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Rue

RUE (πήγανον, G4379). Luke 11:42 says: “you tithe mint and rue.” At least there is no question here of the tr. being incorrect. The one question that concerns Bible botanists is to which species of rue our Lord referred.

The ordinary rue grown today in herb gardens is Ruta graveolens, the leaves of which are gray-green, and produce a pungent odor. It could be this species, for it did grow in Pal.

It could, however, equally be Ruta chalepensis latifolia, which is similar to the other rue, but has less deeply divided foliage. This species is also found in Pal., growing naturally.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

One of the plants mentioned in Lu 11:42 as subject to tithe: in the parallel passage, Mt 23:23, anise and cummin are mentioned. Ruta graveolens (Natural Order, Rutaceae) is the official rue, and a very similar species, R. chalepensis, is indigenous. Rue is a small shrub growing 2 to 4 ft. high with a heavy odor, disagreeable to Westerners, but a favorite with Orientals. A sprig of rue is often fixed on a child’s cap or clothes as a kind of charm.

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