Olive Trees in Relation to Scripture

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.

Psalm 23:5 (New Heart English Bible: NHEB)

Hey there reader!

Have you ever seen an olive tree before, either in a picture or better yet, in person? If you haven’t, I invite you to see the picture below. Olive trees are a delight that the Good Lord has made! They are pleasant to the eye, rich in color if they are well taken care of, and bear much fruit. Yes, you did hear right-olives are considered a ‘fruit‘. You may have asked yourself at one point or another that question if olives were a fruit or a vegetable out of curiosity, but they are in fact a fruit. To be more precise, they are commonly thought of as a stone fruit, because of the fact that they have a pit, like that of dates, peaches, apricots, and mangoes. How amazing it is to learn this, isn’t it?

Olive Trees

Do you or anyone you know, by any chance, like olives or olive oil? Whether you do like to consume them or not, is a matter of personal preference. Maybe you already have olive oil on the kitchen counter, or canned olives stored away in the pantry. Perhaps you have a jar of olives sitting in the fridge, cold and ready to be eaten. Whatever the case may be for your household, it is safe to assume that olives are an all-around staple since we can remember. Some people like to add them into their salads, others as a pizza topping, and still, more people than not, like to just cook with the oil. No matter how they are consumed, it is certain, olives are famous all across the nations. They are so popular that producers have dedicated numerous hectares of land to grow olive trees. People just love the wonderful works of God!

But what is a hectare? Well, to answer this, know that a hectare is bigger than an acre. 1 Acre contains 0.4046856422 hectares in all. One acre is equal to 43,560 square feet. One hectare = 100 meter x 100meter= 10000 square meters. This is a lot of land supporting 250 trees per each of the hectares, which should yield about 10,000kg (ten tons!) of olives a year per hectare. It’s so incredible what God can do and give!

In the verse below, we can see that even from the beginning of time, God made these trees with great significance. They were destined to look mighty and strong, as well as very deeply-rooted, which helped them withstand the flood from Biblical times.

Dove Carrying Olive Tree Branch

In the Book of Genesis 8:11 (New American Standard Bible 1995) it says,
‘The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth.

The dove bringing back an olive leaf to Noah was an indication of hope, signifying new life, renewal, a new fresh start! For it meant that the flood had ceased and Noah, his family, and all the animals were safe, then being able to come out from within the ark and start their new life in the land God had given them to live and fill the Earth once again.

Olive trees are known to grow best in a sub-tropical climate. They like mild winters and long, warm, and dry summers. However, they tend to be delicate to freezing temperatures. As a matter of fact, some of the world’s oldest olive trees still grow today in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives located in Jerusalem, that date back when Jesus lived on Earth. Olives are one of the most extensively cultivated fruit crops in the world. Dating back to the year 2011, about 24 million acres were planted with olive trees, which is more than twice the amount of land devoted to other fruit trees; cultivation area tripled from only 2.6 to 7.95 million hectares across the world. In addition, in 2020, the bearing acreage for olives in the U.S. alone was 36,000 acres, yielding 1.88 tons per acre. That is a vast expanse of olive trees grown that are being fruitful, giving abundantly! So, let’s take a look at its uses.

We find in the Bible, in Leviticus 24:2 (NASB) this verse:
‘Command the sons of Israel that they bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually.

When the Bible talks about oil, it is well-thought to be referred to the olive oil. Needless to say, olive trees are unmistakably striking and the fruit has benefits that are numerous. It was used for medicinal purposes, as an emollient, a fuel for lighting lamps, for nutrition, and for many other purposes. It was olive oil that was chosen to be a holy anointing oil for the Israelites. God provided then and He will continue to provide in the land we live in today. I say this with confidence because God is faithful. He is, was, and will continue to be the same God of all, making with His hands only superior work in all He does. He created everything in 6 days and rested on the 7th. God is remarkable; His works are of the highest standard! Of this, there is no doubt.

The Book of Job 29:4-6 (NASB) has this to say,
‘As I was in the prime of my days, when the friendship of God was over my tent;
When the Almighty was yet with me, and my children were around me;
When my steps were bathed in butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!

