7 Lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus)
© Pixabay

Botanical background


order: Sapindales

family: Anacardiaceae

genus: Pistacia

species: lentisk/mastic (Pistacia lentiscus)

attributes: evergreen shrub, heigth one to three meters, stemmed leaves with up to five leaflets

origin: Middle East, Mediterranean regions in Europe und Africa

habitat: see above


in the Bible


And their father Israel said to them, If it be so now, do this. Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and bring a present down to the man, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds. 

Genesis 43,11


Jacob has the best crops of Palestine sent to his son Joseph in Egypt as gifts. Amongst them are also lentisks. The real lentisk (Pistacia vera) on the other hand is a terebinth and not indigenous to Palestine. The word בׇּטְנָה (banah)mentioned in the Genesis might refer to a Pistacia palaestina (termentine tree) or Pistacia atlantica (Atlas mastic tree). This is the only passage in the Bible mentioning a lentisk, although the toponym Betonim in Josua (Jos 13,26) is probably derived from the Hebrew word banah.


mentions: once

text passages: Genesis 43,11



Riede, Peter: Pistazie, in: Das wissenschaftliche Bibellexikon im Internet (März. 2015), URL: https://www.bibelwissenschaft.de/wibilex/das-bibellexikon/lexikon/sachwort/anzeigen/details/pistazie/ch/0c87a78a58788b1e1a2e413ddf99193d/ (abgerufen 06.06.2023).

Modern King James Version.

photo of a lentisk
© Botanischer Garten Uni MS
photo of a lentisk tree
Lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus)
© Pixabay
depiction of a lentisk in Kreuterbuch
lentisk in Kreuterbuch, 1582
© Bibelmuseum Münster