Tag Archives: Ficus carica

This Light of Mine

Olive TreeThe fruit of the olive tree is identified three places in the Tabernacle which was built while the Israelites were camped at Mount Sinai. In all three places, it was olive oil, pressed from olives, which was used.

First, olive oil provided fuel for seven lamps which set on the golden Lampstand in the Tent of Meeting, Holy of Holies (Exodus 40:1 – 5). One lamp set on each of the seven branches of the Lampstand. The Bible does not identify the material used in the construction of the seven lamps. Some authors identified the material as gold – the same substance used in the crafting of the Lampstand.

Other authors suggested that the material was a type of clay used in pottery. Small pottery lamps were found at ancient Israeli archeological sites around the time of the Exodus. The lamps were open rimmed in contrast to later New Testament lamps which had a central hole into which olive oil was poured and a short spout which contained the lamp wick. In the open bowl-type lamp, one side was pinched narrow into a spout like protrusion. The wick extended from the spout side of the lamp. God told Moses to have the Israelites bring clear oil of pressed olives for the Lampstand lamps (Exodus 27:20-21). The high priest, Aaron, was to tend the lamps so that they burned continually before the Lord from evening until morning.

The second place that olives were used in the Tabernacle was in the Bread of the Presence. The Presence Bread (Showbread) was a type of grain offering. God described meticulously that all grain offerings (Leviticus 2:1 – 16) should be prepared/offered with olive oil.

The third place that olive oil was used in the Tabernacle was as an ingredient of the anointing oil (Exodus 30: 22-32). God decreed that Moses use anointing oil to anoint and consecrate (to God) every part of the tabernacle, the priests, and the priest’s clothes. The anointing oil, described in detail, consisted of fine spices and a hin (3.7 liters or 1.5 gallons) of olive oil. The anointing oil was to be God’s sacred anointing oil for future generations. If anyone made perfume using the same formula and put it on other than a priest, he/she was to be cut off from the Children of Israel.

Ancient olive treeOlive Trees

The olive tree is the second plant mentioned in the Bible and one of the world’s oldest cultivated trees.  Archeological evidence suggests that the olive tree was first domesticated in the 4th millennium B.C.  The wild Mediterranean olive is the most likely progenitor of today’s cultivated olive, Olea europaea. Some scholars identify the olive as indigenous to present day Israel and Syria; while others claim North Africa or Crete as homes of the first olive trees. In all probability there were wild olive trees growing in the Sinai Peninsula when the Children of Israel traveled there in 1446 – 1406 B.C. Olive trees are long lived, up to 1000 years. They are evergreens that grow to a height of 65 feet with spreading branches that form a dense crown or canopy.  In Old Testament times, youth used long sticks to shake olive tree branches with the result that ripe olives fell to the ground. To obtain small quantities of clear olive oil such as used in anointing oil, olives were gently squeezed — so that no parts were crushed.

Symbolism: Light, Illumination

When we think of the symbolism of the olive tree, we associate the olive branch or leaf as symbols of peace and prosperity. This symbolism comes from the Greeks where the olive tree was the sacred tree of goddess Athena. Athens, the capital of Greece, took its name from the goddess. In the Old Testament olive trees, branches and olives are not associated with peace or prosperity. In Exodus and Leviticus, the Hebrew word for olive tree, olive, and olive oil is zayith; zayith means an olive, as yielding illuminating oil.  Another Old Testament word for olive is sheman, meaning to shine or anoint.

The writers of the Old Testament Psalms repeatedly told the Israelites then and Christian’s today that God is our light (Psalm 27:1,Psalm 89: 15, Psalm 119: 105). In the New Testament, Christ is described or describes himself as the light of the world and of men (John 1: 4, John 8:12, John 12:46). In the Old Testament, the Israelites were to reflect God’s light to the surrounding nations (Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:6). Today, Christians are called to take Christ’s light into the world. Christ said “you are the light of the world…. let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 14 – 16). St Paul wrote “you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists of all goodness, righteousness and truth)” (Ephesians 5: 8 – 9).

