By Lytton John Musselman, Garrison Keillor
This booklet celebrates the vegetation of the previous testomony and New testomony, together with the Apocrypha, and of the Quran. From acacia, the wooden of the tabernacle, to wormwood, whose sour leaves cured intestinal worms, eighty one attention-grabbing chapters—covering each plant that has a real botanical counterpart—tell the tales of the end result and grains, grasses and timber, vegetation and fragrances of historic lore. The descriptions comprise the crops botanical features, habitat, makes use of, and literary context. With evocative quotations and revelatory interpretations, this data is the entire extra severe this day because the conventional agrarian societies that knew the crops in detail turn into urbanized. The strangely vast geographic diversity of this quantity extends past Israel to surround the Holy Lands biblical associates from southern Turkey to significant Sudan and from Cyprus to the Iraq border. Richly illustrated with wide colour images and with a foreword through the incomparable Garrison Keillor, this pleasant ecumenical botany bargains the welcome tonic of a deep look at an everlasting, shared common history.
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Additional info for Figs, dates, laurel, and myrrh: plants of the Bible and the Quran
It may have been an apricot. ” This is a jolt to an old believer like me. I can accept that the lilies (“Consider the lilies of the field”) may have been anemones and that the tree Zaccheus climbed was not our sycamore and that the rose of Sharon may have been a gladiolus or that the willows they hung their harps in may have been poplars. Nor does it trouble me that the mustard seed of the parable might have been arugula. “Except your faith be like unto the arugula”—that is going to go over well with the Episcopalians.
Because fruit production is dependent on bees, almond growers often keep beehives near their orchards to ensure that flowers are pollinated. Within a month after flowering, the almond’s distinctive hairy, green fruits begin to develop. These immature fruits have a pleasantly sour taste and are sold by street vendors as a popular snack in the Middle East. My children enjoyed them when attending a Palestinian grade school. In the middle of August, the leaves begin to fall and the mature nuts are harvested.
Trees are so prominent in the Bible that the main biblical messages can be summed up by four trees (Musselman 2003a): the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Genesis (2:9); the tree that Jesus died on; and the tree of life in the last book of the Bible (Revelation 22:2, 14). In the Quran, trees are most frequently cited as gifts of a beneficent Creator, with the notable exception of the tree of Hell, zaqqum. In both holy books, fruits from trees are highly valued. The Bible contains more references to trees and wood (over 525) than to any other type of living organism except humans.