botanical background


order: Coniferales

family: Pinaceae

genus: cedars (Cedrus)

species: cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)

attributes: evergreen conifer, height up to 50 meters, wood easily workable, depicted on the flag of Lebanon

origin: originally from Lebanon, but also in Syria, Cyprus and along the coasts of Anatolia

habitat: by now also Bulgaria und Great Britain


in the Bible

 The trees of Jehovah are full, the cedars of Lebanon which He has planted; where the birds make their nests; the fir trees are the house of the stork.

Psalm 104, 16-17


The wood of the cedar of Lebanon is praised throughout the Bible for it‘s beauty and scent. Because of it‘s longevity and good workability it was popular in antiquity for the construction of both palaces and temples. The Egyptian and Phoenician trade nations also used it for their ships. In the Old Testament the cedar is used in several representative buildings, most prominently the temple of Jerusalem and the palace of Solomon. Notwithstanding the cedar of Lebanon is not endemic to Israel. Chapter 6 of the first Book of Kings reports at lenght how Solomon asked Hiram of Tyros, who reigned over modern Lebanon, to deliver cedars in exchange for large quantities of food for the tyrrhenian court.


mentions: several (in the Old Testament about 70 times)

other text passages (selected):

Numeri 24,6 (symbol for vigor, beauty, pride)

2 Samuel 7,7

1 Kings 5,13 (biggest trees in Israel)

1 Kings 5, 20-24

1 Kings 6,9ff (construction of the temple)

1 Kings 7,2ff. (construction of the palace in the Lebanon forest)

1 Kings 9, 11

1 Kings 10, 27 (quality and scent of wood)

2 Kings 19,23

Sach 11,1f.

Isaiah 9,9 (quality and scent of wood)

Isaiah 35,2

Jeremia 22,7.14

Esra 3,7 (second temple)

Ezechiel 27,5 (Schiffsbau)

Leviticus 14,14ff.49ff. (purification rites)

Jesaja 44,6.14 (idols)

Psalms 80,11; 104,16



Riede, Peter: Zeder, in: Das wissenschaftliche Bibellexikon im Internet (De. 2017), URL: (abgerufen 06.06.2023).

Modern King James Version.

© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster
© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster
© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster
© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster
© Bibelmuseum Münster