One of the saddest stories in the Bible involves the lamps of the golden Lampstand (I Samuel 3: 1- 4). The Children of Israel are now in the Promised Land and the Ark of the Covenant and the golden Lampstand are at Shiloh. As the chief priest, Eli has the task of preparing and lighting the seven lamps each evening. The story is set early one morning before sunrise. Samuel recorded a small sentence, “The lamp of God had not yet gone out” (I Samuel 3:3). That the lamps burned low or burnt out before morning means that Eli did not prepare the lamps with sufficient olive oil or wick length so that the lamps would burn through the night until morning. The lack of illumination before the Table of the Presence symbolized spiritual dimness in the lives of priests and Israelites. Both were neglecting God; consequently, their lives were not filled with the light of His presence. In this same vignette, Samuel wrote “in those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions” (I Samuel 3:1). There could be no illumination (words or visions) from God when the priest and people were neglecting or disobeying Him.

As olive oil lamps shined on the Presence Table in the Tent of Meeting, Christians are illuminated by Christ and they reflect Him in a dark world. If our light dims or burns out, how will Christ be seen?

Remember that childhood Sunday school song:

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

I’m not going to let Satan blow it out. I’m going to let it shine. I’m not going to let Satan blow it out. I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine all over the world.

Reflection. So what about you? Is you light burning for Christ, or has your light grown dim?

I love Bible plants along with their symbolism. If you want to learn more about them, read my two books: 1) Rooted in God and 2) God as a Gardener. You can purchase them from my website: Carolyn Roth Ministry at http://www.CarolynRothMinistry.com/

Copyright April 23, 2016, Carolyn A. Roth

Save

Good and Bad Figs

Baskets-of-good-and-bad-figs,-Jeremiah-24,-tb092506048-bibleplaces

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 24:1-7

In the years prior to Jeremiah’s parable of the two baskets of figs, Judah’s King Jehoiakim was murdered. His son, Jehoiachin, succeeded his father to the throne. After ruling three months and ten days, the eighteen year-old king surrendered when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. This grandson of godly King Josiah, his mother and wives, capable fighting men, and the most skilled artisans and craftsmen were taken captive (597 BC) to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, the vassal king in Judah. In earlier prophecies, Jeremiah foretold both Jehoiakim’s murder and Jehoiachin being taken captive to Babylon.

In the parable of the two baskets of figs, God gave Jeremiah a vision that included a parable and its interpretation:

Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”“Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.” Jeremiah 24: 3-4 NIV

In contrast to the good figs, the outcome for the bad figs was dire. The bad figs were King Zedekiah, his officials, and other survivors in Jerusalem. God was going to send sword, famine, and plague on the people who remained in Judah. Indeed, during the siege of Jerusalem, residents suffered famine and pestilence. When they Babylonians broke through the Jerusalem walls thousands of Jerusalemites were murdered. Even though God banish the survivors to foreign kingdoms, God’s planned to make them abhorrent to people of every kingdom on earth.

fig leaf & fruit

How Figs Grow

Figs were identified in written records as early as 9000 B.C. in the area of Jordan. The average fig tree grows about twenty feet tall and develops a spreading canopy. Tree roots spread far beyond the tree canopy searching for water. Some fig trees are damaged by temperatures that drop to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Perhaps, the bad figs in Jeremiah’s parable were damaged by a late frost.

Interpretation

Jeremiah’s prophecy of the good and bad figs came true. When Jehoiachin arrived in Babylon, he was placed in prison. There, he remained 37 years. When Nebuchadnezzar died, his son Evil-Murdock became king over Babylon. King Evil- Murdock released Jehoiachin from prison, gave him an allowance, and a favored place at the king’s high table for meals. Seventy years later after Jehoiachin’s captivity, his grandson, Zerubbabel, led the first 50,000 Jews who left Babylon and returned to Jerusalem. God considered the exiled Jews as good figs.

Meanwhile in Jerusalem, King Zedekiah rebelled. Nebuchadnezzar returned to Jerusalem, laid siege to the city, killed King Zedekiah, and conquered Jerusalem and the surrounding towns. Nebuchadnezzar assigned Gedaliah, a politically-moderate Jew, as governor of Judea. Gedaliah established his capital at Mizpah. Ishmael, a member of Judah’s former royal family, killed Gedaliah and the Babylonian soldiers garrisoned at Mizpah. Jews not killed feared that Nebuchadnezzar would be furious at governor Gedaliah’s murder. They fled to Egypt for safety. Not too many years later, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt; in the invasion his army killed most of the Jews who fled there. Thus, the bad figs were destroyed.

