Rhamnus spina-christi (L.) Desf. Notes (Syrian Christthorn):
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Behold the man!"
Accordingly Jesus came outside, wearing the thorny crown and the purple outer garment. And he said to them "Look! The man!"
Many authors view Ziziphus as corresponding to the crown of thorns. On the contrary, there are at least a dozen thorny species, not completely ruling out Ziziphus, but pushing Sarcopoterium as the most likely candidate. And Zohary notes that there are still a few Ziziphus growing on the eastern slopes of the Temple Mount (Mount Moriah).With respect to Zohary, I include both plants. The Useful Plants of Tropical West Africa (UPW) hints that this was the dudaim, the name of the plant Leah mentioned to Joseph as a possible cure for sterility. They suggest that the mandrake does not occur in the biblical arena, while the dudaim bears apples and grows along the river banks rather than in open fields. UPW further states that these fruits, the Lotiphagi ate which were Ziziphus rather than Nymphaea. Christians consider this to be the crown of thorns that Jesus wore before the crucifixion. Indian Muslims, respecting the plant highly, wash corpses in the leaf decoction. Revered by the Arabs and mentioned in the Quran (LIII: 13-18; LVI: 28-32); the "lote-tree" is revered also by Muslims throughout the Middle East. It has been esteemed both as a fruit and medicinal plant for millennia. Some believe that on the Day of Judgment, those at Allah's right hand will dwell among thornless lote-trees (UPW; ZOH).
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