As we visit our local grocery markets, we cannot deny that there is an array of olives in which to choose from. Considering the fact that they take up quite an amount of space at my local grocery market and most probably at yours as well, we know that there is demand for olives. Shoppers always gravitate to the places where they can find olives or its oil. Why is that?.. you might ask. What is it about olives that people love and always want more every time they go on their next grocery shopping experience? Well, we see from the pictures above, that the tree itself looks beautiful and so does the fruit that it offers. Moreover, people are shopping for olives because they are pleasing to the eye and to the palate, filling everyone that consumes them.

Research has shown that olives provide great nutrition. By the look of this picture right here, it’s easy to see why so many people are convinced this is the oil for them.

Olive Oil Nutrition

There are so many health professionals in the United States and outside the US that agree on the fact that olives are great to have in your meals. Located in Decatur, IL, Cardiologist Dr. Nadal Aker, MD, enjoys olive oil as a fundamental part of a healthy and happy lifestyle. Quoting from Dr. Aker, “More olive oil seems to lower glycemic numbers in diabetics and correlate with fewer cardiac events,” he says. There are more doctors and specialists who are in complete agreement that consumption of olives or olive oil in moderation is key to good health. Even in Biblical times, people spoke very fondly about it, for they saw the power of the olive even with no research.

Nehemiah 9:25 (NASB 1995) says it like this:
‘They captured fortified cities and a fertile land. They took possession of houses full of every good thing, Hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves, Fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, were filled and grew fat, and reveled in Your great goodness.

So, if what the leading doctors and health professionals are saying about olives is true, then we know that olives are in fact good for us to have in moderation. We can conclude, that for a healthy heart and body, we should have olives or olive oil as part of our healthy every day meals, just like many people in the Bible did. They grew accustomed to the fruit and its oil to meet their needs. If you haven’t tried to incorporate this fruit into your diet, just start with small steps. To get creative, simply find recipes on-line that you would like to try. In no time, you might notice you will start liking this fruit more than you thought originally, but if not, that’s okay too. Having an open mind to try new things is more than enough. You might just be intrigued by its peculiar colors and its smell or other characteristics of the tree. Moving on, this is what the Scripture tells us about olives and other good fruit bearing trees. We go back to the beginning of the Bible to find a verse in Genesis.

And we read from Genesis 1:11-12 (New International Version: NIV) ‘Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

God made olive trees in many rich colors. They are widely known to us as green olives, which are unripe and black olives, which are fully ripe. Nevertheless, did you know they can also transform from green to light brown, or have dark purple and vibrant red colors? Yes, it’s a pretty awesome fact! The oil can have dark hues or be light in color as well, depending on how it is manufactured, with either having the oil refined or unrefined. A considerable indicator is the color of an olive and its ripeness, although, general rule of thumb: the darker the olive, the riper it was when it was plucked from the tree. Now, you’re becoming an expert on olives and olive trees.

Green Olives
Black Olives

The Book of Isaiah 41:19 (Amplified Bible: AMP) declares,
‘I will put the cedar in the wilderness, the acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress

Colored Olives

And Psalm 52:8 (NASB 1977) says this lovely verse,
‘But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the loving-kindness of God forever and ever.

Purple Olives

There are about 25 references to the olive tree and more than 150 mentions to the oil in The Holy Bible. As far as we know it, the olive branch has been seen as a symbol of great abundance, glory, victory, friendship, reconciliation, cleansing, healing, light, and richness. But above all, the greatest symbolism of this tree means a sign of peace. It is a beautiful plant that becomes a tree with proper treatment. We should value the olive tree as it does hold many gifts that God has given us. Thank you Lord. As we keep going, we come across this verse in The Book of Galatians: Chapter 5.

Galatians 5:22-23

(New International Version: NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Olive Branch with Little Flowers

Fun Fact: In the U.S.A., the state of California is the leading American producer of olive oil. Olive trees are now also being grown in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Alabama, and Hawaii, on the island of Maui, in order to start producing more of this rich fruit. Between the months of Spring, the olive tree begins to flower little white blooms in loose clusters, called mignola, which give a slight pleasant scent. By shaking the branches gently around this time, it is known to distribute its pollen, helping the olive flowers turn into small olive fruits, later growing full-size olives.