Reflection

Most Americans resonate to New Hampshire’s state motto: “Live Free or Die.” Yet, God told the Jewish exiles to submit to their Babylonian captors. When they did so, they were good figs. What was God’s rationale for declaring the captives “good?”

I love Bible plants along with their symbolism. If you want to learn more about them, read my two books: 1) Rooted in God and 2) God as a Gardener. You can purchase them from my website: Carolyn Roth Ministry at http://www.CarolynRothMinistry.com/

Copyright: November 21, 2015; Carolyn A. Roth

Save

Save

Fig Leaves for Clothes

213

Reference: Genesis 3

Originally, man was created with free will. Adam and Eve could choose to obey or disobey God. While they obeyed God, Adam and Eve were without sin. Neither wore clothes; they were naked in each others presence and God’s presence yet felt no sense of shame or embarrassment (Genesis 2:25).

When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s command, they lost their innocence or sinless state. It was their choice to disobey to God — not solely the act of biting into, chewing, and swallowing a fruit — that introduced sin into the world. Disobeying God word is always a sin. Immediately after disobeying God, Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness. Adam was ashamed and embarrassed for Eve to see his naked body; likewise, Eve was embarrassed and ashamed for Adam to see her nakedness. To hide their nakedness and shame, Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to make an apron-like girdle.

Chagawr is the Hebrew word used for the apron-like girdle in Genesis 3:7. When compared with other Biblical references using the word (chagawr), a picture emerges of a belt tied around the waist with fig leaves sewed to the belt and each other that hung down and created a cover for the lower abdominal and genital areas. The underside of fig trees are rough. When disturbed or punctured they exude a gel-like substance. Fig leaves sewed together and put on for  clothes would have been very sticky and uncomfortable to wear.

Adam and Eve were wearing fig leaf aprons when they tried to avoid God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8-10). In God’s presence, Adam blurted out, “I was afraid (to come before you) because I was naked.” In reality, Adam was not naked; he was wearing a fig leaf apron. Adam saw the fig leaf apron as adequate to cover his nakedness front of Eve, but not in front of God.

Fig Trees

fig leaf & fruit

The fig tree (Ficus carica ) is a deciduous tree indigenous to the Mediterranean Sea area and eastward into Afghanistan.  Figs were identified in written records as early as 9000 BC in the area of Jordan. Fig trees grow as tall as 25 – 30 feet and develop a spreading canopy of branches and leaves. Fig leaves are plentiful and typically 5 – 10 inches long and 4 – 7 inches wide. Leaves contain 3 – 5 deep lobes. Given the size of fig leaves, Adam and Eve would have used multiple fig leaves together to create aprons.

Symbolism: Disobedience

When I read that Adam ascribed his avoidance and fear of God to nakedness, I was skeptical.  Adam knew he disobeyed God; probably Adam’s fear was more related to awareness of his disobedience than of his nakedness.

Today wearing clothes is the norm. Opting to be naked versus being clothed is not something we think about. Automatically, we dress for the day soon after getting out of bed. I don’t know about you, but I want to look good to others. I don’t want them to see the naked, unadorned parts of me. I want to present myself as a person who is attractive and together physically, psychologically, and spiritually. In reality, often I have enough baggage to fill my closet and then some.

Perhaps worse than projecting  false pictures and hiding ourselves from others is trying to hide ourselves from God. Do you lie to God? I do, when I attempt to obscure my true motives from Him in my prayers; often I try to “white wash” my behavior or rationalize my motives. God wants us to be naked and unashamed before Him. He knew us before creation and when we were in our mother’s womb. He knows our circumstance and behavior. God knows us so well that He can identify the exact number of hairs on each of our heads. There is nothing we can do that God doesn’t anticipate or know. Yet, He still loves us and calls us into a personal, intimate relationship with Him. There is no need to hide ourselves from God or to put a “spin” on our behavior when we talk to Him.

