The earliest reference to the concept of the Tree of Life is to be found in the philosophy of the Ancient Egyptians. In the Osiris Legend, Osiris was induced by his wicked brother Set to lie down in a magnificent coffer under the pretext of a game at a banquet. Set and his seventy-two conspirators immediately closed the lid and threw the coffer into the Nile.
Osiris' wife Isis, who was also his sister, searched for and found the chest which had been borne down the Nile and across the sea to what was later identified as the Phoenician coast, where it was deposited at the foot of a tamarisk tree. As the tree grew it enclosed Osiris and the chest within its trunk ... which was later cut down by the king of Byblos and used as a pillar in his palace. The fragrance of the pillar became renowned far and wide, and when Isis heard about it she immediately understood its significance. Isis returned the pillar, and the body it contained, to Egypt.
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