And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
Leviticus 23:40 (KJV)
And you shall take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
Leviticus 23:40 (RSV)
And you must take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, the fronds of palm trees, and the boughs of branchy trees, and poplars of the torrent valley; and you must rejoice before Jehovah your God seven days.
Leviticus 23:40 (NWT)
Most translators and exegetes agree that the Hebrew ethrog and the "goodly trees" (etz hadar) of KJV and RSV (and I assume the splendid trees of NWT) above represent Citrus medica and that it grew in Israel at the time of the Bible. Even Moldenke agreed that etz hadar was Citrus medica. However, some scholars argue that it was not a specific tree at all. I will agree with Moldenke and Zohary, and include the citron among my biblical species and try to find a hardy one for the garden. Until then, I will let my Poncirus substitute for the ethrog when giving my biblical tours of the garden. Supposedly the first Citrus "liberated" from Asia, probably India, citron relics are found in Babylonian excavations of the Sumerian epoch, 4000 B.c. It is thought to have reached the Mediterranean 300 years before Christ, perhaps with Alexander's armies returning from India (ZOH).
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