew: ארז הלבנון, Arabic: Arz أرز

Scientific name:  Cedrus libani A. Rich.
Common name:  Lebanon Cedar, Cedar of Lebanon
Hebrew name:  ארז הלבנון
Arabic name:  أرز ,Arz
Plant Family:  Pinaceae, Pine family, אורניים

Fleurs de Terre Sainte, Blumen aus dem Heiligen Lande, Flores en Tierra Santa
Location: Jerusalem, Mount Herzl

Life form:  Tree
Stems:  A height of approximately 30 meters; massive trunk, upright branches, more often horizontal, glabrous young twigs
Leaves:  Needle-like, arranged in whorls, dark green
Flowers:  Brown, purple, not showy
Fruits / Pods:  Oval cones, purple brown; female cone 9-15cm
Habitat:  Forests
Distribution:  Rare
Chorotype:  Mediterranean

Cedrus libani, Cedar of Lebanon, Erez Helevanon,<br> ארז הלבנון


Derivation of the botanical name:
Cedrus, κεδροϛ, the cedar. The origin of the name Cedar is somewhat doubtful; but it is probably a Semitic word allied to the Arabic "kedre," meaning "power."
libani, of Lebanon.
  • The standard author abbreviation A.Rich. is used to indicate Achille Richard (1794–1852), a French botanist and physician.
There are only three species of Cedars in the world: the Lebanon cedar, the Deodar of the Himalayas and the Mount Atlas Cedar. The Lebanon cedar is originally native to Asia Minor. This tree does not grow wild in Israel and large forests of Lebanon cedars of ancient days no longer exist. But because of its beauty and history the Lebanon cedar has been planted throughout the world. The Lebanon Cedar is a mountain tree that grows in rocky soils at heights of about 1800m. The Lebanon cedar doesn't flower until it is 25-30 years old. The flowers or catkins are unisexual, with both male and female flowers on the same tree. The 5 cm catkins are reddish in color and the cones become 10-12 cm long and stand up straight on the branch.

Over the centuries, Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians made expedition to Mount Lebanon for timber or extracted tributes of wood from the coastal cities of Canaan-Phoenicia.
The Phoenicians built their trade ship and military fleets from Cedar wood as well as the roofs of their temples, houses and doorsills.
The Egyptians brought supplies of ceder to Egypt from at least the Early Dynastic Period, probably already in the form of seasoned planks and baulks. The timber trade with Lebanon was very important and any Egyptian sea-going vessel was called kebnet, 'Byblos boat', a term taken from keben, kebny, the Egyptian name for Byblos, the principal port in Lebanon.
Kings of neighboring and distant countries asked for this wood to build their religious and civil constructs; the most famous of which are the temple of Jerusalem and David's and Solomon's Palaces: "So David gave orders to assemble the aliens living in Israel, and from among them he appointed stonecutters to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God. He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed. He also provided more cedar logs than could be counted, for the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought large numbers of them to David" (Chronicles I 22, 2:4).
The Cedar is mentioned 75 times in the Bible, and all are included in the Old Testament -Torah.

