What Is Algum Wood? And Other Biblical Facts

What Is Algum Wood? And Other Biblical Facts

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If you read the Bible, you may come across an algum wood type. Algum wood is a wood that most people are not familiar with.

In the Bible, Algum wood was referred to as a wood that King Solomon used to build his temple. We know that King Solomon would have used the finest materials to build this temple, so Algum wood was likely an extraordinary and expensive wood.

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Algum Wood and The Biblical King Solomon’s Temple

Algum wood is referred to as being used to build King Solomon’s Temple in the Bible. According to the Hebrew Bible, Solomon’s temple was the first built in Jerusalem. The temple was built during the reign of King Solomon and completed construction by 957 BCE.

In the Bible in the First Book of Kings and Second Book of Chronicle, Algum wood was used together with cedar and pine wood. Most people believe that the wood was used for the actual pillars of the temple, along with some musical instruments for the temple.

King Solomon’s Temple And Algum Wood Explored

Other scholars said the algum wood was used for the temple’s steps. But whatever it was used for with King Solomon’s temple, we know that the wood would have been hardwood to have been used for either the structural pillars or the temple steps.

Here is the thing that we do know about the Algum Wood and King Solomon’s Temple:

  • Extreme Hardwood – Algum wood would have been considered a very hard wood. The wood was used for structures such as temple pillars or steps. Either one of the applications would have required them to use hardwood. There is a good chance that any steps would also have railings, so the wood could have been used for both pillars, steps, and banisters.
  • Precious Wood – As the Algum wood was used for King Solomon’s temple, they would have only used the best wood they could find. Algum wood would have been a precious wood.
  • Probably Brought In For The Temple – It is believed that the algum wood would have been brought to the area to build King Solomon’s temple. It is believed it was brought from Tazashish, an area mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Or it could have traveled from Tazashish from the port of Ezion-Giber (also a city from the Hebrew Bible) in the Red Sea.
  • Used For Musical Instruments – We also learn from the Bible that the Algum wood was also used for musical instruments for King Solomon’s temple.
  • Algum Wood Goes By Various Names – We know that Algum wood is often referred to in the Hebrew Bible by several different names, including Algum, Almug, or the plural form of Almuggim.

The King Solomon’s City Of Ophir And Algum Wood

One of the most significant issues in understanding what kind of Algum wood is knowing where King Solomon brought the wood from. Many cities and areas are mentioned in the Bible for which we have no definitive modern reference.

One of those areas we know about but are unsure where it is located is the City of Ophir. Here are a few things that we do know about the City of Ophir from the Bible:

  • Orphir Was A Port – We know from the Bible that Orphir was a port region as the Bible talks of it being a port.
  • Orphir Was Wealthy – The area of Orphir was known to be wealthy.
  • King Solomon Got Shipments From Orphir – We know that King Solomon would get a shipment from Orphir every three years.
  • Shipment Contained Many Products – We know that these shipments would contain many different products, such as gold, silver, wood, pearls, ivory, and even animals, such as apes and peacocks.

It is believed that Orphir is on one of the 1st Century trade routes. Historians are not sure where Orphir is located as it could have been on an ancient trade route from as far away as the Philippines, Africa, India, and Sri Lanka.

The location of the Orphir matters as it can help us identify what kind of wood algum wood was; the wood was likely brought in by one of these ancient trade routes.

Algum Wood And Today’s Type of Wood

Algum wood is probably still around, but we are not 100% sure what kind of wood Algum wood was referring to in the Hebrew Bible for King Solomon’s Temple. Two types of wood would use the term Algum wood.

Here are some wood types that may be Algum wood and why it is thought they are algum wood:

Algum Wood And Juniper Wood Species

Juniper Wood

Some scholars believe the Algum wood was a type of Juniper (Juniperus) tree. Several kinds of Juniper trees grow in the Middle East, which include Juniperus excelsa (Greek Juniper), Juniperus Foetidissima (Stinking Juniper), Juniper Phoenician (Phoenician Juniper), and Juniperus Drupacea (Syrian Juniper).

All of these types of Juniper trees come from the Middle East Area. If Algum wood were a wood that was found locally in the Middle East, it would have more than likely been made out of a Juniper tree. The Juniper tree is a conifer tree that is found all over the world.

