Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

The role of trees in the Bible – Day 13

The pomegranate tree — the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Bible text(s)

Exodus 28:33-34GNBOpen in Bible reader

Pomegranates are an exotic, beautiful fruit quite unlike anything else. They are about the size of an apple with tight, leathery red or pink skin. If you cut a pomegranate open, you’ll see the inside is separated by walls of bitter white flesh and in between them are hundreds of small, juicy red seeds. They’re also mentioned in 1 Kings 7:13-22, where the fruit is depicted on the two pillars which stood in front of the temple King Solomon built in Jerusalem. King Solomon is said to have designed his crown based on the “crown” of the pomegranate.

Pomegranates are deeply symbolic for many people. Rabbinic tradition holds that these pomegranate seeds are said to number 613 — one for each of the 613 commandments in the Torah. The pomegranate is often seen in paintings and statues of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus as a symbol of resurrection and everlasting life.

Because of its abundance of seeds, pomegranates can also symbolise the Christian church, where the seeds represent the many believers who make up the one universal church. Each seed, like each one of us, is complete in itself, but together forms an even more perfect whole.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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