palm

palm

A tall, slender tree whose leaves fan out at the top like a plume. The palm is especially hardy in arid environments, bearing fruit for many years (Ps 92:12-14). Palms are therefore especially characteristic of water sources and oases, thus the reference to them at the springs of Elim (Num 33:9) and at Jericho, the oasis city of palms (Deut 34:3). Many parts of the tree were used. They produce dates, which were consumed as a sweet fruit. A fermented drink was made from the tree’s sap. Its leaves were used as roofing for houses and for weaving mats and baskets. According to the Gospels, these leaves were gathered and displayed as a symbol of joy and celebration on the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem (John 12:13). The upright and stately form of the palm suggests justice and nobility. The attractive array of leaves provided a decorative motif in Solomon’s Temple (1Kgs 6:29; 1Kgs 6:32). The Hebrew word for a palm tree, tamar, is used as a proper name in the Bible. As a place-name, Tamar is referred to in (Ezek 47:18-19 and Ezek 48:28). Absalom’s sister (2Sam 13:1) and daughter (2Sam 14:27) were both named Tamar.

Ps 92:12-14

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Num 33:9

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Deut 34:3

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John 12:13

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1Kgs 6:29

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1Kgs 6:32

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Ezek 47:18-19

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Ezek 48:28

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2Sam 13:1

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2Sam 14:27

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