Algum Wood And Red Sandalwood

Red Sandalwood

If the port city of Ophir was in India, there is a good chance that the algum wood would have been Red Sandalwood. Red Sandalwood is a heavy, yellow wood with a fine grain.

Sandalwood is prized as it also has a pleasant aromatic smell to the wood. The aroma of the wood is so powerful that it can retain its fragrance for decades.

Sandalwood is also used to produce fragrant oils. The sandalwood oil is extracted from the wood.

Because sandalwood and sandalwood oil have such a distinctive fragrance, they are woods that have been prized. Red Sandalwood is considered one of the most expensive woods in the world.

We do not know what kind of wood Algum wood is, but many believe that Ophir was located in India, and King Solomon would have spared no cost to build his Temple; King Solomon would have used the best materials he could find. If King Solomon had access to wood-like Red Sandalwood, he probably would have used that wood.

Red Sandalwood would have had some advantages in that it was very hardwood and had a pleasant aroma. Algum wood is a biblical and historical mystery that we have not yet been able to solve.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is algum wood?

Algum wood is timber derived from the hardwood tree species known as Pterocarpus erinaceus, commonly found in Lebanon or Africa. Almug wood, also referred to as algum wood is referenced in the Bible. It is believed to be a type of sandalwood and is likely derived from a species within the Pterocarpus genus.

What is Algum wood mentioned in the Bible?

Algum wood, referenced in the Bible, is thought to be a precious wood, possibly a type of sandalwood. It’s mentioned in the context of King Solomon’s temple and palace construction.

Where does Algum wood come from?

The exact origin of Algum wood is uncertain, but it is believed to have come from the region of Ophir or Lebanon, known for its rich resources of fine woods

Why was Algum wood so valuable in biblical times?

Algum wood was highly valued for its rarity, fragrance, durability, and the beauty of its grain, making it suitable for fine craftsmanship in ancient times.

Is there a modern equivalent to Algum wood?

While the exact species of Algum wood is not known, it is often associated with sandalwood or a species of the Pterocarpus genus, which are still valued today for their quality.

What does the Bible specifically say about Algum wood?

The Bible mentions Algum wood in the books of Kings and Chronicles, describing its use in the construction of the temples and palaces and for making harps and lyres for the temple.

Was Algum wood used only for religious purposes?

While Algum wood is primarily noted in the Bible for its use in religious contexts, it’s likely that such a valuable material was also used for other significant constructions and royal purposes.

How did King Solomon obtain Algum wood?

According to biblical accounts, King Solomon received Algum wood through trade with other kingdoms, notably from the ships of Hiram, the king of Tyre, who brought it from Ophir.

What does the use of Algum wood signify in biblical times?

The use of Algum wood in significant religious and royal structures signifies its high value and the esteem in which fine materials and craftsmanship were held in Solomon’s kingdom. It also reflects the wealth and extensive trade connections of Solomon’s reign.

Hardwood Solids Furniture, What Does The Term Mean?

Hardwood solids can include non-solid woods as engineered woods. Hardwood solids are used in furniture and other industries to classify what kind of wood is used in a product. The terms usually do not classify what type of wood is used.

You can discover more by reading Hardwood Solids Furniture, What Does The Term Mean? by clicking here.

What are the differences between solid wood, plywood, pressboard, and OSB?

Solid wood is wood cut from a tree and made into products; plywood is considered engineered wood. Pressboard is made from paper, including recycled paper. OSB is also known as Oriented Strand Board, and because of its strength is used a lot in roofing, housing, and floors.

You can discover more by reading our blog Differences Between Solid Wood, Plywood, Pressboard, And OSB? by clicking here.

What Are The Types Of Wood Used In Furniture?

Wood for furniture is divided up into hard and softwood. Though the woods have some similarities, they also have some differences. Different looks and types of furniture may require a certain kind of wood. Some wood species will be higher priced, and others will be cheaper; price, durability, look, color, finish, and structure can decide what wood to choose for your furniture piece.

You can discover more by reading our blog What Are The Types Of Wood Used In Furniture? by clicking here.

Anita Hummel
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