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olive tree

Olive trees are frequently mentioned in Scripture.

The dove from the ark brought an olive-branch to Noah (Gen. 8:11).

It is mentioned among the most notable trees of Israel, where it was cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deut. 6:11; 8:8).

It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that of Jotham (Judg. 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the “good land,” and is at the present day the one characteristic tree of Israel. The oldest olive trees in the country are those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

It is referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious privilege (Ps. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6).

The two “witnesses” mentioned in Rev. 11:4 are spoken of as “two olive trees standing before the God of the Earth.” (Compare Zech. 4:3, 11-14.)

The “olive-tree, wild by nature” (Rom. 11:24), is the shoot or cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up to be a “wild olive.”

In Rom. 11:17 Paul refers to the practice of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a “good” olive which has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good olive, by pervading the branch which is “graffed in,” makes it a good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a “wild olive,” but now “graffed in,” yield fruit, but only through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed. This is a process “contrary to nature” (11:24).

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