The Ark-Almonds

What do almonds have to do with the Ark of the Covenant Law? There are two connections, Aaron’s staff, and the Menorah or the Golden Lamp.

Numbers 17 tells the tale of God having had enough of the grumbling against Aaron and Moses (vs. 5). Aaron’s staff had leaves, flowers, and fruit of the almond tree on it. This was the sign that God had chosen him to be the leader. The staff was to be put back into the Ark as a sign for Israel.

Numbers 11 to 16 are part of the ten test times that Israel tested God. The story of the manna and the quail, the spies returning and complaining about the land. (I think the people planned to take everyone back to Egypt and conquer the nation. They were not going back as slaves.) The two that directly affect the staff are Miriam and Aaron (Chapter 12) complaining about Moses, and Korah (a close relative of Moses) the Kohath, and Dathan and Abiram (Reubenites or the firstborn) trying to take control of the camp (Chapter 16). By this time, the people had been trained as an army.

Exodus 25 gives the instructions for the making of the Tent of Meeting and the furniture associated with it; Exodus 37 gives the same information, but it seems to be the confirmation that it was done. Details of the Menorah are here. There is much symbolism associated with the branches, bumps, flowers, and lights of this lamp. The simplest truth about the lamp and its artwork is that it is an almond tree. The lamp was to light the area in front of it.

The almond tree is one of the first to bloom in the spring and is used to symbolize someone who is watching over things. The Menorah is a “watcher” that lights the way for those coming to it, or for those who need to see.

Jeremiah 1:11 and 12 is a play on words when Jeremiah sees an almond branch and the Lord says He is “watching over” His words and Jeremiah.

Ecclesiastes 12:5 also has an almond tree that is showing the start of the year and includes a grasshopper dying that represents the end of the growing cycle or season.

Genesis 28:19 has Jacob running from Esau and resting at Luz (Almond Tree) for the night. Because of the dream of the ladder to Heaven, he asks God to watch over him on this journey and take care of him. He then renames the place Bethel or House of God.

Jacob also uses branches of the almond tree in his ritual in Genesis 30:37 of putting peeled limbs into the water. The poplar and plane tree were abundant and very leafy, so the symbolism is possibly more important than the wood. I had read once that experiments had been carried out on this combination of things and nothing was noticed that would account for Jacob’s results.

The only time that the almond nut (not the tree) is the center of attention is in Genesis 43:11 when Jacob sends almonds to the man in Egypt (Joseph).