Benzoin officinale Hayne; Lithocarpus benzoin Bt. fide HH2 Notes (Benzoin):
They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.
They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains, and make offerings upon the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the harlot, and your brides commit adultery.
On the tops of the mountain they sacrifice and on the hills they make sacrificial smoke, under massive tree and storax tree and big tree because its shade is good. That is why your daughters commit fornication and your own daughters in law commit adultery.
While the PH2 covers three species of the genus Styrax and one of the genus Liquidambar, few people can identify the resins of these trees, the product of commerce. Recent authorities maintain that the "incense" used in the service of the Tabernacle was a mixture, in definite proportions of frankincense, galbanum (Ferula galbaniflua), onycha (Styrax benzoin), and stacte (Styrax officinalis), and the use of any incense not composed of these four ingredients in the proper proportions was strictly forbidden (BIB). I certainly do not want to rock city hall, especially a biblical city hall. AH2 likewise covers three species (S. benzoin, S. paralleloneurum, and S. tonkinensis), giving them all the same standardized common name, that of "benzoin tree." Zohary discusses only one species, identifying it as S. officinalis. He notes that the Hebrew livneh occurs only twice in the Bible,
regarding the Hosea quote as "definitely styrax," which he identifies as Styrax officinalis, which is reportedly native to Israel. This is a more humid Asian species, reported from India, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Java, Sumatra, and Malaysia (USN). Thus, this species historically would have needed to be imported from outside Israel.
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