Olives, wow what an iconic plant that represents not only the Church but also God the Holy Spirit.
The tree was very important to the daily life of people throughout the Bible. But unlike some of the other fruits I have looked at it was the oil made from the olive berries that held the most importance to daily life. In my studies I found that the olive berries were eaten, usually preserved in saltwater, but that the oil was used for many things – light, medicine and anointing. There were other oils (sesame and walnut) in use during Bible times but at least in the Bible it seems that when you see oil it was olive oil. I had to check but I could not find one reference to olive berries being eaten in the Bible.
The first mention of olives, in Genesis, is the leaves found in the dove’s mouth that Noah sent out after the flood. The last mention of olive trees is found in Revelation and they represent the two prophets in chapter 11. Either olives or oil is mentioned in most, but not all, of the books of the Bible.
Paul in Romans 11:17 – 24 represents spiritual Israel as a olive tree that we were grafted on to in the place of unbelieving Israel. That scripture tells me two things: first, heed Paul’s warning about arrogance toward Israel and that they knew how to graft fruit trees two thousand years ago!
The olive oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit’s anointing and gifts. Getting the oil required that the olives be crushed in an olive press the same technique is used today and the grades of oil come from the milling and collection process. It paints an interesting picture for us Christians who want God’s anointing. Are you ready to be crushed in order to be useful to the Church?
Another interesting fact I learned in my study was that olive trees have no growth rings so you cannot accurately tell the age of the tree. Just like the Church, it is an “ageless” growing organism that is to be producing fruit.
Mount of Olives http://www.bibleplaces.com/mtolives.htm
a good article http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/janick-papers/fruits-bible.pdf
Picture of olive tree http://www.freepik.com/index.phpgoto=2&k=olive&isCat=1&isKeyword=1&order=2&vars=2
There is only one reference to pistachio nuts in the Bible (they did make it) and that is in Genesis 43:11. They are part of the “gift” the brothers are to take back with them when they return to Egypt. I got the feeling Jacob was not only trying to bribe the “Man” but maybe open up a trading business. If you look at this story in Genesis chapters 42 and 43 the big thing I find interesting is the name shift, in chapter 42 it is Jacob in 43 it is Israel. (see What Was His Name) Maybe the shift here is because in chapter 42 Jacob is focused on himself while in 43 he is focused on the “family.”
The links below are interesting; check them out if you have the time.
pistachio nuts blog http://nutgourmet.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/nuts-in-the-bible/#comments
fun facts http://www.foodreference.com/html/f-pistachios.html
pictures of pistachio tree and nuts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistachio
nice website about Israel, its food and land http://judaism.about.com/od/conservativejudaismfaq/a/dov_tubshvat_3.htm