Aloes: (Heb. 'ahalim), a fragrant wood
(Numbers 24:6; Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17; The Song of Solomon 4:14) the
Aquilaria agallochum of botanists, or, as some suppose, the costly
gum or perfume extracted from the wood. It is found in China, Siam,
and Northern India, and grows to the height sometimes of 120 feet.
This species is of great rarity even in India. There is another and
more common species, called by Indians aghil, whence Europeans have
given it the name of Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood. Aloewood was used
by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies. Nicodemus brought it
(pounded aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ
(John 19:39) but
whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is uncertain.
The bitter aloes of the apothecary is the dried juice of the leaves