Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Grove
GROVE. The almost universal occurrence, at one stage or another in the religious and social development of the races of mankind, of the practice of worshipping by pre ference under or among trees to which a peculiarly sacred and inviolable character is attached, is a fact too well known to require particular illustration here. Its explana tion is to be sought partly in obvious considerations of physical convenience, but even more in certain psychical phenomena which may still be made matters of direct observation and experience (" Lucos, et in iis silentia ipsa adoramus," Pliny, H.N., xii. 1; " Secretum luci . . . et admiratio umbrae fidem tibi numinis facit," Sen., Ep. xli.). It does not appear to have any necessary connexion with tree-worship, another very widely diffused practice, on which, and on its possible connexion with ancestor-worship, some suggestive remarks will be found in Spencer s Principles of Sociology. It has sometimes been alleged as a character istic difference between the Semitic and the Aryan races that the former show a tendency to select single trees for sanctuaries, while the latter are generally found worshipping in groves ; and this generalization, though liable to many exceptions, is really borne out at least by the familiar in dications to be met with in Scripture. The word " grove " so often met with in the authorized version of the Bible, is nowhere there correctly employed. In Gen. xxi. 33 and
1 Sam. xxii. 6 (margin) it is used as a rendering of the Hebrew word 7^ of which " tamarisk" is the proper translation. In every other instance in which it occurs (Ex. xxxiv. 13 ; Deut. xii. 3 ; xvi. 21 ; Judg. iii. 7 ; vi. 25, 28 ; Isa. xvii. 8 ; Mic. v. 14 ; and often in Kings and Chronicles), where the LXX. translate aAo-o?, and the Vulgate lucus, the original is invariably Asherah (""IK), meaning a tree or post (see BAAL, vol. iii. p. 175). The "plain" of Moreh, or Mamre also, in Gen. xii. 6 and xiii. 18, represents fh$, which all modern interpreters render "terebinth."