The almond tree is rife with biblical meanings. Moses' brother, Aaron, carried a rod cut from an almond tree. When almond blossoms and leaves suddenly sprouted on the rod, this miracle was attributed as a sign that God had chosen Aaron and his tribe to be His priests. Almonds were mentioned often in the Bible, possibly because they are native to the Middle East and would have been widely available during biblical times.
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During the many years in the wilderness, the people of the Lord quarrelled between themselves trying to determine who should be the priests and directly serve God.
So, representatives of all 12 tribes brought their rods and placed them within the tabernacle. The next day, when Moses went into the tabernacle, he discovered that Aaron's rod which was cut from an almond tree had miraculously burst into flowers. This meant that God had chosen Aaron and his family, from the tribe of Levites, to be His priests.
The Menorah which is situated outside the Knesset, Israel's parliament, is modelled on the menorah that was placed in the Old Testament Tabernacle which was carved "like unto almonds" (Ex. 25:33,34).
The branches of the biblical menorah ended in a cup fashioned in the shape of an almond flower, in the centre was placed an oil lamp. The rest of the menorah was also decorated with open almond blossoms. Skilled artisans were imbued by the Holy Spirit into creating the exquisite details of the almond flowers. The lamps were then lit and the fire was never to be put out.
In Ecclesiastes, the almond is indicative of old age. This is an apt description since the almond bursts into flowers in late winter---and winter is often considered anthropomorphically as an old man. The almond blooms are borne on naked stems before the leaves emerge, and the old blossoms often look like white snowflakes when they fall to the ground.
The almond tree is also referred to as a "watchful" tree by the Prophet Jeremiah when he talks to God in a vision. Yahweh asks Jeremiah what he sees and Jeremiah mentions that he sees "a branch of an almond tree." Yahweh answers: "You have seen well: for I keep watch over my word to give effect to it" (Jer.1:11-12).
Rod of Authority
In their book "Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan," Peter Michas and Robert Vander Maten propose that the Rod of Authority made from the Tree of Life was passed down through the ages by the biblical patriarchs. Eventually, King David planted it and centuries later it formed the cross on which Jesus was crucified. They believe that Revelation 22:2 states that the relic of the cross will reappear and flower. This will be a sign of God's authority just as it was in the days of Aaron.
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