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Sycamore


Sycamore (Heb. shikma╠éh). Although it may be admitted that the sycamine is properly, and in Luke 17:6, the mulberry, and the sycamore the fig-mulberry, or sycamore-fig (Ficus sycamorus), yet the latter is the tree generally referred to in the Old Testament, and called by the Septuagint sycamine, as 1 Kings 10:27; 1 Chron. 27:28; Ps. 78:47; Amos 7:14. The sycamore, or fig-mulberry, is in Egypt and Palestine a tree of great importance and very extensive use. It attains the size of a walnut tree, has wide-spreading branches, and affords a delightful shade. On this account it is frequently planted by the waysides. Its leaves are heart-shaped, downy on the under side, and fragrant. The fruit grows directly from the trunk itself on little sprigs, and in clusters like the grape. To make it eatable, each fruit, three or four days before gathering, must, it is said, be punctured with a sharp instrument or the finger-nail. This was the original employment of the prophet Amos, as he says. Amos 7:14. So great was the value of these trees that David appointed for them in his kingdom a special overseer, as he did for the olives, 1 Chron. 27:28; and it is mentioned as one of the heaviest of Egypt’s calamities that her sycamores were destroyed by hailstones. Ps. 78:47.