This post is all about the Tamarisk Tree in the Bible
The tamarisk tree is found throughout the Bible and has a rich history and symbolism. I think this is one fascinating tree; I can’t wait for you to read this post!
So, what’s in store? I’ll explore all that the tamarisk tree represents in biblical stories and some amazing facts. You’ll learn about its evergreen nature, what it symbolizes spiritually, and more.
Ready? Let’s go!
Why I’m writing this post
I was watching a video about “an appeal to heaven” by Dutch Sheets yesterday. He briefly mentioned the tamarisk tree and went on with his teaching. Once he said the tamarisk tree, I was stirred in the spirit. I then started to read verses about the tamarisk because I felt a hunger to look for the meaning.
Quick backstory: I have a love for trees. My dad did afforestation back in the day. I detailed this in the blog post: The forest that Dad planted. I also love numerous tree species and have extensively researched them, i.e., aspen trees, acacia trees, etc.
So, this blog post is literally from the research and reflection that I did all day yesterday about the tamarisk.
What is a tamarisk tree?
The tamarisk, also known as the salt cedar, is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 30 feet tall. It’s an evergreen tree native to dry areas of southern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia.
What does it look like?
It is a “very graceful tree, with long feathery branches and tufts, closely clad with the minutest of leaves, and surmounted in spring with spikes of beautiful pink blossom, which seem to envelop the whole tree in one gauzy sheet of color”(Henry Baker Tristram, The Natural History of the Bible).
7 amazing facts about the tamarisk tree
- The shade of the tamarisk is much cooler than that of other trees.
- “It can withstand heat and long dry spells by sending roots deep down to find underground water.” (Source: Jewish Heritage Online Magazine)
- “If water is available during the first growing season, the tamarisk’s roots continue to seek out the damp soil and continue to flourish without additional irrigation” (Source: Jewish Standard)
- Tamarisk trees are tolerant of drought and thus are ideal for arid climates.
- The wood of tamarisk trees is hard and durable; thus, it is ideal for making quality and valuable construction and furniture-making pieces (See: Highland Wood Working to sample pictures)
- Tamarisk is a slow-growing tree.
- Tamarisk trees can live to over 100 years.
Benefits of the Tamarisk Tree
The tamarisk tree has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes. In ancient times, the bark and leaves of the tamarisk were used to treat fever, wounds, and digestive problems.
It is used to make a vegetable product called Manna (no connection to the miraculous food that Israelites ate). Manna is created when the tamarisk is boiled, strained, and used as honey. (Source: Henry Baker Tristram, The Natural History of the Bible & Brittanica).
It also provides windbreaks, soil stabilizers, and shade for livestock and people.
Tamarisk tree symbolism
Now that you know all about the tamarisk tree let’s look at some of its spiritual meaning and symbolism.
1. Symbol of hope and life
The evergreen nature of the tamarisk tree represents hope and life. The tamarisk tree also symbolizes new beginnings. If you’re going through a tough time, the tamarisk tree is a reminder that better days are ahead.
2. Symbol of strength and resilience
The tamarisk tree is known for its ability to thrive in harsh conditions. This is a reminder that you can overcome any obstacle if you have faith and determination.
3. A reminder of God’s faithfulness
The tamarisk tree was a spiritual symbol of the covenant between Abraham and God. This story reminds us that no matter what happens in life, God will always keep His promises.
4. Symbolizes eternal life
Since the tamarisk is an evergreen tree, some see that it symbolizes eternal life. In addition, in Genesis 21:33, after Abraham planted the tamarisk, he refers to God as “El Olam,” which means everlasting or eternal God!
5. Sacred tree
Today, the tamarisk tree is still considered to be a sacred tree by many people.
If you’re looking for a powerful symbol of hope, life, and faith, look no further than the tamarisk tree. This significant tree has a rich history and a deep spiritual meaning. The next time you see a tamarisk tree, take a moment to reflect on its significance.
Tamarisk tree throughout the Bible (bible verses)
Let’s look at three examples where the tamarisk tree is mentioned in the Bible
- Saul is said to have been under a tamarisk tree in 1 Samuel 22:6.
- The tamarisk is also mentioned when Saul was buried under it (1 Samuel 31:13).
