ATS Bible DictionaryAloes
Or more properly, ALOE, and East Indian tree, that grows about eight or ten feet high, and yields a rich perfume, Psalm 45:8 Proverbs 7:17 So 4:14. This tree or wood was called by the Greeks Agallochon, and has been known to moderns by the names of Lign-aloe, aloe-wood, paradise-wood, eagle-wood, etc. Modern botanists distinguish two kinds: the one grows in Cochin China, Siam, and China, is never exported, and is of so great rarity in India, as to be worth its weight in gold. The tree is represented as large, with an erect trunk and lofty branches. The other or more common species is called garo in the East Indies, and is the wood of a tree growing in the Moluccas, the Excoecaria Agallocha of Linnaeus. The leaves are like those of a pear-tree; and it has a milky juice, which, as the tree grows old, hardens into a fragrant resin. The trunk is knotty, crooked, and usually hollow. Aloe-wood is said by Herodotus to have been used by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies, and Nicodemus brought it, mingled with myrrh, to embalm the body of our Lord, John 19:39. This perfume, it will be seen, is something altogether different from the aloes of the apothecaries, which is a bitter resin, extracted from a low herb.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaALOES; LIGNALOES
al'-oz, lin-al'-oz, lig-nal'-oz ('ahalim, Numbers 24:6, translation "lign-aloes" (= lignum aloes, "wood of aloes"), Proverbs 7:17; 'ahaloth, Psalm 45:8 Songs 4:14; aloe, John 19:39): Mentioned as a substance for perfuming garments (Psalm 45:8) and beds (Proverbs 7:17). In Songs 4:14, it occurs in a list of the most precious spices. The most memorable use of aloes as a spice is in John 19:39: "There came also Nicodemus, he who at the first came to him at night, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds." This was an immense quantity and if the aloes bore any large proportion to the myrrh the mixture must have been purchased at a very high cost. The most difficult mention of aloes is the earliest where (Numbers 24:5, 6) Balaam in his blessing on Israel exclaims-"How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, Thy tabernacles, O Israel! As valleys are they spread forth, As gardens by the river-side, As lign-aloes which Yahweh hath planted, As cedar-trees beside the waters." As the aloes in question grow in East Asia it is difficult to see how Balaam could have come to speak of them as living trees. Post (HDB, I, 69) suggests that they may possibly have been growing at that time in the Jordan valley; this is both improbable and unnecessary. Balaam need have had no actual tree in his mind's eye but may have mentioned the aloe as a tree famous over the Orient for its preciousness. That the reference is poetical rather than literal may be supposed by the expression in the next verse "cedar-trees beside the waters"-a situation very unnatural for the high-mountain-loving cedar. Yet another explanation is that the Hebrew has been altered and that 'elim, "terebinths" instead of 'ahalim, "aloes" stood in the original text. The aloe wood of the Bible is eaglewood-so misnamed by the Portuguese who confused the Malay name for it (agora) with the Latin aquila, "eagle"-a product of certain trees of the Natural Order Aquilariaceae, growing in Southeast Asia The two most valued varieties are Aquilaria malaccensis and Aloes agallocha-both fine spreading trees. The resin, which gives the fragrant quality to the wood, is formed almost entirely in the heart wood; logs are buried, the outer part decays while the inner, saturated with the resin, forms the "eagle wood" or "aloe wood" of commerce; "aloes" being the same wood in a finely powdered condition. To the Arabs this wood is known as `ud. It shows a beautiful graining and takes a high polish.
These aloes must be clearly distinguished from the well-known medicinal aloes, of ancient fame. This is a resin from Aloes socatrina, and allied species, of the Natural Order Liliaceae, originally from the island of Socotra, but now from Barbados, the Cape of Good Hope and other places. The "American aloe" (Agave americana) which today is cultivated in many parts of Palestine, is also quite distinct from the Biblical plant.
E. W. G. Masterman
Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrews `ahalim), a fragrant wood (Numbers 24:6
; Psalm 45:8
; Proverbs 7:17
; Cant. 4:14), the Aquilaria agallochum of botanists, or, as some suppose, the costly gum or perfume extracted from the wood. It is found in China, Siam, and Northern India, and grows to the height sometimes of 120 feet. This species is of great rarity even in India. There is another and more common species, called by Indians aghil, whence Europeans have given it the name of Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood. Aloewood was used by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies. Nicodemus brought it (pounded aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ (John 19:39
); but whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is uncertain.
The bitter aloes of the apothecary is the dried juice of the leaves Aloe vulgaris.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) Plural of Aloe
Strong's Hebrew174. ahalim -- the aloe (a tree)...
the aloe (a tree). Transliteration: ahalim Phonetic Spelling: (a-haw-leem') Short
root Definition the aloe (a tree) NASB Word Usage aloes
(4). ... /hebrew/174.htm - 6k