This blog post is all about almond trees in the Bible
I know what you probably think: “Almond trees in the Bible?”
Yes! That’s exactly what I want to write about.
Let me start by welcoming you to this blog post. I believe it isn’t by chance that you stumbled on this post. For that reason, I praise the Lord.❤️
Friend, I believe this topic will be a surprising encouragement to those waiting to see the fulfillment of God’s promises over their lives.
For many of you, you may perceive that you carry:
- Visions that seem dormant
- Dreams that seem forgotten.
- Promises that appear delayed.
Do you resonate with any of those things I mentioned?
Maybe you’ve felt like a little almond tree planted in the wilderness somewhere, trying to make sense of why God would give you a vision and then not do anything about it. You’re still here when all that was promised seems on hold.😭
But what if I told you there is an incredible story from the Bible that might just be able to encourage you still?
Well, it’s the beautiful story of the almond tree. It has so much depth and symbolism, and I start the article by explaining the appearance, uses, and ideas about the almond before we delve into its significance.
Feel free to use the table of contents attached to the post.
Ready? Let’s go!
What do you see?
As Christians, we should strive to see the world as God sees it. We must have faith and trust that He is in control and that His plans for us will come to fruition in due time.
The Bible tells us so many times about how God saw something even when it didn’t look like much to others.
In the book of Judges, Gideon was a man of valor, though he was a nobody in the eyes of his people. But God saw potential and greatness in him, and Gideon soon became a great leader who helped deliver Israel from oppression.
The same can be said for us as individuals and collectively as well. We may not see it now, but if we keep our focus on God’s vision for us, we can trust that His plan will come to pass.
Keep your eyes focused on God and not the world around you. Don’t be swayed by what you see with your fleshly eyes — instead, look for the unseen good that is already in place. See beyond what’s immediate and glimpse into eternity, where God desires to take us all.
So my question to you, as we begin, is, “What do you see?” Do you see a lack or abundance? Do you see a delay or promise? Do you see a Flesh-vision or a God vision?
Jeremiah 1:11-12, The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
First to bloom, last to bear fruit
I want to start with an essential characteristic of the almond tree.
You need to understand the idea of “first to bloom, last to bear fruit.”
Let me expound:
Almond trees are often the earliest trees to bloom in Israel and are associated with the return of spring and new beginnings.
Watching them come alive in springtime can be likened to cherry blossoms blooming in Washington DC – a sign that winter is coming to an end and the anticipation of warmer weather ahead.
For those who are unaware, Washington DCs most magnificent period is springtime! This is when the cherry blossoms come into full bloom. I can tell you firsthand that it looks so beautiful. There’s also an entire festival dedicated to them!
This nostalgic and beautiful image of cherry blossoms is perhaps the same image that the blooming of the almond tree evokes in Israel! I can almost picture the delicate flowers in full bloom, like cherry blossoms.
Back to the almond blossoms…
In as much as Almonds are known to be one of the earliest blooming trees in spring, they are also among the last trees to bear fruit in late summer or autumn. This is due to the fact that almond trees require a long period of cold temperatures during winter before they will produce ripe nuts.
I’ll talk about symbolism later in the post, but the overarching idea is that it teaches us that life isn’t always instantaneous –sometimes, the best of things take time!
Dates of bloom:
Bloom Dates: Almond trees typically bloom in January or February
Harvest: They are ripe for harvest at the very end of summer, usually around August.
Disclaimer: It is important to note that timing may vary depending on the variety of almond trees and environmental conditions.
Hebrew word and meaning of almonds (and play on words)
The Hebrew word for almond tree is šāqēḏ (shaw-kade’), which appears in the Bible several times- including Jeremiah 1:11-12.
In that same verse, God uses the term šāqaḏ is (shaw-kad’), which literally means “to wake, watch, awake, be alert.”
Therefore, it can be inferred that God used these similar sounding words to illustrate a dual meaning or a play on words.
Let me highlight the words for you…
Jeremiah 1:11-12 KJV, “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree (šāqēḏ/ shaw-kade’). Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten (šāqaḏ/ shaw-kad’) my word to perform it.”
This scholarly article explains it beautifully:
…they may simply embody the process of revelation—the act of seeing one thing in another, like seeing שֹׁקֵד šōqēḏ “(divine) watchfulness” in an שָׁקֵד šāqēḏ “almond tree” (Jer 1:11–12).Scott B. Noegel’s “Wordplay” In Ancient Near Eastern Texts by the Society of Biblical Literature.
More to the play of words (almonds in the Bible)
So breaking this down further..
When looking at Jeremiah 1:11-12, there is much more to the verse!
It is clear that the play on words with “almonds” and “hasten” emphasizes how reliable God is when it comes His Word.
Just as almond blossoms are a sure sign of Spring, so too can we be sure that when God makes a promise, it will be fulfilled. In fact, the Lord says he will watch over His word to ensure it performs! (Whoa!)
