Tree symbols used in Bible prophecy
Trees generally symbolize people in Bible prophecy, example;
Psalms 11 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
In prophecy, different trees symbolize different people;
- Fig symbolizes the church
The church is likened to the fig tree in Revelation 6:13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.
In Revelation 6:13, stars fall to the earth; Stars are saints who lead others to righteousness; those who have accepted the heavenly wisdom of salvation and help others to acknowledge the Truth as written;
Daniel 12:3 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
Revelation 6:13 thus points to the falling away of saints that lead many (reffering to Christian leaders) in the church just before and during the time of tribulation
- Vineyard and vines symbolizes Jesus Christ and Israel
Isaiah 5:7 The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel,
and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in.
Jesus said: John 15 “I am the True Vine, and my Father is the gardener.
Fig and vine are used in different passages in Bible prophecy to convey particular messages about, and to Israel and the church. Example;
Joel 1:6-7 6 A nation has invaded my land, a mighty army without number;
it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.
7 It has laid waste my vines and ruined my fig trees.
It has stripped off their bark and thrown it away,
Joel 1 is a message to the church and Israel, pointing to the time when the locust army in Trumpet five rises. The rise of that army is indication that the time of Lamentation has begun, Israel and the church is called to lament and repent, preparing for the events that will follow. Joel 1 Verses 6-7 point to that time of tribulation and the state of destruction in Israel and Mount Zion or the church.
- Cedars and oaks
Cedars symbolize the righteous people of the church while oaks symbolize the people of Israel. These trees are used symbolically in Isaiah and other prophets especially in passages about the day of the Lord or the time of God’s vengeance upon the earth. Example
Isaiah 2 12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty,
for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),
13 for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,
Isaiah 2 is a warning to the people of the church and Israel, a day of God’s vengeance is coming on earth, and thus God’s people ought to live like people who understand the times coming, letting go of any pride in earthly things. In Zechariah 11, The day of the Lord as spoken of above is pictured, the destruction of the cedars (the people of the church) and the lamenting of the people of Israel (oaks) is portrayed.
Zechariah 11 Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars!
2 Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen; the stately trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan; the dense forest has been cut down!
- Olive trees
Olive trees represent the people of the church as used in the mention of the two witnesses in;
Zechariah 4: Then the angel .. 2 .. asked me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a solid gold lamp stand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. 3 Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”
12 Again I asked him, “What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil? 14… “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.”
- Tree product symbols: Olive oil and wine
Wine and oil symbolize the Holy Spirit however, in some cases Olive oil symbolizes the joy of praise and worship given to the Most High God in Bible prophecy; example:
In Isaiah 29:9-10, where the effects of wine and beer is used to refer to the intoxication of the Holy Spirit, and Isaiah 61 where oil is associated with the joy of praising the Lord for what He Has done
Isaiah 29: 9 Be stunned and amazed, blind yourselves and be sightless;
be drunk, but not from wine, stagger, but not from beer.
10 The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep:
He has sealed your eyes (the prophets); he has covered your heads (the seers).
Isaiah 61: and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise, instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
The understanding of wine and oil is important for Christian believers in understanding several prophecies including the third seal;
Revelation 6: 5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
In Revelation 6:5-6 the third seal or black horseman unleashes the spirit of famine and plague. The famine in the third seal is pointing first to a famine of the Word of God, when the Spiritual food of the soul will be cut off as was prophesied;
Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.
The Word will be cut off in the middle of the 70th week after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem goes forth as confirmed in; Daniel 9: 27 … In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.
In those days when the anti-Christ stops the spread of the message of Jesus Christ in the middle of the 70th week, many will go from place to place seeking the knowledge of salvation. According to the third trumpet, though there will be a famine, starting with the Word of God, God will not withdraw His holy Spirit from individual Christian believers at that time, and those who are devoted to Jesus Christ will still be filled with The Holy Spirit and the oil of joy and thus praise unto the Lord will not be cut immediately.
The Holy Spirit will be withdrawn when the time of lamentation and great tribulation starts to allow Israel and believers to grieve and lament for the sins they had committed leading to repentance and renewal in Zeal towards God.