Juniper

“(Heb. rothem), called by the Arabs retem, and known as Spanish” “broom; ranked under the genus genista. It is a desert shrub, and” abounds in many parts of Palestine. In the account of his “journey from Akabah to Jerusalem, Dr. Robinson says: “This is” “the largest and most conspicuous shrub of these deserts, growing” thickly in the water-courses and valleys. Our Arabs always “selected the place of encampment, if possible, in a spot where” “it grew, in order to be sheltered by it at night from the wind;” “and during the day, when they often went on in advance of the” “camels, we found them not unfrequently sitting or sleeping under” a bush of retem to shelter them from the sun. It was in this “very desert, a day’s journey from Beersheba, that the prophet” “Elijah lay down and slept beneath the same shrub” (1 Kings 19:4,” “5). It afforded material for fuel, and also in cases of” extremity for human food (Ps. 120:4; Job 30:4). One of the “encampments in the wilderness of Paran is called Rithmah, i.e.,” place of broom (Num. 33:18). “The Bedawin of Sinai still burn this very plant into a charcoal “which throws out the most intense heat.”

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