|Holy Land Olive Wood|
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Olive wood from Jerusalem
Authentic Olive wood products make the ideal souvenir or Christian gift from the Holy Land, not just because the wood is ideal for chiseling in so many ways, but also due to the special Scriptural significance tied to the olive tree.
There are myriad references to olive trees in the Bible, starting with Genesis 8:11 where Noah sends the dove from the ark a second time, and it returns bearing a freshly plucked olive leaf. Hereafter, the olive leaf became a symbol of the end of GOD’s wrath and the start of a clean slate. A symbol of peace between GOD and man.
Further connotations with the olive tree as referenced in the Bible include Prosperity : “But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of GOD. I will always trust in GOD’s unfailing love.” Psalm 52:8 (NLT) The olive tree also features in Deuteronomy 6:10-11 as part of the “good things” that awaited the Israelites in the Promised Land, and likewise in Deuteronomy 8:8 (ESV): “…a land of olive trees and honey…”
GOD singled out the olive tree as a means of blessing HIS chosen people, in both the spiritual and physical sense (providing nourishment, economical growth and even the shavings was burnt for warmth). “I, the LORD, once called them a thriving olive tree, beautiful to see and full of good fruit.” (Jeremiah 11:16, NLT) Yet we know that the blessings promised to the descendents of Abraham, is also meant for all nations of the world. “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed…” (Genesis 22:18, KJV)
We derive the symbol of Fertility from Psalm 128:3 “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.” (NIV) Indeed, the olive tree is known to remain prosperous for centuries by shooting new branches from its roots. Once the trunk grows old and the branches are trimmed, it may look like a lifeless stump, but new shoots start growing just the next year and before you know it the new branches are clothed in a wealth of olives.
This picture brings us to the ‘special shoot’ from David’s lineage who carried the SPIRIT of the LORD. Isaiah 11:1 refers to JESHUA as such: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” (NIV) Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15, as well as Zechariah 3:8 and 6:12 also project the image of the MESSIAH as a shoot or a branch bringing righteousness to the world.
John 15 includes us in the picture of the fruitful tree “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (verse 2, NIV) “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (verse 5, NIV) “This is to my FATHER’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (verse 8, NIV)
And Romans 11:11-24 teaches us about the relationship between Jew and Gentile, illustrating how GOD let the gospel spill over to the nations by removing some of the branches of the cultivated olive tree (symbolic of Israel) and grafting in branches of believing Gentiles (wild olive shoots). JESHUA has become believers’ Jewish ‘branch’ and therefore they share in the nourishment as long as they remain in HIM. From around the world, more and more believers are starting to discover these roots and endeavor to bless, in turn, the ‘tree’ from which their blessing stems.
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