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In the King James Version of the Old Testament, shittim is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that refers to acacia wood. The acacia tree was found throughout the ancient Mediterranean. Acacia wood is a very hard and durable wood and also polishes and finishes well. These physical characteristics help explain why it played such a prominent role in the furnishings and materials of the tabernacle, or tent shrine (see Exodus 35:7). Numerous parts of the tabernacle were made from acacia and then often gilded or covered in metal (for example, see Exodus 38:1).
Shittim is also a place name for a site that was across the River Jordan from the city of Jericho.
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