This is an important reminder that we can trust in the Lord’s promises no matter what. I honestly believe using the play on words is remarkable. It brings an emphasis and a brilliant visual reminder!
P.S. The following 5 sections show the scientific parts of the almond and its appearance. Stick around then we will head over to the significance and deep encouragement!
All about the almond tree & almonds (appearance, uses, etc.)
Almonds are a type of tree belonging to the rose family, cultivated in many areas around the world.
Here is a closer look at what an almond tree looks like, where it grows, and its potential uses.
- It has delicate white or pink flowers that are beautiful and fragrant, and they contrast nicely with the tree’s foliage.
- Almond trees are relatively small, reaching a height of 6-10 meters.
Where it Grows:
Almond trees are grown in many areas worldwide, including California (80% of worlds almonds), Spain, Italy, and Australia.
It is typically found in warm climates with long summers and mild winters.
7 interesting facts about almonds
Almonds are a beloved nut worldwide and have been part of diets for centuries.
They are incredibly healthy, packed with nutrients, and can be found in many everyday recipes.
Here are some interesting facts about almonds that you may not have known!
- Almonds are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- They contain significant amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial for cardiovascular health.
- Rich in antioxidants like vitamin E to protect cells from oxidative damage.
- Provide healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- They are used to make snacks, desserts, cooking ingredients, and even wood varnish!
- Almond milk is a delicious dairy-free alternative that can be made at home.
- Almond oil is excellent for cooking or as an ingredient in cosmetic products.
P.S. Whole Foods has a fantastic Almond Flour Vanilla Cupcake🧁 & Cake Mix by Simple Mills. It’s by far the best and a favorite in my home! It’s a lovely Gluten Free alternative that actually tastes surprisingly good!
7 Symbolisms & significance of almond in the bible
The almond tree is found many times in the Bible and holds deep symbolism.
Here are 7 symbols you need to be aware of:
1. God’s watchfulness and promises to fulfill his word.
In Jeremiah 1:11-12, The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet,” for God had sent him to deliver a message of judgment against wickedness. During this time, Israel had displeased God due to their idolatry and other forms of disobedience.
As explained earlier in the post, the almond tree symbolizes God’s watchful care and promise to fulfill his word.
2. Divine approval/God’s choice.
Numbers 17:10 says, “And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not. And Moses did so: as the Lord commanded him, so did he.”
Numbers 16 and 17 tell us how disgruntled the Israelites were over God’s choice of Moses and Aaron as His representatives. They argued that the Lord had set apart all of Israel and that there was no need for any one man to have greater authority than the rest.
God then performed a miracle on Aaron’s staff. Here we see how Aaron’s staff blossomed and produced almonds overnight! This showed God’s choice for Aaron to be the High Priest of Israel.
Numbers 17:8 “The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.“
The overnight miracle emphatically told the people of God’s choice. Remember, I indicated earlier that it takes time for the almond tree to produce nuts.
3. New Beginnings
I found this interesting, too, because Almond trees are known as “Watchmen of the Spring” because they are the earliest flowering trees to appear in spring.
It is also a sign for the Tu B’shevat, a Jewish holiday that celebrates the new year for trees.
Many cultures have embraced the symbolism of almond blossoms as a sign of an impending new season and a reminder never to give up hope for better days. Despite the cold winter, spring will always come eventually!
The joyous sight of these blossoms is a great reminder that each season is unique and brings unique gifts. Even if life gives us a cold winter, there’s always a chance of brighter days!
So as we admire these almond blooms in all their glory, let us remember that they are more than just pretty flowers: they are a sign of hope, resilience and a reminder to have faith in ourselves and the world around us.
P.S. I wrote a beautiful blog post on seasons here.
4. Promise and hope
In the Bible, almond trees were viewed as a symbol of promise and hope due to their characteristic of being the “first to bloom and last to bear fruit.”
This is especially true in areas with colder climates where they are often some of the first trees to blossom even when snow still covers the ground.
5. Eternity, judgment and encouraging people to remember God.
To understand the depth of Ecclesiastes 12, one should read Ecclesiastes 11 to get context.
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 11:9, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.”
Then Ecclesiastes 12:5 says, “The almond tree shall flourish and the grasshopper shall be a burden; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about in the street.”
We can deduce that in Ecclesiastes 12:5, Solomon provides a metaphor to illustrate further his warnings about the unavoidable signs of aging and the judgment that will come for us all.
He uses an almond tree as the visual representation of this process. As we age, our hair begins to gray before eventually turning white – just like the almond blossoms from the tree.
This metaphor reminds us of the importance of cherishing our time here on earth and doing our best to prepare for what lies ahead.
6. God’s presence and Tree of Life
The almond tree also symbolizes God’s presence and the tree of life.
In Exodus 25:37-39 as it says, “And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold; of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers shall be of the same. And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candle-stick out of the one side, and three branches of the candle-stick out of the other side.”