The cedar of Lebanon is also the main tool in the oldest epic ever written by man -The Epic of Gilgamesh- a story from Mesopotamia, which dates back 4.700 years ago. The Epic of Gilgamesh's Forest Journey tells the story of Gilgamesh's need for timber to finish his magnificent city. He turned his attention on the forest near southern Mesopotamia, which was protected by the deity Enlil (Babylonian wind- and storm-god), the Guardian of the Cedar Forest ...
Enlil had forecast that once humans entered the forest, they would destroy all the trees, the 'divine beauty'. A great battle broke out between the demigod guarding the forest and the humans. Human greed won and the forest was completely stripped of its trees, leaving nothing but bare ground. "...I am Gilgamesh who seized and killed the Bull of Heaven, I killed the watchman of the ceder forest, I overthrew Humbaba who lived in the forest, and I killed the lions in the passes of the mountain.'
The Scriptures by Ezekiel (31:1-18) illustrate beautifully how these lofty kings of the forest were used by prophet orators to symbolize and typify worldly might, power, and glory. *Thus one obtains a fair idea of the crowning insolence of Sennacherib (705BCE-681BCE), the invader, when he boasted in the year 700 B.C.: "With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its pines. I have reached its remotest heights, the finest of its forests. (Isaiah 37:24)
Nebuchadnezzar (605BCE-562BCE) boasted on a cuneiform, inscription: "I brought for building, mighty cedars, which I cut down with my pure hands on Mount Lebanon". Prized for its fragrance and durability, the length of the great logs made cedar wood especially desirable.
The Egyptians used cedar resin for mummification, and pitch was extracted from these trees for waterproofing and caulking.
In the second century CE the Roman Emperor Hadrian (76CE-138CE) attempted to protect the forest with boundary markers, most carved into living rock, others in the form of separate engraved stones. In the centuries after Hadrian, Lebanon's trees were used extensively as fuel, especially for lime burning kilns. In the Middle Ages mountain villagers cleared forests for farmland, using the wood for fuel and construction. The Ottomans in the 19th century destroyed much of the forest cover and during World War II British troops used the wood to build railroad between Tripoli and Haifa.

*In his book, "The Natural History of the Bible", H.B.Tristam (1880) says of the cedars: "... Everyone who has seen these noble trees recognizes the force of the majestic imagery of the prophets. With their gnarled and contorted stems and scaly bark, with their massive branches, with their dark green leaves shot with silver in the sunlight, as they stand a lovely group in the stupendous mountain amphitheater, the assert their title to the monarchs of the forests".

Today the most venerable representatives of the Cedars of Lebanon, which once covered the entire country, are in the Besharre region of North Lebanon. Some 400 trees, many between 1,200 and 2,000 years old stand on slopes 2,000 meters high in the shadow of 3,100-meter peak of Qornet es-Sawda.


Cedrus libani, Cedar of Lebanon, ארז הלבנון

The Lebanon Cedar is the national emblem of Lebanon, and it is seen on the Lebanese Flag.

