Olive-tree

Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Olive-tree : is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark brought an olive-branch to Noah (Genesis 8:11). It is mentioned among the most notable trees of Palestine, where it was cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deuteronomy 6:11; 8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that of Jotham (Judges 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the "good land," and is at the present day the one characteristic tree of Palestine. 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 (Psalm 52:8; Jeremiah 11:16; Hosea 14:6). The two "witnesses" mentioned in Revelation 11:4 are spoken of as "two olive trees standing before the God of the earth." (Comp. Zechariah 4:3,11-14.)

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

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