The almond tree symbolizes the tabernacle’s lampstand made from almond branches and symbolizes God’s presence.
7. Jacob’s appreciation for Pharaoh’s hospitality.
Jacob sent almonds as a gift to Pharaoh in Egypt.
Genesis 43:11-12, “So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, “If it can’t be avoided, then at least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them down to the man as gifts—balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds.”
The almonds were likely seen as a delicacy, given their rarity in the region. Furthermore, sending them was an act of generosity that Pharaoh could not ignore.
Jacob’s offer of almonds served as a sign of respect and gratitude towards his host, which ultimately resulted in him receiving the food he needed.
Thus, it is clear why Jacob sent almonds to Pharaoh—to show appreciation for his hospitality and to secure the sustenance his family needed.
Encouragement from the almond trees in the Bible
Now back to my original query in the beginning:
Do you feel like all hope is lost for your dreams and visions?
Well, I’m here to tell you… “Look at the almond tree! God is there; He is working in your life to bring about His promises for you.”
Friends, God is sovereign and has a plan for our lives. His words to Jeremiah are a reminder that nothing happens outside of God’s control or without purpose.
The analogy between the almond (shaw-kade’) and watching (shaw-kad) conveys an important message: although blooming first does not necessarily mean bearing fruit first, it does indicate that the fruit will come in due time.
Allow me to repeat that for greater emphasis- although blooming first does not necessarily mean bearing fruit first, it does indicate that the fruit will come in due time.
We can be encouraged by this to press on and persevere despite what we perceive as delays or setbacks.
Our dreams may seem dormant, but trust me, they are alive and well – God is still at work in our lives and will bring His plans to pass.
As long as we put our trust in Him, He will bring about what is best for us according to His plan. So take heart and hold onto hope – God has a great plan for you!
Friends, God will bring about the changes that need to be made in your life so that you can fulfill His purpose. All we need to do is wait on Him with faith and expectancy.
In times of discouragement, remember what Jeremiah was told by God: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
We can be sure that no matter how dark the night may seem, the morning will come – God will bring beauty from ashes.
So hold on tight and don’t let go of your faith. God’s timing is perfect, and He will bring about His plans for your life in due time.
Now go out with a renewed sense of hope and trust in the Lord! He is faithful to keep His promises to you!
Other encouraging verses:
Here are three additional verses that make it clear that God is faithful and that He will fulfill all the promises He has made in the Bible.
2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him [Jesus]. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “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 commands.”
Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
Hebrews 13:5 “…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Spurgeon’s inspiring sermon, “Lesson of the almond tree.”
In a quest to do in-depth research, I read an article by Charles Spurgeon that warmed my heart. So I’ll squeeze this bonus section here!
Charles Spurgeon’s “The Lesson of the Almond Tree” sermon is rather long and has a lot of archaic English language.
However, it is beautiful and powerful because it dives deep into Jeremiah and the almond tree based on Jeremiah 1:10-12.
Here are some powerful pointers that I gained from reading the sermon:
- Impression on One’s Soul: Before one can make an impression (or impact) on another person’s heart, an impression must first be made on one’s own soul, something that only God can do. Spurgeon states, “No, my Brother, before you can make an impression upon another person’s heart, you must have an impression made upon your own soul.”
- Many Lack Divine Sight: Many modern ministers do not have the divinely granted sight to see beyond their own clouded vision, meaning they lack effectiveness when it comes to conveying God’s Word.
- Pay Attention (Clarity): The examples of Jeremiah and Ezekiel show how important it is for the true speaker of God to pay attention to what He sets before them – whether it be a branch of an almond tree or a valley of dry bones. See clearly!
- Prayer as a means to Gaining Sight: Prayer is a crucial part of gaining sight to see what God reveals.
- Seeking approval from the Master (God): To have God say, “You have seen well” means that we must seek approval from our Master; it’s not enough just to see, but to do so with clarity and distinctness.
- Clear Vision and Insight: Charles Spurgeon emphasizes that a lack of distinctness in understanding the Truth will result in a lack of distinctness when proclaiming it. Therefore, if we are to be effective speakers for God, we must strive to have a clear vision and insight that comes only from Him.
- Seeking Grace: As we strive to be faithful proclaimers of God’s Word, may He grant us the grace to see and understand all that is set before us so that our words may be an effective witness for Him.
And that’s it, folks, almond trees in the Bible
As I close, I’m pleasantly surprised at the almond tree symbolism.
Let us not forget that the almond tree symbolizes hope for us all —the hope that God will answer our prayers and fulfill his promises. He has done so time and time again, and we can rest assured in this knowledge (Romans 15:13).
P.S. I don’t know if ya’ll sense the Spiritual shift. I believe this is a season where:
- Visions will come to pass.
- Dreams will be actualized.
- Promises will be fulfilled.
Friends, what do you see?