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The Cinnamon cassia, Cinnamomum cassia, came over the Indian ocean to S Arabia, and so up by caravan to Pal. There is some argument as to whether this cassia is the same as the cinnamon mentioned in Song of Solomon and Revelation 18:13.

There is much to be said, however, for tr. the cassia in Psalm 45:8 as orrisroot, prob. coming from India, known by the Lat. name, Saussurea lappa. It grows like a thistle about five ft. tall, and is a well-rooted perennial. This produces a well-known incense used even today in the temples of India. The roots which produce the perfume are found in great numbers in the mountains of Kashmir. At least one tr.—Moffatt—has rendered the passage in Psalm 45:8 “fragrant are your robes with Orris, Myrrh and Aloes.”

The fragrant, powdered roots would be imported in the same way as the Cinnamon cassia (q.v.). See also Spice.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

kash’-a: Two Hebrew words,

(1) qiddah, which is mentioned, along with myrrh, cinnamon, calamus and olive oil, as one of the ingredients of the "holy anointing oil" (Ex 30:24); it was, too, one of the wares in which Vedan and Javan traded with Tyre (Eze 27:19); it is identified in the Peshitta and the Targum with (2).

(2) qetsi`oth (plural only, probably referring to the strips of bark), a word from which is derived the Greek kasia, and hence, cassia (Ps 45:8).

It is probable that both (1) and (2) refer to Cassia lignea, the inner bark of Cinnamomum cassia, a plant growing in eastern Asia closely allied to that which yields the cinnamon of commerce. It is a fragrant, aromatic bark and was probably used in a powdered form. Both as an ingredient in unguents and as one of the perfumes at funerals, cassia, like cinnamon, was much used by the Romans. The cassia of Scripture must be clearly distinguished from the entirely distinct Cassia lanceolata and C. obovata which yield the familiar senna. The proper name KEZIAH (which see) is the singular form of ketsi`oth.

See also

  • Plants