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CHESTNUT-TREE:

The rendering of given in the A. V. (Gen. xxx. 37; Ezek. xxxi. 8); the R.V., however, preferring "plane-tree." There are two considerations lending weight to the rejection of the translation given in the A. V.: (1) the plane (Platanus orientalis) is indigenous to western Asia, where, under favorable conditions, it attains a commanding size, and is remarkable for the luxuriance of its growth; and (2) the etymology of the word , which is connected with the Arabic "'aram" (= to strip off bark); the plane-tree being noted for annually casting its bark. This latter consideration is, apparently, the determining one.

The chestnut, which found its way from Asia into Europe through Greece and Italy, takes its botanical name (Castanea vulgaris) from an ancient Thessalian town, Castanum. Like the plane, it is distinguished by the magnificence of its growth, preferring, however, high and dry situations; while the plane develops more freely in low and moist ground.

According to Tristram, the plane-tree "is common on the banks of the upper Jordan and of the Leontes, where it overhangs the water" ("Natural History of the Bible," p. 345).

J. E. W. B.
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