Yet, In order to see its fruit, producers must be patient enough through all the time it takes for the tree to take root and start to grow, eventually maturing. The time-frame can take a couple years but the reward is great. Olives cannot be rushed, resulting in fruit in due time if the tree is long cared for. That’s where the art of patience is learned and where we can apply the top verse in found in Galatians 5:22-23 that has nine fruits of the Spirit which are: love, joy, self-control, forbearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and peace. When the tree starts to mature, thus, blossoming with flowers, it allows the fruit to spring up into the beautiful olives that are so popular and beloved by most of us. The Bible even says this beautiful phrase:

Found in Psalm 128:3 (NASB) it states,
‘Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house,
Your children like olive plants around your table.

So far, the Scripture has taught us some astonishing things about olives and why they are mentioned so much in Biblical settings; it is because they are revered to be one of the highest in quality causing great respect, admiration to God, and appreciation of abundance this tree can offer. The Mount of Olives remind us that just as our Messiah came to Earth, as the Old Testament prophets predicted, so He will come again to rule in righteousness and justice. As you and I consider this holy mountainside and all that it represents in Scripture, it is a good reminder that we need sacred settings in our lives.

We need places of victory where we can remember that Christ is triumphant! He has overcome The Devil, ruler of this world, by His beautiful selfless sacrifice we know as the crucifixion. Jesus gave His life over so we can receive ours in Heaven. He reigns eternally to the right hand of God, and is elated when someone new comes to Him for forgiveness and repentance. Yes, He loves when His children come to Him. I’ll share a little story on how I got saved when I devoted my life to Jesus and it relates to olives.

Green Olives In Olive Oil

I remember the first time I was introduced to this oil. We didn’t keep any at home so I didn’t know of it growing up. It was when I was a little girl going to church with my siblings and my mom and my grandmother. There, at the end of the service, the pastor called everyone who wanted prayers and healing to come up to the altar and so we got up and went forth to receive of God’s goodness for our lives. I remember many of those church people laying hands on me and praying to God for my life and for the lives of all the other people who had gone up to the altar. It was really nice that it started making me tear up, all while my eyes were closed in prayer. What happened next was unexpected. It was the pastor’s voice who I heard in front of me reaching his hands out on my head, praying for me shaking his hand a bit and I could feel the power that God had in him. He then placed a smudge on my forehead in a shape of a cross. I could smell it was some kind of oil, but I wasn’t familiar with it. I felt the oil smoothly rub on my forehead and drip down to my nose, getting a clear smell of it. Later, when I opened my eyes, I could see he had a little bottle of olive oil in his hands and he was blessing everyone who went up, praying over them.

I recall the scent from that moment on. There is no other smell on Earth like it. Personally, since this experience, this oil represents a holy anointing by the power of the Spirit of God. My life was changed. I didn’t know why people use this oil instead of other ones or why it was mentioned so much in many books found within the Bible. Since then, now that I’m older, I come to understand the reason behind it. Olive oil has so much meaning behind it and this is why I had it in my heart to write about it.

Black and Green Olives

Let us learn now, that just as the olive tree is planted, then grows in maturity, blooms with flower, giving rise to new fruit in due time, so does this relate to Jesus. He was born into this world, flowered from a child and into a man, giving good fruit to the world by doing His works on Earth by the miracles He preformed as well as through His words which were also His fruit. This is why in the Bible, Jesus loved talking in parables to His disciples and to the crowds who would follow Him. There is always a great lesson to learn and the olive tree’s significance is valued and upheld up to this day. Jesus is like the olive tree in this parable I’m sharing with you now. He is to be respected and valued, upheld with dignity and respect because He is God’s Son. He is my treasure; He is the Key that opens the doorway that leads us into the best of places-and that place I speak of is not found here on Earth. God’s will for Jesus was to come and save all humans from their sin by dying on the cross, which made a bridge for man that leads to the glorious place in Heaven and no longer to Hell. Praise God!

Hosea 14:5-6 (NASB 1995) says this phrase,
‘I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, and he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon. His shoots will sprout, and his beauty will be like the olive tree; And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon.

