Notes Hairy

He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

Isaiah 44:14 (KJV)

He cuts down cedars; or he chooses a holm tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest; he plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it.

Isaiah 44:14 (RSV)

There is one whose business is to cut down cedars; and he takes a certain species of tree, even a massive tree, and he lets it become strong for himself among the trees of the forest. He planted the laurel tree, and the pouring rain itself keeps making it get big.

Isaiah 44:14 (NWT)

For linguistic and ecological reasons, Zohary criticizes the translations of the Hebrew words ve-geshem yegadel as "and the rain nourishes it" as thematically unfounded and illogical. He says geshem must also be a species of tree — one of the five species contained in the quoted passage.

This is the only elm species mentioned by Zohary, along shady creeks in Lower Galilee, Mt. Carmel, and Samaria, and Zohary suggests that this species is among those five trees (FP1; ZOH). So, as a fan of slippery elm, I include this nearly empty entry for Ulmus canescens, fleshing it out with a generic entry, including data below for several elm species, but mostly slippery elm data for U. campestris (BOU and JNP), VAD for U. carpinifolia. None of the activities and indications have thus far been reported for the Israeli species — to the best of my knowledge.

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