TAMAR (ta'mar), law-mawr').
1. This has been universally acknowledged to denote the 'palm tree,' sometimes called the 'date tree.' Good says the radical meaning of the word is straight or upright. The date tree is remark able for its erect and cylindrical stem, crowned with a cluster of long and feather-like leaves, and is as much esteemed for its fruit, the 'date,' as for its juice, whether fermented or not, known as 'palm wine,' and for the numerous uses to which every part of the plant is applied. The Arabic name of the date is tanzr; thus the tamarind is called the Indian date, tamr hindee. The name Tamar to have been applied to the city which Solomon built in the desert (I Kings ix:18; Ezek. xlvii :19 ; xlviii :28), probably on account of the palm-trees growing about it ; and the name Palmyra, from palma, a palm, was no doubt applied to it by the Romans on the same account.
The palm tree is first mentioned in Exod. xv : 27, when the Israelites encamped at Elim, where there were twelve wells and threescore and ten palm trees. The palm tree was considered char acteristic of Judaea, not so much probably because it was more abundant there than in other coun tries, but because that was the first country where the Greeks and Romans would meet with it in proceeding southward. Hence the coins of the Roman conquerors of Judwa have inscribed on them a weeping female sitting under a palm tree, with the inscription `Juda'a capta' (see Kempfer, Ama'nitates Exotica', and Celsius, Hierobot.
444-579). (See PALM TREE.) 2. A Canaanitish woman, espoused successively to the two sons of Judah, Er and Onan; but as they both died childless, Judah hesitated to give her his third son Shelah, as patriarchal usage re quired. This set her upon the contrivance de scribed in Gen. xxxviii :6-30 ("Thamar" Matt. i : 3), and two sons, Pharez and Zarah, thus became the fruit of her criminal intercourse with Judah himself. (B. C. 1885.) (See JuoAx.) 3. Daughter of David by Maacah, who was also the mother of Absalom. (B. C. to33.) The un happy consequences of the criminal passion en tertained for this beautiful damsel by her half brother Amnon, brutally gratified by him, and terribly avenged by Absalom, formed the ground work of the family distractions which embittered the latter years of David's reign (2 Sam. xiii). (See ABSALOM ; AMNON; DAVID.) 4. Daughter of Absalom (2 Sam. xiv :27). She, by her marriage with Uriel of Gibeah, became ultimately the mother of Maachah, the future queen of Judah, or wife of Abijah (1 Kings 2). (B. C. 1023.) 5. A locality of Judea (Ezek. xlvii :19; xlviii 28), somewhere about the southern extremity of the Dead sea. It is perhaps identical with the village Tamara which Eusebius located on the road between Hebron and Elath.