Apple, Apple Tree
See also Apple
To discover the true name of the fruit, the references given above must be read carefully. It will be seen that the fruit was sweet, attractive, had a pleasing fragrance, was gold in color, had silvery leaves (or possibly this should read “silvery flower petals”), while its juice had rejuvenating properties. The tree which bore this fruit was tall and large enough to give plenty of good shade.
It is difficult to understand, therefore, why so many past writers, including John Milton, have identified the fruit as an apple. Apples are not indigenous to Pal., and the description given does not fit the rather small acid apples that were grown in other parts in those days.
It could have been an orange (Citrus sinensis), but again this is not indigenous though it grew in Biblical days in India and China, for in
It might have been the citron (Citrus medica), but it is very acid and could not be described, therefore, as “sweet.”
Those who say the fruit was a quince (Cydonia oblonga) are surely wrong, because though the quince is apple-shaped and golden, it is very acrid. The Arabs, however, enjoy the quince’s fragrance, which they say restores their strength.
The only fruit that fits the complete picture is the apricot (Prunus Armeniaca). This grew in Pal. in OT days; the fruits are golden and nicely perfumed, the leaves are pale, and in Cyprus apricots are called “golden apples.” The apricot will grow to a height of thirty ft., and so gives good shade. The flowers are white with a pink tinge, and the pale leaves have their undersurfaces covered with down—hence “silvery.”