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Old English ceder, blended in Middle English with Old French cedre, both from Latin cedrus, from Greek kedros "cedar, juniper," origin uncertain. Cedar oil was used by the Egyptians in embalming as a preservative against decay and the word for it was used figuratively for "immortality" by the Romans. Cedar chest attested from 1722. Related: Cedrine.
(Heb. e'rez, Gr. kedros, Lat. cedrus), a tree very frequently mentioned in Scripture. It was stately (Ezek. 31:3-5), long-branched (Ps. 80:10; 92:12; Ezek. 31:6-9), odoriferous (Cant. 4:11; Hos. 14:6), durable, and therefore much used for boards, pillars, and ceilings (1 Kings 6:9, 10; 7:2; Jer. 22:14), for masts (Ezek. 27:5), and for carved images (Isa. 44:14). It grew very abundantly in Palestine, and particularly on Lebanon, of which it was "the glory" (Isa. 35:2; 60:13). Hiram supplied Solomon with cedar trees from Lebanon for various purposes connected with the construction of the temple and the king's palace (2 Sam. 5:11; 7:2, 7; 1 Kings 5:6, 8,10; 6:9, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20; 7:2, 3, 7, 11, 12; 9:11, etc.). Cedars were used also in the building of the second temple under Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:7). Of the ancient cedars of Lebanon there remain now only some seven or eight. They are not standing together. But beside them there are found between three hundred and four hundred of younger growth. They stand in an amphitheatre fronting the west, about 6,400 feet above the level of the sea. The cedar is often figuratively alluded to in the sacred Scriptures. "The mighty conquerors of olden days, the despots of Assyria and the Pharaohs of Egypt, the proud and idolatrous monarchs of Judah, the Hebrew commonwealth itself, the war-like Ammonites of patriarchal times, and the moral majesty of the Messianic age, are all compared to the towering cedar, in its royal loftiness and supremacy (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 17:3, 22, 23, 31:3-9; Amos 2:9; Zech. 11:1, 2; Job 40:17; Ps. 29:5; 80:10; 92:12, etc).", Groser's Scrip. Nat. Hist. (See BOX-TREE ØT0000636.)