Cassia cinnamomum aromaticum nees Lauraceae

Synonyms:

Cinnamomum cassia Auct.; Cinnamomum obtusifolium var. cassia Perr. & Eb.; Laurus cassia Nees.; Laurus cinnamomum Andr. fide HH2

Notes (Cassia):

Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels.

Exodus 30:23 (KJV)

And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin.

Exodus 30:24 (KJV)

and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin.

Exodus 30:24 (RSV)

and cassia five hundred units, by the shekel of the holy place, and olive oil a hin.

Exodus 30:24 (NWT)

It is nice to see that all versions cite the cassia, and most scholars agree that it is the cassia of today's spice trade. Although the spice trade tends to lump cassia and cinnamon in the same spice jar, Israeli botanist Michael Zohary and the Bible itself treat them as separate items. Although both are mentioned many times in the Bible, nowhere are they both mentioned in the same verse; but it is very close in the case quoted above, where cinnamon was mentioned in verse 23 and cassia in verse 24. Of the cassia, citing Exodus 30:24, Job 42:14, and Psalms 45:7-8, Zohary says, "In the quoted passages, the Hebrew ketziah and kiddah are translated as 'cassia'; the former is also applied as a personal name. The question as to whether ketziah and kiddah are synonymous or refer to different plants or drugs will never be resolved" (ZOH). Moses and Solomon probably obtained cassia, via trade, from Sri Lanka, where it is only cultivated or more possibly from China, where it is native (BIB; USN).

FIGURE 1.25 Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum).
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