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Almond Tree

March 5, 2017
Detail of gold menorah, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem, Photo zeevveez (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

Detail of gold menorah, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem, Photo zeevveez (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

“I said to the almond tree, ‘Sister speak to me of God.’  And the almond tree blossomed.”

— Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco

The almond tree, a relative of the peach, is native to the Levant, but has been cultivated as far north as Iceland.  It was among the first trees domesticated, thought to have sprouted initially on pre-historic garbage heaps.

Domesticated almonds were in use by the Bronze Age (3300-2000 BC).  They were found amid other treasures in the pharaoh, Tutankhamen’s tomb.

Almond blossoms have been said to symbolize hope, perseverance, and justice, among other things.  For the Israelites, they signified watchfulness, specifically God’s vigilance on their behalf.  The Hebrew word “almond” and the phrase, “I am ready” (or “I am watching”) sound similar.  The almond, also, flowers in early Spring.

It was for these reasons that God instructed the Israelites to make a golden lampstand shaped like an almond tree, for the sanctuary (Ex. 25:31-40).  Three branches were to extend from each side, decorated with flowers in the form of almond blossoms and buds.  The Jewish menorah (a candelabra with seven  branches) was the result.

The staff Moses’ brother, Aaron, carried was made of almond wood, as well.  The same staff bloomed and brought forth almonds overnight, in validation of Aaron’s claim to the priesthood (Num. 17).

The Book of Revelation describes Christ as surrounded by seven golden lampstands, thus, portraying His central relationship to the seven churches (Rev. 1: 12-13, 20).  He is, in effect, the stem of a greater lampstand (a reference, also, to the vine and branches symbolism at John 15: 1-7).

Christians, too, are urged to remain watchful (1 Thess. 5: 6).  We are to be spiritually aware of God, the needs of the kingdom, and God’s purpose for our lives.

“…[T]he word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see the branch of an almond tree.’  Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word’ ” (Jer. 1: 11).

Lord God, You made this astounding world, and watch over it with the care of a loving gardener.  The peach and the almond flower as they should.  Yet we, Your children, destroy the garden.  Without thought, as if it were ours.

Daily there is violence.  Daily immorality increases.  None can argue, but that pruning is warranted.

Exercise mercy, for the sake of Your Son, Jesus.  Stay Your hand of judgment, and remind us instead of another tree, the one on which He died for us.  We ask this in His holy Name.

Amen

Originally posted 4/3/13

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  http://www.avoicereclaimed

9 Comments
  1. Great post! Thank you for sharing the symbolism, it sheds great light into Aaron’s Rod that blossomed. I always thought it was inside the Ark of The Covenant (Hebrews 9:3-4) but some dispute the verse..

    • Glad you liked the post! 🙂 I confess I was not aware of a dispute over the location of Aaron’s rod. I’ll have to look into it.

  2. And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a sign against the rebels; and you shall put away their murmurings from me, that they die not.” (Num 17:10, KJ2000)

    The ark of the covenant is also known as the ark of the testimony (Ex. 26:33). God commanded the tablet of the ten commandments, a golden pot of manna to be put in the ark as a sign of His provision for them all those 40 years in the wilderness and the rod of Aaron was put there as a sign of their constant rebellion and complaining (Heb. 9:4). The thing that blesses me is that the covering over it all is called the “Mercy Seat.” God is the God of Mercy and His mercy covered it all, thus a sign of the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the world. Jesus is also called, “The rod out of the stem of Jesse” and the Branch (see Jer. 33:15).

    And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” (Isa 11:1-4, KJ2000)

    Anna, you have been dealt a very hard hand in this life, but besides His mercy for the meek and the down trodden there is judgment on their behalf. Jesus loves you dearly, Anna. ❤

    Michael

    • I am always grateful for your insights, Michael. ❤ But you give me too much credit. God has brought me through deep waters (Is. 43: 2). My constant prayer is that He may use me for His purposes.

      May He bless you as you bless others.

      Your friend,

      Anna

  3. So very True Anna, we are in the end times and we are to be watchful for the signs Jesus talked about, He will not come as a thief to those of us who are not in darkness, as we know there is more Prophecy that has to be fulfilled before Jesus returns and we are Raptured or as recorded in Revelations, The First Sickle happens but it is very close.

    1Thessalonians 5 :2 -6 “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say; Peace and safety then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child and they shall not escape. But ye brethren are not in darkness that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the Children of Light and the Children of the day we are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others but let us watch and be sober.”

    Christian Love in our Unity in Christ Jesus – Anne.

  4. learnt a great deal from almond tree symbolism..GOD bless u

  5. Have mercy upon us, O God. Help us to be a good steward of your creation.

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