Reflection: Are you hiding yourself, to include your motives, from God?

I love Bible plants along with their symbolism. If you want to learn more about them, read my two books: 1) Rooted in God and 2) God as a Gardener. You can purchase them from my website: Carolyn Roth Ministry at http://www.CarolynRothMinistry.com/

Copyright: November 10, 2015; Carolyn A. Roth

Save

Fig Leaves for Clothing

?????????????????Read Genesis chapter 3 in an Amplified or New International Version Study Bible.

Originally, man was created with free will. Adam and Eve could choose to obey or disobey God. While they obeyed God, Adam and Eve were without sin. Neither wore clothes; they were naked in each others presence and God’s presence yet felt no sense of shame or embarrassment (Genesis 2:25).

When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s command, they lost their innocence or sinless state. It was their choice to disobey to God — not solely the act of biting into, chewing, and swallowing a fruit — that introduced sin into the world. Disobeying God word is always a sin. Immediately after disobeying God, Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness. Adam was ashamed and embarrassed for Eve to see his naked body; likewise, Eve was embarrassed and ashamed for Adam to see her nakedness. To hide their nakedness and shame, Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to make an apron-like girdle.

Chagawr is the Hebrew word used for the apron-like girdle in Genesis 3:7. When compared with other Biblical references using the word (chagawr), a picture emerges of a belt tied around the waist with fig leaves sewed to the belt and each other that hung down and created a cover for the lower abdominal and genital areas. The underside of fig trees are rough. When disturbed or punctured they exude a y gel-like substance. Fig leaves sewed together and don for coverings would have been very sticky and uncomfortable to wear.

Adam and Eve were wearing fig leaf aprons when they tried to avoid God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8-10). In God’s presence, Adam blurted out, “I was afraid (to come before you) because I was naked.” In reality, Adam was not naked; he was wearing a fig leaf apron. Adam saw the fig leaf apron as adequate to cover his nakedness front of Eve, but not in front of God.

Fig Trees

The fig tree (Ficus carica ) is a deciduous tree indigenous to the Mediterranean Sea area and eastward into Afghanistan.  Figs were identified in written records as early as 9000 BC in the area of Jordan. Fig trees grow as tall as 25 – 30 feet and develop a spreading canopy of branches and leaves. Fig leaves are plentiful and typically 5 – 10 inches long and 4 – 7 inches wide. Leaves contain 3 – 5 deep lobes. Given the size of fig leaves, Adam and Eve would have used multiple fig leaves together to create aprons.

Symbolism: Disobedience

When I read that Adam ascribed his avoidance and fear of God to nakedness, I was skeptical.  Adam knew he disobeyed God; probably Adam’s fear was more related to awareness of his disobedience than of his nakedness.

Today wearing clothes is the norm. Opting to be naked versus being clothed is not something we think about. Automatically, we dress for the day soon after getting out of bed. I don’t know about you, but I want to look good to others. I don’t want them to see the naked, unadorned parts of me. I want to present myself as a person who is attractive and together physically, psychologically, and spiritually. In reality, often I have enough baggage to fill my closet and then some.

Perhaps worse than projecting  false pictures and hiding ourselves from others is trying to hide ourselves from God. Do you lie to God? I do, when I attempt to obscure my true motives from Him in my prayers; often I try to “white wash” my behavior or rationalize my motives. God wants us to be naked and unashamed before Him. He knew us before creation and when we were in our mother’s womb. He knows our circumstance and behavior. God knows us so well that He can identify the exact number of hairs on each of our heads. There is nothing we can do that God doesn’t anticipate or know. Yet, He still loves us and calls us into a personal, intimate relationship with Him. There is no need to hide ourselves from God or to put a “spin” on our behavior when we talk to Him.

Reflection: Are you hiding yourself, to include your motives, from God?

I love Bible plants along with their symbolism. If you want to learn more about them, read my two books: 1) Rooted in God and 2) God as a Gardener. You can purchase them from my website: Carolyn Roth Ministry at http://www.CarolynRothMinistry.com/

Copyright December 9, 2010, Carolyn A. Roth; all rights reserved.

Save