Bible Resources:
  1. Leviticus 14:4
    the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed.
  2. Leviticus 14:6
    He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water.
  3. Leviticus 14:49
    To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop.
  4. Leviticus 14:51
    Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times.
  5. Leviticus 14:52
    He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn.
  6. Numbers 19:6
    The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer.
  7. Numbers 24:6
    “Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the LORD, like cedars beside the waters.
  8. Judges 9:15
    “The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’
  9. 2 Samuel 5:11
    Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David.
  10. 2 Samuel 7:2
    he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
  11. 2 Samuel 7:7
    Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’
  12. 1 Kings 4:33
    He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.
  13. 1 Kings 5:6
    “So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians.”
  14. 1 Kings 5:8
    So Hiram sent word to Solomon: “I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and juniper logs.
  15. 1 Kings 5:10
    In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and juniper logs he wanted,
  16. 1 Kings 6:9
    So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks.
  17. 1 Kings 6:10
    And he built the side rooms all along the temple. The height of each was five cubits, and they were attached to the temple by beams of cedar.
  18. 1 Kings 6:15
    He lined its interior walls with cedar boards, paneling them from the floor of the temple to the ceiling, and covered the floor of the temple with planks of juniper.
  19. 1 Kings 6:16
    He partitioned off twenty cubits at the rear of the temple with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to form within the temple an inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place.
  20. 1 Kings 6:18
    The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was to be seen.
  21. 1 Kings 6:20
    The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar.
  22. 1 Kings 6:36
    And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.
  23. 1 Kings 7:2
    He built the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon a hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high, with four rows of cedar columns supporting trimmed cedar beams.
  24. 1 Kings 7:3
    It was roofed with cedar above the beams that rested on the columns—forty-five beams, fifteen to a row.
  25. 1 Kings 7:7
    He built the throne hall, the Hall of Justice, where he was to judge, and he covered it with cedar from floor to ceiling.
  26. 1 Kings 7:11
    Above were high-grade stones, cut to size, and cedar beams.
  27. 1 Kings 7:12
    The great courtyard was surrounded by a wall of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams, as was the inner courtyard of the temple of the LORD with its portico.
  28. 1 Kings 9:11
    King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and juniper and gold he wanted.
  29. 1 Kings 10:27
    The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.
  30. 2 Kings 14:9
    But Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah: “A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ Then a wild beast in Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle underfoot.
  31. 2 Kings 19:23
    By your messengers you have ridiculed the Lord. And you have said, “With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its junipers. I have reached its remotest parts, the finest of its forests.
  32. 1 Chronicles 14:1
    [ David’s House and Family ] Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs, stonemasons and carpenters to build a palace for him.
  33. 1 Chronicles 17:1
    [ God’s Promise to David ] After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.”
  34. 1 Chronicles 17:6
    Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their leaders whom I commanded to shepherd my people, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’
  35. 1 Chronicles 22:4
    He also provided more cedar logs than could be counted, for the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought large numbers of them to David.
  36. 2 Chronicles 1:15
    The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.
  37. 2 Chronicles 2:3
    Solomon sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre: “Send me cedar logs as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in.
  38. 2 Chronicles 2:8
    “Send me also cedar, juniper and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants are skilled in cutting timber there. My servants will work with yours
  39. 2 Chronicles 9:27
    The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.
  40. 2 Chronicles 25:18
    But Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah: “A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ Then a wild beast in Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle underfoot.
  41. Ezra 3:7
    [ Rebuilding the Temple ] Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.
  42. Job 40:17
    Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
  43. Psalm 29:5
    The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
  44. Psalm 80:10
    The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.
  45. Psalm 92:12
    The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
  46. Psalm 104:16
    The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
  47. Psalm 148:9
    you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
  48. Song of Solomon 1:17
    He The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs.
  49. Song of Solomon 5:15
    His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.
  50. Song of Solomon 8:9
    If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar.
  51. Isaiah 2:13
    for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,
  52. Isaiah 9:10
    “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.”
  53. Isaiah 14:8
    Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon gloat over you and say, “Now that you have been laid low, no one comes to cut us down.”
  54. Isaiah 37:24
    By your messengers you have ridiculed the Lord. And you have said, ‘With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its junipers. I have reached its remotest heights, the finest of its forests.
  55. Isaiah 41:19
    I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together,
  56. Isaiah 44:14
    He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
  57. Jeremiah 22:7
    I will send destroyers against you, each man with his weapons, and they will cut up your fine cedar beams and throw them into the fire.
  58. Jeremiah 22:14
    He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.’ So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red.
  59. Jeremiah 22:15
    “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him.
  60. Jeremiah 22:23
    You who live in ‘Lebanon, ’ who are nestled in cedar buildings, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain like that of a woman in labor!
  61. Ezekiel 17:3
    Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar,
  62. Ezekiel 17:22
    “‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
  63. Ezekiel 17:23
    On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.
  64. Ezekiel 27:5
    They made all your timbers of juniper from Senir ; they took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you.
  65. Ezekiel 31:1
    Pharaoh as a Felled Cedar of Lebanon In the eleventh year, in the third month on the first day, the word of the LORD came to me:
  66. Ezekiel 31:3
    Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest; it towered on high, its top above the thick foliage.
  67. Ezekiel 31:8
    The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it, nor could the junipers equal its boughs, nor could the plane trees compare with its branches— no tree in the garden of God could match its beauty.
  68. Ezekiel 31:10
    “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height,
  69. Ezekiel 31:17
    They too, like the great cedar, had gone down to the realm of the dead, to those killed by the sword, along with the armed men who lived in its shade among the nations.
  70. Hosea 14:5
    I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots;
  71. Hosea 14:6
    his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
  72. Amos 2:9
    “Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them, though they were tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed their fruit above and their roots below.
  73. Zephaniah 2:14
    Flocks and herds will lie down there, creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows, rubble will fill the doorways, the beams of cedar will be exposed.
  74. Zechariah 11:1
    Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars!
  75. Zechariah 11:2
    Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen; the stately trees are ruined! Wail, oaks of Bashan; the dense forest has been cut down!