International Standard Bible EncyclopediaAPPLE, OF THE EYE
ap'-'-l: The eyeball, or globe of the eye, with pupil in center, called "apple" from its round shape. Its great value and careful protection by the eyelids automatically closing when there is the least possibility of danger made it the emblem of that which was most precious and jealously protected. The Hebrew terms for it were, 'ishon, diminutive of 'ish, "man," little man or mannikin, referring perhaps specially to the pupil, probably from "the little image one sees of himself when looking into another's pupil" (Davies' Lexicon). "He kept him (Israel) as the apple of his eye" (Deuteronomy 32:10); "Keep me as the apple of the eye," literally, "as the apple, the daughter of the eye" (Psalm 17:8). "Keep my law (the Revised Version, margin "teaching") as the apple of thine eye" (Proverbs 7:2). Compare Proverbs 7:9 where it is used to denote what is the center (American Revised Version, "in the middle of the night"; the English Revised Version "in, the blackness of night"; margin "Hebrew pupil (of the eye)"); babhah perhaps an "opening," "gate"; others regard it as a mimetic word akin to Latin pupa, papilla ("He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye," i.e. Yahweh's; Zechariah 2:8); bath-`ayin, "daughter of the eye"; "Give thyself no respite, let not the apple of thine eye cease" (Lamentations 2:18), which means, either "sleep not," or "cease not to weep." kore, "young girl," "pupil of the eye": "He (the Lord) will keep the good deeds (the Revised Version (British and American) "bounty") of a man as the apple of the eye" (Ecclesiasticus 17:22); the Septuagint also has kore in all instances except Lamentations 2:18, where it has thugater, "daughter."
W. L. Walker
ap'-l ap'-l tre, (tappuach): A fruit tree and fruit mentioned chiefly in Cant, concerning the true nature of which there has been much dispute.
Songs 2:3 says: "As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight"; Songs 8:5: "Under the apple-tree I awakened thee: there thy mother was in travail with thee, there was she in travail that brought thee forth." Of the fruit it is said, Songs 2:3: "His fruit was sweet to my taste"; Songs 2:5: "Stay ye me with raisins, refresh me with apples"; Songs 7:8: "the smell of thy breath (Hebrew "nose") like apples."
In all the above references the true apple, Pyrus malus, suits the conditions satisfactorily. The apple tree affords good shade, the fruit is sweet, the perfume is a very special favorite with the people of the East. Sick persons in Palestine delight to hold an apple in their hands, simply for the smell. (Compare Arabian Nights, "Prince Hassan and the Paribanou.") Further the Arabic for apple tuffah is without doubt identical with the Hebrew tappuach. The apple was well known, too, in ancient times; it was, for example, extensively cultivated by the Romans.
The one serious objection is that apples do not easily reach perfection in Palestine; the climate is too dry and hot; farther north in the Lebanon they flourish. At the same time it is possible to exaggerate this objection, for with careful grafting and cultivation exceedingly good apples may be produced in the mountain regions. Apple trees there need special care and renewal of the grafts, but there is no impossibility that at the time of the writing of Canticles skilled gardeners should have been able to produce sweet and perfumed apples in Palestine. Small but very sweet and fragrant apples are now grown at Gaza. Good apples are now plentiful in the market at Jerusalem, but they are chiefly importations from the North.
On account of the above difficulty three other fruits have been suggested by various writers. Two doubtless have been brought forward with a view to Proverbs 25:11: "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in network of silver," but the reference would certainly seem to be to some silver filigree work ornamented with gold modeled to look like fruit rather than to any actual fruit. The citron and the apricot (Tristram) have both been suggested as the true tappuach. The former, which is a native of Persia, does not appear to have been introduced into Palestine until well into the Christian era and the apricot, though an attractive substitute for the apple and today one of the most beautiful and productive of fruit trees, can hardly have been established in Palestine at the time of the scriptural references. It is a native of China and is said to have first begun to find its way westward at the time of Alexander the Great.
