ALGUM or ALMUG:
By: Gerson B. Levi
A tree, the identity of which is uncertain. Jastrow, "Dict." s.v., suggests that it may be coral-wood; others, that it may be brazil-wood (so Kimḥi) or red sandal-wood. The name "Almug" (I Kings, x. 11) is said by some authorities to be a corrupted form or transposition of "Algum" (II Chron. ii.).
According to I Kings, x. 11 and II Chron. ix. 10, 11, the Almug was imported from Ophir; while, according to II Chron. ii. 8, algum-trees were obtained from the Lebanon mountains. The latter statement increases the difficulty of identification. Unless the words "out of Lebanon" be regarded as a gloss, the simplest solution seems to be that Algum and Almug were originally two different trees—as already suggested by Celsius—which have been confused with one another. Its wood was used by Solomon in his building operations, more particularly for terraces, stairs, and balustrades; it served also for making harps, psalteries, and other musical instruments (see the commentaries of Thenius, Keil, Kittel, and Benzinger on the Biblical passages in question and Talmudic and Midrashic references in Jastrow, l.c.). See Perles, in "Monatsschrift," xxxviii. 135.