Bible Archaeology

Olives of Jerusalem

Via Journey to Jerusalem:

There could hardly be a plant more important or more associated with spiritual themes in Jerusalem than the olive. If you encounter Arab children in tourist spots in Jerusalem, one will almost certainly give you an olive branch and request a donation. The ancient symbol of peace also symbolizes many other things in Israel.

They say you plant an olive tree for your grandchildren, not for yourself. This is because a tree requires twenty years to mature. The hard wood of an olive makes for a long-lived and resilient fruit-bearing tree. 

In Jewish scripture, the olive represents the holiness and purity of worship, as it says in Exodus 27:20, “You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may be set up to burn continually.” And it represents the place of anguished prayer in Gethsemane the night before Yeshua (Jesus) was crucified: “When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Mark 14:26). In the last days, we read that God will make Israel as beautiful as an olive tree (Hosea 14:6).


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