- However, the most significant time the tamarisk is mentioned is when Abraham plants one. Genesis 21:33
Abraham’s covenant symbolism with tamarisk
When Abraham and Sarah were living in the land of Canaan, Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beer-sheba which is a Canaanite town.
Beersheba means “well of seven” or “well of oaths“
Although the tamarisk tree was a physical symbol of covenant between him and the Philistine king Abimelech of Gerar (Read Genesis 21:22-33), it also has a spiritual significance. This was the land promised to Abraham’s descendants.
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.(Genesis 21:33)
It’s fascinating to see that Abimelech saw the grace and favor over Abraham’s life.
At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do…”Genesis 21:22
Another thing is the act or pledge of planting trees is truly prophetic. As I continue to reiterate throughout the post, it’s the land promised to Abraham’s descendants!
Why was this significant?
Abraham made a covenant when he planted the tamarisk tree. The covenant was about his obedience to God. So essentially, the tamarisk tree was a symbol of that covenant. It showed Abraham’s obedience to God and his commitment to the covenant.
2. Hope & faith
The tamarisk tree was also a symbol of hope. It was a sign of God’s blessing on his descendants. It was also a symbol of Abraham’s faith in God.
3. Willingness to follow commands
This act showed his dedication to God and his willingness to obey His commands.
Blessing for future generations
As per the information provided earlier, the tamarisk is a slow-growing tree. So, the fact that Abraham planted it is symbolic not only as a covenant or treaty but as hope and expectation, knowing that this would benefit future generations.
This act of obedience was not only a physical act but also a spiritual act. Abraham was planting the seeds of blessings that his descendants would reap for generations to come. I would imagine that he planted it, knowing that he may not see the tree mature into full stature, but future generations will as per the promise God gave him. (See Genesis 12:1-3 & Genesis 17)
The blessings of God are important; we know that He is a covenant-keeping God.
Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandmentsDeuteronomy 7:9
Sowing for future generations
So, my question to you is as follows: what are you planting or sowing today that will benefit future generations?
See, we live in a society that is obsessed with instant gratification. This microwave generation wants to see results now!
However, what if we become stewards for the next generation. We plant spiritual and financial seeds that will benefit our children.
I believe it’s the Father’s (God) heart to bless us; I believe it is wise to earnestly seek Him so we can be aligned to steward that promise for our future generations.
How beautiful is it for us to plant spiritual tamarisks so that our children can sit in their shade? They can bask and witness the faithfulness of God through our obedience!
As we reflect on this power-packed post about the tamarisk, let us also remember to plant the seeds of blessings for future generations. May our tamarisk trees symbolize hope and new beginnings, and may they provide refreshment and fruitfulness for all who come across them.
My grandfather’s spiritual seeds
My grandfather was a wonderful man. I have written about him in a previous post titled “Remembering grandpa.” One thing that he did was he woke up every single morning to intercede for his future generations. He did so diligently to his dying day.
Grandpa planted those seeds by faith…knowing full well that he won’t be here to see the outcome of the seeds he planted. Like the tamarisk, the spiritual seeds are maturing after his time.
Even as he was frail and lost a lot of his hearing, at age 100 plus, he remained committed to intercession. I remember in 2013; he went on to say that it was the year he knew the Lord would take him home. He even said God had shown him how beautiful his funeral would be. So he requested that I fly back to Kenya for final blessings. I remember him sitting on his bed and praying, “Let us thank the Lord…”
So yesterday, I was challenged. Sooo challenged to pick up the baton and do my part for future generations. I refuse for there to be a gap; I want to stand in the gap and bridge, touch, and agree with the momentum grandpa set.
My father also set financial seeds for us. I remember him working so hard and always saying, “This is for my great-grandchildren. I don’t know them, but this is for them and their children’s children.”
All I can say is…. goosebumps.
And that’s it, folks, the tamarisk tree in the Bible
- The tamarisk tree symbolizes hope and new beginnings in the Bible.
- Planting spiritual tamarisk trees is an act of obedience that comes with the potential to bless future generations.
- Tamarisk trees are also a symbol of spiritual growth and fruitfulness.
As we reflect on the tamarisk trees, let us also remember to plant the seeds of blessings for future generations.
I leave you with this beautiful song by Elevation. I pray for blessings to your future generations.❤️