The third of the fruits is the quince, Cydonia vulgaris (Natural Order Rosaceae), and this had more serious claims. It flourishes in Palestine and has been long indigenous there. Indeed it is probable that even if tappuach was a name for apple, it originally included also the closely allied quince. The greatest difficulty is its harsh and bitter taste. Further the Mishna distinguishes the tappuach from the quince, which is called parish, and from the crab apple or chazor (Kohler in Jewish Encyclopedia, II, 23). The quince along with the apple was sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
On the whole there does not appear to be any sufficient reason for rejecting the translation of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American); the Biblical references suit it; the identity of the Hebrew and Arabic words favor it and there is no insuperable objection on scientific grounds. The word tappuach appears in two place names, BETH-TAPPUAH and TAPPUAH (which see).
E. W. G. Masterman
Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrews tappuah, meaning "fragrance"). Probably the apricot or quince is intended by the word, as Palestine was too hot for the growth of apples proper. It is enumerated among the most valuable trees of Palestine (Joel 1:12
), and frequently referred to in Canticles, and noted for its beauty (2:3
, 5; 8:5
). There is nothing to show that it was the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Dr. Tristram has suggested that the apricot has better claims than any other fruit-tree to be the apple of Scripture. It grows to a height of 30 feet, has a roundish mass of glossy leaves, and bears an orange coloured fruit that gives out a delicious perfume. The "apple of the eye" is the Hebrews ishon, meaning manikin, i.e., the pupil of the eye (Proverbs 7:2
). (Comp. the promise, Zechariah 2:8
; the prayer, Psalm 17:8
; and its fulfilment, Deuteronomy 32:10.
The so-called "apple of Sodom" some have supposed to be the Solanum sanctum (Hebrews hedek), rendered "brier" (q.v.) in Micah 7:4, a thorny plant bearing fruit like the potato-apple. This shrub abounds in the Jordan valley. (see ENGEDI.)
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) The fleshy pome or fruit of a rosaceous tree (Pyrus malus) cultivated in numberless varieties in the temperate zones.
2. (n.) Any tree genus Pyrus which has the stalk sunken into the base of the fruit; an apple tree.
3. (n.) Any fruit or other vegetable production resembling, or supposed to resemble, the apple; as, apple of love, or love apple (a tomato), balsam apple, egg apple, oak apple.
4. (n.) Anything round like an apple; as, an apple of gold.
5. (v. i.) To grow like an apple; to bear apples.
Strong's Hebrew8598. tappuach -- apple tree, apple...
<< 8597, 8598. tappuach. 8599 >>. apple
. Transliteration: tappuach
Phonetic Spelling: (tap-poo'-akh) Short Definition: tree. ... /hebrew/8598.htm - 6k
892. babah -- the apple (of the eye)
... << 891, 892. babah. 893 >>. the apple (of the eye). Transliteration: babah
Phonetic Spelling: (baw-baw') Short Definition: apple. Word ...
/hebrew/892.htm - 6k
5887. En Tappuach -- "place of an apple tree," a city in Ephraim
... En Tappuach. 5888 >>. "place of an apple tree," a city in Ephraim. Transliteration:
En Tappuach Phonetic Spelling: (ane tap-poo'-akh) Short Definition: En-tappuah ...
/hebrew/5887.htm - 6k
380. ishon -- the pupil (of the eye)
... << 379, 380. ishon. 381 >>. the pupil (of the eye). Transliteration: ishon Phonetic
Spelling: (ee-shone') Short Definition: apple. ... apple of the eye, black, obscure ...
/hebrew/380.htm - 6k
1323. bath -- daughter
... villages (17), woman (1), women (1). apple of the eye, branch, company, daughter,
first, old, owl, town,. From banah (as feminine of ...
/hebrew/1323.htm - 6k
8599. Tappuach -- A city in Judah, also a city on the border ...
... << 8598, 8599. Tappuach. 8600 >>. "apple," a city in Judah, also a city on the
border between Ephraim and Manasseh. Transliteration: Tappuach ...
/hebrew/8599.htm - 6k
1054. Beth-tappuach -- "place of apples," a place in Judah
... Beth-tappuah. From bayith and tappuwach; house of (the) apple; Beth-Tappuach, a
place in Palestine -- Beth-tappuah. see HEBREW bayith. see HEBREW tappuwach. ...
/hebrew/1054.htm - 6k