[Heb., qid·dahʹ; qetsi·yahʹ].
Although two Hebrew words are used to refer to this plant in the Bible, the Syriac and Targum versions indicate that they apply to the same tree or a product of it. The cassia bark tree (Cinnamomum cassia) now grows in east Asia and is of the same family as the cinnamon tree. It may reach a height of forty feet (12 meters) and has glossy, stiff leaves. The inner bark of the branches (called Cassia lignea), when cut, dries and peels off, rolling itself into tubes, which are then sent to market. The cassia bark is considered inferior to cinnamon bark, being coarser and more pungent. The buds are used as cloves in preparing food dishes, and the mature flowers, when dried, serve for an aromatic incense. The sennas, although also known as cassia, are of a different family and should not be confused with the cassia bark tree.
When the holy anointing oil was prepared at the time of making the tabernacle, cassia was included among the ingredients as one of the “choicest perfumes.” (Ex. 30:23-25) Cassia was prominent among the products in which the merchants and traders of the city of Tyre dealt. (Ezek. 27:19) At Psalm 45:8 the word qetsi·yahʹ is used to describe the garments of the king as giving off delightful fragrance at the time of his marriage. The only other occurrence of this word is as the name of Job’s second daughter, born after his recovery from illness.—Job 42:14.
[Picture on page 302]
Cassia leaves and buds