Amygdalus Communis / Almond

Farming was the main occupation in ancient times after creation.  Due to famine, Jacob and his whole family moved to Egypt, to escape it, and agriculture systems there were excellent, teaching the Israeli nation much. This prepared them well for when they took possession of their Promised Land. It is not surprising then that my next tree is one that produces a nutritious food crop.

Amygdalus communis Almond

In my introduction to this series, I mentioned that God created fruit trees first before forest trees, moon, stars, and seasons.  This tree a member of the exceptionally large Prunus family which includes the Plum and Cherry with its closest relative being the Plum. You only must look at the hard centre of a plum to confirm that.

Native to Iran and surrounding countries the Almond tree grows to a height of 30ft with a trunk of 12in thick and a crown of droopy branches that shed their leaves every year but produce abundant almonds before leave fall.  Beautiful five petaled pink blossom appears before new leaves each year for the nut crop to develop.

In the Bible the almond is a symbol of “watchfulness” and “promise” due to its early flowering. In Genesis 43:11, it is listed “among the best of fruits”. Some of the Hebrew translation of the word also means “promptness” or “readiness”, and when Jacob negotiated his move with Joseph to bring his family to Egypt away from the famine, he insisted that almonds be in the bags of gifts.  Until this point almonds had never been known in Egypt could this be a precursor that the nation may have to be in a state of “readiness” to take flight “promptly” Are we as Christians in lockdown today “promptly” being asked to be “ready”

In Numbers 17 Levi is chosen from the other tribes of Israel by Aaron’s rod, which brought forth almond flowers. According to tradition, the rod of Aaron bore sweet almonds on one side and bitter on the other; if the Israelites followed the Lord, the sweet almonds would be ripe and edible, but if they were to forsake the path of the Lord, the bitter almonds would predominate.

I don’t think the significance of the early blossom of the Almond tree and why Aarons rod was made from its wood can be underestimated here. In simple terms, if the Nation of Israel kept full of the “watchfulness” and true to the “promise” of God when Aaron and any other Levitical Priest thereafter entered the Sanctuary on behalf of the Nation then the blossom will be abundant and pure.  If not, then all would not be well. There is a lesson for us all here, and Peter reminds us of this also in Heb. 9 v 4.

Keep God at the centre and everything else fall off the side

Though Almond Trees as a species are plentiful and native to the Mediterranean region, today they are cultivated throughout the world, particularly in the Americas. Why?  For their nuts. They are used in most cuisines, most health foods, extensively in baking, and I am rather partial to their flavour.