672 Biblical texts associate trees and groves with “idolatry” (Deut 16:21; 2 Kgs 16:4; Jer 3:6, 13, etc.), but neither Josephus nor his source offers any explanation for this ban. The absence of trees, and therefore shade, may connote the austerity and single-mindedness of the Judeans’ piety, parallel to the ban on priestly consumption of alcohol (below; cf. Philo, Spec. 1.74-75; Leg. 1.48-52). Contrast Josephus’ report on Onias’ temple, Ant. 13.66.