Green Olives on Olive Tree Branches

While in John 14:16 (English Standard Version: ESV) it says, ‘And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth.’ 

Jesus Christ promised us the Holy Spirit because He knew His time on Earth was coming to an end. When He was persecuted, they tried to shake Him by mocking Him, just as one shakes the olive tree. They tortured Him relentlessly, just as the olives get pressed over and over again thus producing olive oil. That is how Jesus was. His red human blood ran down his skin when those sinful people did what they did to Him. It is like how olive oil is extracted from the olives. Jesus is the olive in this parable. The oil is His blood.

Note that there are levels to getting the fine oil from the olives. These levels are called ‘first press’, ‘cold press’, ‘second press’, and ‘third press’. Each level the olives are put through, its nutrition fades away more and more. The first press is the better one with more nutrition, while the last one depletes it, striping away most of the olive’s nutritional content. They have to press the olives over and over with a hydraulic press which literally squeezes the oils from the pulp, so that the oil can become how they see fit. This relates to Jesus in the way that He suffered levels of abuse and persecution.

Olives Put Through The First Press

He was mocked, scorned, and whipped on His back countless of times, which is like the ‘first press’ of the olives getting tossed into the machine, squeezing the olives to make the oil. For the ‘second press’, Jesus had to carry the cross to Calvary. Carrying the cross in that state was already torture enough for Jesus Christ, but they were not done with Him. They put Him through an extreme level of torture with even more pain than carrying His own cross, which is like the ‘third press’ level that olives go through. In this level, Jesus endured the nails hammered to his hands and feet. This is the ultimate sacrifice as He displayed His love for us on the cross so that we may believe Him, that He is the Son of God, the Lamb that came to Earth to save all that want to be saved. His grace and mercy was shown on the cross where His blood ran red. Just as the olive expresses out its oil, so did Jesus express His love for us in this way.

Fresh-Pressed Green Virgin Olive Oil

Having done this for us, He left us the Holy Spirit, which is what was the end result of going through the pain and torture that He experienced, which ultimately ended in His death. And once He was put through these levels of punishment, He then rose on the third day to be with His Father in Heaven. Just as all the perfect-looking olives get put through the press to squeeze the good oils out of them, so did what happened to Jesus. He got put through the press again and again, which extracted all of His goodness, thence giving us the gift of the Holy Ghost. This gift for us is free from Jesus. He gave us this gift so that we wouldn’t be alone. The Holy Spirit will guide you through life, helping you make better decisions day to day. He is your helper.

Jesus knew that this world would not accept Him, rather they sentenced Him to a brutal death on the cross for committing no sin at all, for He was only Holy and sinless, but this had to happen to Him to fulfill God’s will. Just as the humble olive, when pressed, transforms into good oil that can be used, that is how Jesus was transformed. He ascended to Heaven with God when He died and rose again on the third day. The Holy Spirit is like the end result of the olives being pressed; that is His gift to all the world who will accept Him. The facts are only found within the Bible itself, so don’t be fooled by others who will go against God’s Holy Word. Let’s take a look at this verse here.

From the Book of John 16:13 (New Life Version: NLV) we can read this, ‘The Holy Spirit is coming. He will lead you into all truth. He will not speak His Own words. He will speak what He hears. He will tell you of things to come.’

With all this said, my fellow brother and sister in Christ Jesus, let us now learn the importance of how the olive tree can provide a great and valuable lesson to our lives. It should be a definite sign, signifying that our faith should be deeply-rooted to God, come what may, just like the olive tree in Genesis was not drowned in the flood, but it prevailed and became a sign of great beginnings and new life for Noah and his family and all the animals that were on the ark. It does not matter what twists and turns life can bring, we must stay close to God and be firmly planted in our faith. It is the moral of this parable – to always stay connected to God, who is the Source of all things.

