Famous Plants in the Bible

Authored by Ryan Falk - Nursery Sales Manager
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Want to hear some bible stories about odd plant behaviour? They will probably miss the main point of the story, but I found them fascinating anyway. Let’s start at the beginning…

“Out of the ground the Lord God gave growth to every tree that is pleasing to the eye and good for food. And in the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

“And the Lord God commanded him, “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.””

“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. And now, lest he reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” Therefore the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.”

  • Genesis‬ 2‬:9‬,16‬-17‬, 3‬:22‬-23‬ BSB‬‬

I don’t know about you, but I have yet to find a plant whose fruit can give eternal life. Maybe some poisonous ones that could kill you, but not the other way around.

How about the famous burning bush next?

“Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from within a bush. Moses saw the bush ablaze with fire, but it was not consumed. So Moses thought, “I must go over and see this marvelous sight. Why is the bush not burning up?””

  • Exodus‬ 3‬:1‬-3‬ BSB‬‬

What is a key trait of bushes? They are made of wood, the material of choice for burning. Also, I don’t think there is any other plant in the bible that God’s spirit rested in or on. Lots of people. Very few plants.

Next up: Jonah’s instant shade plant.

“Then Jonah left the city and sat down east of it, where he made himself a shelter and sat in its shade to see what would happen to the city. So the Lord God appointed a vine, and it grew up to provide shade over Jonah’s head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was greatly pleased with the plant.”

  • Jonah‬ 4‬:5‬-6‬ BSB‬‬

Here we see the world’s fastest growing vine. We don’t know how long it took, but it literally covered the shelter while Jonah was sitting there. I’d like to know which fertilizer God used on that plant. Miracle Grow?

The next story is a personal favourite of mine, Jesus and the fig tree.

“In the morning, as Jesus was returning to the city, He was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. “May you never bear fruit again!” He said. And immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they marveled and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?””

  • Matthew‬ 21‬:18‬-20‬ BSB‬‬

This has been a very special verse to me as, in my efforts to grow fig trees as house plants I understand the disciples’ amazement. How did the fig tree wither so quickly?!?! It is a personal outcry from my heart.

How about Zacchaeus and the sycamore? This one is an interesting one that you have to take a step back from to see the big picture…

“And there was a man named Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, who was very wealthy. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but could not see over the crowd because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Him, since Jesus was about to pass that way.”

  • Luke‬ 19‬:2‬-4‬ BSB‬‬

What I find interesting is that Jesus being God, knows all things. He knows Zacchaeus is short and cannot see him. He also knows what Zacchaeus will do next. I suspect that Jesus walked the way he did because he knew there was a good sycamore tree there that Zacchaeus could climb. How did Jesus know this? Because He created that tree, possibly for this very moment. He knew at the beginning of time, when he made the very first Sycamore tree, that someday short, little Zacchaeus would need one to climb and he made sure a tree would be there thousands of years later. When you start to realize what “all knowing” really means you also realize there is no such thing as coincidence, just good planning, incredible patience and loving guidance.

To wrap it all up I will come back to the tree of life. It’s found in the first chapter and the last chapter of the bible (and sprinkled here and there in between) which I find interesting.

“Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the main street of the city. On either side of the river stood a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit and yielding a fresh crop for each month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

  • Revelation‬ 22‬:1‬-2‬ BSB‬‬

I will not pretend to know what a tree of life is, how it works or why, but I am excited to find out someday. Maybe I’ll get to plant one of its seeds outside my home in heaven.

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