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were planted by the Hebrew people at the head of
a grave for 2 purposes:
1. To mark
the location of the grave.
2. To show
their belief in immortality.
Both the Hebrews and the Egyptians believed that
because of its hardness, durability and
evergreen nature, that this tree was a symbol of
both innocence and immortality.
the Bible, it is called “shittim”. Chosen above
all others, shittim was the wood which God
commanded Moses to use to create the Ark of the
Covenant into which Moses placed the 2 stone
tablets upon which The 10 Commandments were
entire chapter of Exodus 37 is devoted to the
creation of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark
was first constructed of shittim wood and then
overlaid with gold before being placed into the
Holy of Holies (Sanctum Sanctorum) in Solomon's
The wood is a
beautiful hardwood with dark and light coloring.
Due to this intermingled coloring, furniture and
flooring made from its wood is both very
durable, as well as exceptionally beautiful.
The tree is a thorny, and
many times multi stemmed tree or bush which many
would call a "scrub" tree because it never grows
large and tall like an oak, walnut or many other
the species, the seeds grow into either trees or
shrubs, which are hardy in many climates, but
they are not long-lived trees. Their typical
lifespan is between 30 to 40 years.
In order for
it to survive in very dry, arid lands such as
parts of Israel, Iran, Iraq, Australia, Africa,
etc., it has very deep roots from which to
absorb more water in arid lands. Some species
have roots which are 40-60 meters (approximately
120-180 feet deep).
Acacia belongs to the family Mimosaceae
and is related to both the Locust and the Mimosa
trees. There are approximately 1350 species of
Acacia found throughout the world and close to
1000 of these are found in Australia.
Its most common name,
world-wide is known as “Wattle”. which is
Australia's national floral emblem is
Acacia pycnantha, the Golden
Wattle. Australians celebrate Wattle Day on the
1st of September each year.
varieties are common in many countries such as
Australia, Africa, Madagascar, throughout Asia,
Israel, Iran, Iraq, South America, southern
parts of the United States as well as in the
Pacific. They are found in a wide range of
differing habitats from coastal, wet and
tropical to sub-alpine (just below treeline),
but are most prevalent in the arid and semi-arid
Unlike most other plants,
they will even grow on beaches and in rocky
areas… near the ocean taking their moisture from
Each year the
tree flowers. Depending on the variety, the
flowers can be yellow, white, cream-colored, or
a reddish-pink). Afterward, seed pods which are
about three inches long, containing from five to
six brownish-black seeds, ripen and turn from
green to brown. When fully ripe, the pods split
to release the seeds.
unlike most plants, its seeds have a hard
coating which, in most cases, is nearly
impervious to water, therefore, germination does
not usually occur unless some sort of
pretreatment is first carried out.
In nature, fire is the
most common means of getting the seed pods to
split open and reseed themselves.
As a Human Food Source
As a human food source, it has been a subject of
increasing interest and research in recent
years. Much of this work is based on
understanding the traditional Aboriginal use of
many of these species.
the seed from most of the wattle varieties are
generally thought of as being poisonous or
generally inedible, there are a few exceptions.
Forty-seven species of wattle trees growing in
southern Australia produce seeds which are
suitable for human food. Some species of it are
also used as stock food, for example, the pods
of A. farnesiana (prickly Moses) and
A. cambagei (gidyea) are eaten by sheep.
In both Australia and Africa, there are several
species of the seed which are edible. Seed is
eaten and prepared in different ways by
indigenous (originating and living naturally,
usually off the land) Aboriginal Australians and
is beginning to be marketed to other countries.
Reprint from the Masonic Lodge of Education