Black Olive on Tree Branch Dripping in Olive Oil

Remember that He is not far, but only one prayer away. Without Him, we are but a lost branch that is cut off and withers away, but if we stay connected to the olive tree, which is God, we will be able to withstand trials and afflictions that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Whenever someone wants to shake you, like they do to the olive tree branches, hold even tighter to God and don’t let go. Do not let go of your faith, but always believe in God and read His word in the Bible on a daily basis. No matter how hard they try to make you doubt God, or make you sin, do not give in. Let them shake the olive tree, but they will not be able to shake you off because you will have planted your roots deep in the ground.

Plainly, if we stay close to God, He will remain in us. We will always produce good fruit just like an olive tree. So be filled with the oil of God’s Holy Spirit and do not let it burn out. Keep your fire alive for Jesus and live for Him because He died for you. Now, do you see how the olive tree from Scripture can become a valuable lesson in life?

God bless you and your family so, so much!

With love,

Leticia Joy Santa Cruz


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SOURCES:

Editorial Team, ‘Trees’, Olive Tree Information: Olive Tree Wiki-Olive Tree Info & Uses, Accessed on October 11, 2021, http://www.wikifarmer.com/olive-tree-information

Farm Style: ‘Specialised Small Farm Advice (Australia)’, Starting Out in Olives, Published 2019, Accessed on October 12-13, 2021, https://www.farmstyle.com.au/news/starting-out-olives-0

Knowing Jesus, 27 Bible Verses About Olive Trees, 2011-2021, Accessed on October 11, 2021, https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Olive-Trees

Making Perfect Olive Oil, ‘Top Ten Factors in Producing Quality Olive Oil’, ‘The Basics’, 1998-2021, Accessed on October 12, 2021, https://www.oliveoilsource.com/

Olive Grove, ‘Growing Olives’, Encouraging Flowering and Fruiting, Published 2017, Accessed on October 12, 2021, http://www.olivegroveoundle.co.uk

Olive Oil Website, Health and Beauty, ‘Health and Wellness’, A Cardiologist Tells Us Why He Loves Olive Oil, Published September 10, 2021, Accessed on October 12-13, 2021, https://www.oliveoil.com/cardiologist-tells-us-why-he-loves-olive-oil/

Pierce, Newton B., Olive Culture in the United States, Published 1896-1897, Accessed on October 13-14, 2021, https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/IND23339883/PDF

Reiss, Dawn, ‘America’s Tuscany’, 9 Amazing Olive Oil Orchards to Visit in the U.S., Published 2016, Revised August 2020, Accessed on October 11, 12, and 13, 2021, https://www.afar.com/magazine/americas-tuscany-9-amazing-olive-oil-orchards-to-visit-in-the-us

Square Yards, Convert Hectare to Acre: 1 Hectare to Acre, Published September 24, 2021, Accessed on October 12, 2021, http://www.squareyards.com/blog/hectare-to-acre

Vander Laan, Ray, That The World May Know, Light to the World, 2021, Accessed on October 14, 2021, https://www.thattheworldmayknow.com/light-to-the-world

Vangelis, Blog: Olive Tree, Olive Tree Flowers: ‘What Do Olive Tree Flowers Look Like’, Accessed on October 11-12, 2021, http://www.oliviadaolive.com/olive-tree-flowers

Wikipedia, ‘The Free Encyclopedia’, Olive, Updated September 2021, Accessed on October 13, 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive


Published by Daily Joy

Hi there everyone! You might know me from Daily Bible Quotes on social media. My name is Leticia Joy and I created this blog (Daily Joy) to hopefully inspire you to give your life to Christ. He alone can help you change and bring you into a deeper relationship with Him. Amen.

2 thoughts on “Olive Trees in Relation to Scripture

  1. I have always loved olives, and olive oil. Now that I have read your article word for word, I will look at olives totally differently now. Thank you for this remarkable information. For as long as I have been reading God’s Word, I never looked closely at the olives and the oil which the Scriptures speaks about. I have a fresh awakening about olives now. God bless you, and thank you for sharing. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi friend! I hope you’re having a wonderful day! I’m so glad you enjoyed the valuable insight the humble olive can give us. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my article in full as it all filled with context that relates directly to The Bible and much more. Yes, it is enlightening what we all can share to know Jesus Christ better and we will always keep growing, learning more about Him every day. Praise God!

    Like

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