26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Further commenting on the verses above and continuing from my last post, we find that YHWH gave humankind: “every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food” ( v29). This shows us how YHWH knew right from Creation what we needed to sustain ourselves and to survive. Meanwhile, the animals were also provided for. It would seem that at the beginning of Creation both humans and animals ate a vegetarian, even vegan, diet and that YHWH had provided the plant life that was required. Later all this changed, I suppose when after the Fall everything altered.
Even so, in verse after verse the bible tells us about YHWH’s provision for us:
Psalm 136 v 25-26: “He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.”
Psalm 145 v 15-16: “The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.”
In the book of Matthew Chapter 6 v 31-32, we hear Yeshua say: “Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them.”
A comment from Chris Hawksbee discussing the trees in Genesis Chapter One says: “They are not mentioned just for their beauty, but because each gave fruit with seeds in it. They were given for us to use. This shows God’s generosity to us in abundance and variety. Some seeds produced oil that could be used for cooking and lighting, medicinal purposes, and for beauty treatments. Fruit and seeds provided food. We can add to this list: shade, wind breaks, habitats for animals, building and construction materials, sweet perfumed trees and incense. And God saw that it was good!”₁
The seed bearing plants of all and varied kinds were provided for our nourishment but we also find many occasions in the bible where plant-life is used to illustrate something which YHWH and, then, Yeshua were telling us. Interestingly, Clarence Larkin tells us these facts:
“These three trees are particularly fit symbols of Israel, for in Palestine the “Vine,” the “Fig-tree,” and the “Olive,” stand for the fruitfulness of the land. And the “Vine” and “Fig-tree” prefigure the Millennial days when every man shall sit under his own “Vine” and “Fig-tree.” Micah 4:3-4. When Jacob (Israel) was about to die he summoned his sons, and prophesied their future. Of Judah he said that his portion of Canaan should be so full of vineyards that asses should be tethered to the vines, and that the juice should be so plentiful that they would wash their clothes in it as in water. Gen. 49:9-12.
THE VINE is a symbol of Israel’s Spiritual privileges.
THE FIG-TREE is a symbol of Israel’s National privileges.
THE OLIVE TREE is a symbol of Israel’s Religious privileges.”₂
So when we read about these trees in the bible, we need to view the message being given in light of the symbolism attached. I am sure that I will return to this at a later date.
In the painting attached to this post there is my favourite subject matter – the tree. (Custodians Stuart & Kate).