In Hebrew the word ʿeẓ (עֵץ) means both "tree" and "wood" (also "stick"). The Bible speaks of special craftsmen for woodworking, ḥarashei ʿeẓ, who worked in the various branches of wood manufacturing (Ex. 31:5; II Sam. 5:11; I Chron. 22:15, et al.). The Bible also mentions several types of wood which were treated for various purposes; gopher wood (Gen. 6:14), cedar wood (Ezra 3:7; et al.), acacia wood (Ex. 38:1, et al.), juniper wood (בְּרוֹשׁ; I Kings 6:34), almug wood (I Kings 10:11), and olive wood (I Kings 6:31). Apparently, cedars and cypress trees were used primarily for the construction of ornate buildings, while the other types were used mainly in the construction of furniture, other articles, and utensils. Cedars and almug wood were imported from abroad, mainly during the period of the monarchy, while acacia and olive trees were common in Palestine. The Bible mentions wooden handles and axes (Deut. 19:5), spear handles (II Sam. 21:19), etc. Stone implements were attached to the wooden handles by tying them together with sinews or ropes, while metal blades of various shapes and having different uses were attached to wooden handles by tying them with cords, by driving one end into the wood, and by making a metal hole into which the wood was inserted and riveted. The Bible mentions a number of pieces of wooden furniture which were used in the Temple and the Tabernacle: the table of display (Ex. 25:23–30), the ark (Ex. 25:10–14), the altar for burnt offerings (Ex. 38:1), and the incense altar (Ex. 37:25). In connection with the laws of uncleanness and purification, the Bible mentions various wooden articles (Lev. 15:12). These are mainly various household utensils: mortars, dishes, spoons, etc. The number of wooden objects from the biblical period which have been discovered in the archaeological excavations in Israel is very small because of decay. The richest in wooden furniture and vessels are the MBII tombs in Jericho, where many tables, bowls, combs, jugs, and toilet boxes were preserved. When the Bible sharply criticizes idol worshipers, it indicates that they are worshipers of wood and stone, the work of men (Deut. 4:28). The use of wood in the construction of houses in Palestine is most variegated. It began with the building of huts from branches which were cut down and left in their natural state, and continues, until today, with the use of processed wood in the consolidation of frames of building and in the covering of wooden structures, as columns for reinforcing walls, for the roofing of clay, stone, or straw buildings, and for making doors and windows. (Ze'ev Yeivin) -Wood Offerings On nine different specified dates during the year, designated families brought wood offerings for the Temple sacrificial service. On the 15th of av , the priests, levites, and all those not certain of their tribal descent were permitted to join the family designated for that day in bringing the wood offering (Ta'an. 4:5). One of the reasons given for the joyful celebrations on the 15th of Av is that each year on this day felling trees for the altar was discontinued. The reason given is that after this time the strength of the sun lessens and its rays are no longer sufficiently strong to dry the fresh-cut logs (Ta'an. 31a). The wood most preferred for the altar was boughs of fig trees, nut trees, and oil trees (Tam. 2:3). The rabbis praised the family of Salami Netofah for their efforts in getting wood to the Temple at a time when the ruling authorities placed guards on the roads to prevent Jews from bringing wood to the altar. This family conceived the stratagem of making the logs into ladders which they carried on their shoulders. When stopped by the guards the family explained that they were going to use the ladders to take down young pigeons from the dovecote. Once past the guards, they dismantled the ladders and brought the logs to Jerusalem (Ta'an. 28a). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: W.M.F. Petrie and H. Mackay, Heliopolis, Kafr Ammr and Shurafa (1915), pl. xxv; H. Fechheimer, Kleinplastik der Aegypter (1921), p. 148; C. Singer et al., History of Technology, 1 (1954), 688, 700.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wood — /wood/, n. 1. Grant, 1892 1942, U.S. painter. 2. Leonard, 1860 1927, U.S. military doctor and political administrator. * * * I Hard, fibrous material formed by the accumulation of secondary xylem produced by the vascular cambium. It is the… …   Universalium

  • Wood — Wood, n. [OE. wode, wude, AS. wudu, wiodu; akin to OHG. witu, Icel. vi?r, Dan. & Sw. ved wood, and probably to Ir. & Gael. fiodh, W. gwydd trees, shrubs.] [1913 Webster] 1. A large and thick collection of trees; a forest or grove; frequently used …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wood — puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Personas 2 Lugares 3 Música 4 Otros Personas Alphonso W. Wood, botánico esta …   Wikipedia Español

  • WOOD —    Wood has always been used most commonly in the construction of domestic structures that do not require the same level of durability as temples and funerary monuments, which are more typically constructed from brick or stone. Timber became more …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • wood — W2S2 [wud] n ↑goggles, ↑saw, ↑wood [: Old English; Origin: wudu] 1.) [U and C] the material that trees are made of →↑wooden, woody ↑woody ▪ Put some more wood on the fire. ▪ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • wood — wood1 [wood] n. [ME wode < OE wudu, earlier widu, akin to OHG wito < IE base * widhu , tree > OIr fid, Welsh gwŷdd, tree, forest] 1. [usually pl., with sing. or pl. v.] a thick growth of trees; forest or grove 2. the hard, fibrous… …   English World dictionary

  • Wood — Wood, Grant Wood, Natalie Wood, Robert Williams * * * (as used in expressions) Annie Wood Halifax, Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1 conde de Johnson, Robert Wood Wood Buffalo, parque nacional Wood, Grant Wood, Leonard …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • wood — [ wud ] noun *** 1. ) uncount the substance that forms the main part of a tree and is used for making things such as furniture: a piece of wood the polished dark wood of an antique table cut/chop wood: They stopped encouraging people to cut wood… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wood|y — wood|y1 «WUD ee», adjective, wood|i|er, wood|i|est. 1. having many trees; covered with trees: »a woody hillside. 2. a) of the nature of or consistin …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wood — Ridge, NJ U.S. borough in New Jersey Population (2000): 7644 Housing Units (2000): 3087 Land area (2000): 1.098509 sq. miles (2.845126 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.098509 sq. miles (2.845126 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • wood — ► NOUN 1) the hard fibrous material forming the main substance of the trunk or branches of a tree or shrub, used for fuel or timber. 2) (also woods) a small forest. 3) (the wood) wooden barrels used for storing alcoholic drinks. 4) a golf club… …   English terms dictionary