In ancient Palestine, scrub forests of oak and terebinth that covered portions of the central hill country, Galilee and Gilead, and solitary specimens or groves that dotted the hills and valleys. Willows formed thickets along the Jordan (Jer 12:5) and flourished by perennial streams. Tamarisks marked the Negeb, and palms the oases. The prized cedar and firs grew only in Lebanon. Trees were valued for their shade, making them an attractive place to pitch a tent (Gen 13:18), build a shrine (Gen 12:6-7), or judge disputes (Judg 4:4). The ability of the deep-rooted tree to maintain its green foliage through summer heat and drought made it a symbol of life and endurance (Ps 1:3; Isa 65:22). The tree was also a symbol of might, especially the towering cedar (Ezek 31:3; Dan 4:10-12). Trees had sacred associations in both Israelite and Canaanite religion, serving as memorial objects (Gen 21:33) and as symbols of the Canaanite fertility goddess Asherah. They marked the “high places” honored by the patriarchs (Gen 12:6-7) but condemned by the prophets (Jer 3:6). Trees were also esteemed for their fruit (Gen 1:11; Gen 1:29; Gen 2:16). Jesus assumes this in his figurative teaching that a “tree is known by its fruit” (Matt 12:33; Matt 3:10). Palestinian trees were not generally suitable for lumber, though they were used for roof beams, furniture, and implements. Five NT passages also use the word “tree” to designate the cross (Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39; Acts 13:29; Gal 3:13; 1Pet 2:24).

Jer 12:5

God Replies to Jeremiah
5If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you,
how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you fall down,
h ... View more

Gen 13:18

18So Abram moved his tent, and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Gen 12:6-7

6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.7Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and ... View more

Judg 4:4

4At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel.

Ps 1:3

3They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.

Isa 65:22

22They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shal ... View more

Ezek 31:3

3Consider Assyria, a cedar of Lebanon,
with fair branches and forest shade,
and of great height,
its top among the clouds.

Dan 4:10-12

10 Upon my bed this is what I saw;
there was a tree at the center of the earth,
and its height was great.11The tree grew great and strong,
its top reached to he ... View more

Gen 21:33

33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.

Gen 12:6-7

6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.7Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and ... View more

Jer 3:6

A Call to Repentance
6The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill ... View more

Gen 1:11

11Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it ... View more

Gen 1:29

29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them ... View more

Gen 2:16

16And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;

Matt 12:33

A Tree and Its Fruit
33“Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

Matt 3:10

10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Acts 5:30

30The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.

Acts 10:39

39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;

Acts 13:29

29When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.

Gal 3:13

13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—

1Pet 2:24

24He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

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